The Spirit of GAMBO & friends

The internationally recognized "The Spirit of Gambo" brings a world of forgotten sounds into life again. The exquisite tonal quality, the balance between instruments, and the richness of musical content captivate any listener, giving them the feeling of being directly transported back in time and leaving them deeply rewarded.


The Spirit of GAMBO

Frederik Borstlap,
Gesina Liedmeier,
Thomas Baeté,
Ivanka Neeleman

Orlando Gibbons - "the silver swan"

Orlando Gibbons (1583 - 1625) was one of the most important and highly regarded musicians of his days, both as a performer on keyboard instruments and as a composer, particularly of polyphonic vocal music. The greater part of Gibbons’ output is sacred vocal music intended for practical use in prestigious places. In addition to services, he wrote a vast number of anthems, both full and verse, in many of which a consort of viols was required to provide an independent accompaniment. His output of secular vocal music was small compared to that for the church, and his only book of madrigals was published in 1612. Gibbons’ polyphonic madrigal style is nearer to his instrumental fantasias, but several of the compositions would appear to be solo songs with viol accompaniment, e.g. the famous song "The silver swan".

On this SACD you will hear the first (!) recording of the complete "First Set of Madrigals und Mottets of 5. parts". The ensemble „The Spirit of GAMBO“ was glad to win the famous baroque soprano specialists Claron McFadden and Aleksandra Anisimowicz over to sing the upper vocal parts.

This very exciting Stockfisch production was recorded in the Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem (NL), which is world famous for his special acoustics. Therefore we recorded the Gibbons sessions using a surround microphone setup. So we can offer besides the CD-Hybrid-Layer (16bit) also an DSD-stereo-mix and a 4.0 multichannel-mix. The 28 page booklet contains very detailed informations of early baroque music, the composer and historically informed performance.

Super-Audio-CD Hybrid: SACD Stereo + 4.0 Surround + CD-Layer
SFR 357.4061.2  •  total time 53:21


Performing on "The Silver Swan":

Claron McFadden & Aleksandra Anisimowicz - soprano / Freek Borstlap - viola da gamba / Ivanka Neeleman - viola da gamba / Thomas Baeté - viola da gamba / Gesina Liedmeier - viola da gamba / guest: Takeshi Sudo - viola da gamba

Orlando Gibbons "The Silver Swan": surround recording in the Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Orlando Gibbons (1583 - 1625) was born in Oxford, but moving with his family to Cambridge as a child, Gibbons became a chorister at King’s College between 1596 and 1598 and entered Cambridge University as a student in 1599. In May 1603, his name appeared on the cheque book of the Chapel Royal as a signatory to conditions of service in the choir under King James I, and by 1615 he was one of the two organists there. In addition, he was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey in 1623, and still held both these posts until his sudden death in Canterbury in 1625.

The greater part of Gibbons’ output is sacred vocal music intended for practical use in prestigious places. In addition to services, he wrote a vast number of anthems, both full and verse, in many of which a consort of viols was required to provide an independent accompaniment. His madrigal collection “Madrigals and Mottets” is one of very few works actually published during his lifetime.

The English madrigal had a late flowering when compared with the Italian, but when at last it did bloom, it was both prodigious and astonishing. Gibbons’ collection with its title “Madrigals and Mottets” suggests a more serious approach, the term “motet” being used to denote a more profound composition. And indeed, the poems are both serious and sombre, and are taken from the great writers.

„The Spirit of GAMBO“, the leading Dutch performers on the viola da gamba, focuses on consort music, a genre mainly intended for performances among family or friends, and usually played on between four and six viols. The tradition reached its peak around 1600 and the ensemble concentrates on the English composers John Jenkins, Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, and Christopher Simpson. Thanks to both its abundance and its quality, this repertoire offers an inexhaustible supply of riches.

Over the time The Spirit of GAMBO has built up a unique collection of instruments - mostly built by the ensemble member Gesina Liedmeier - in order to convey the full richness of the consort repertoire. Its concerts represent a fascinating quest in the world of lost sonorities and forgotten atmospheres.


Tracklisting / Samples

  • 1-7  Johan Schenk: Suite G major (Scherzi Musicali)
  • 8   Christiaen Herwich: Eerste Stuck “voor de fiool de Gamba"
  • 9-13  Johan Schenk: Sonata VI (Le Nymphe di Rheno)
  • 14   Christiaen Herwich: Tweede Stuck “voor de fiool de Gamba"
  • 15-20  Johan Schenk: Sonata III (L’Echo du Danube)
  • 21   Christiaen Herwich: Derde Stuck “voor de fiool de Gamba"
  • 22-25 Philippus Hacquart: Suite (D major)

"the galaxy recordings"

For this Hybrid-SACD the internationally acclaimed ensemble "The Spirit of Gambo" recorded Dutch music for viola da gamba from the 17th century: Accompanied by violin and harpsichord they perform compositions from the viola da gamba virtuosos Johan Schenk, Christiaen Herwich and Philippus Hacquart.

The special sound of the gambas, the pieces sparkling with musical versatility and the musicians of The Spirit of Gambo performing with incredible virtuosity form the fascination of this SACD - likewise relaxing and exciting for the listener.

Super-Audio-CD Hybrid: SACD Stereo + 5.0 Surround + CD-Layer
SFR 357.4042.2  •  total time 63:01


performing on this album "the galaxy recordings" :

Freek Borstlap - viola da gamba / Ivanka Neeleman - viola da gamba / Haru Kitamika - harpsichord / guest: Judith Freise - violin

surround recording in the Galaxy studios, Belgium - special features:

For this recording, we chose a specialised room with defined room acoustics and an extreme isolation: The large concert hall of the GALAXY studios in Mol, Belgium. The complete studio complex is suspended upon gigantic steel springs that absorb low frequencies down to 3 Hz. Extraneous noise outside the building is dampened by more than 100 dB.

We installed our own state of the art technology for recording in this hall and so had the ideal ambience for the 3 types of recording configurations to be presented on a 3 layer Hybrid SACD for optimal comparison. A Meitner emmLABs 24-bit, 8ch A/D converter was responsible for the conversion to PCM for the CD layer of the SACD.

The DSD conversion for the stereo programme was meticulously handled by the excellent AX24 1-bit converter from Digital Audio Denmark. The AX24 converted both signals from the main microphones to a true DSD signal. Listeners who have a SACD player will thoroughly enjoy the purest, technically non-manipulated, 2 channel versions of these recordings.

The 3rd layer of the SACD contains a 5.0 surround mix using all the microphones to reproduce the acoustical ambience in the concert hall of the GALAXY studios.

During another recordings session with The Spirit of GAMBO in the Laurentiuskerk, Mijnsheerenland near Rotterdam, we filmed the performing, rehearsals, and engineering on location. The blu-ray Disc documentating this session will be released later, but you are invited to look at some previews on the Stockfisch YouTube-Channel..


Tracklisting / Samples

  • 1 Martin Minoit… - Jannequin
  • 2 La Gamba in Basso…
  • 3 Quinta pars
  • 4 Ancor che col partire - de Rore
  • 5 Ancor che col partire - dalla Casa
  • 6 La Gamba in Tenor
  • 7 Fantasia
  • 8 Recercada Quarta
  • 9 Ancor che col partire - Rognioni
  • 10 Vestiva i colli/Cosi le chiome
  • 11 Cosi le chiome
  • 12 Recercada tercera
  • 13 Toccata Ottava
  • 14 Recercada primera - Canto Ilano
  • 15 Recercada secunda
  • 16 La Samminiata
  • 17 O felici occhi miei
  • 18 Recercada primera - O felici occhi
  • 19 Ricercar quinto a tre
  • 20 Recercada sesta - Canto Ilano
  • 21 La Lipparella
  • 22 Recercada sesta
  • 23 La Superba
  • 24 Recercada secunda - Canto Ilano
  • 25 Martin Minoit… - Ruffo
  • 26 Ricercar decimo a tre

"Old Italian & Spanish Music"

Back to the roots - the Dutch ensemble The Spirit of GAMBO takes us on a journey back through time to the beginnings of modern instrumental music, the "Stilo Moderno" of the 16th and 17th century.

"The Spirit of Gambo" is feeling and expression, harmony and dissonance – a diversity of sound combined with instrumental virtuosity, played on the instruments of the time. The combination of gambas, theorbes, lutes, small organs and harpsichord have produced a fascinating CD, captured in amazing quality using state-of-art 22bit digital recording technology (1996).

Sorry, this CD is OUT OF STOCK.

SFR 357.1015.2  •  total time 64:47  •  CD


performing on this album "Old Italian & Spanish Music" :

Naomi Hanai – soprano / Freek Borstlap - viola da gamba / Christine Brelowski - viola da gamba / Geesje Liedmeier – viola bastarda / Chris Farr - harpsichord, organ / Dorothea Winter – recorders / David van Ooijen – lute, theorbe, guitar / Jan van Outryve - lute / Michiel Niessen - lute / Karel Smagge - organ