In terms of compositions, he composed more than 550 for one, two, or three bass viols with figured bass, and he composed four operas.
He composed 180 solo bass viol pieces and 67 concerts a deux violes esgales which, according to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "regularly defy harmonic rules by using parallel 5ths or unresolved dissonances which are quite unsettling to the ear.
The first of three concerts is this weekend when Roger Deats and Jacqui Robertson will play treble and bass viols
in music by Dowland, Coprario and Gibbons.
The sonatas for two bass viols with optional continuo present players with greater difficulties but also greater rewards.
In addition, the English division style casts a long shadow over this repertory; extended variations on ground basses and the use of the extreme high register of the bass viol suggest the influence of Christopher Simpson, Henry Butler, and the numerous lesser-known English emigre musicians on the continent.
Therefore, these four-part suites, and especially the almands, join a repertory of airs composed by Jenkins, Lawes, and Locke wherein the parts frequently utilize a kind of division technique that allows for rapid flashes of technical display and an especially wide range for the two bass viols
The In Nomine contains especially difficult lines for the bass viols
, while the variations on "Go from My Window" feature dotted running passages in all the parts, as well as frequent octave leaps and close imitation between the treble parts.