viol (viola da gamba) quintet consists of Mary Benton, Patricia Hlafter, Kathleen Spencer, Lynn Ferguson, and Judith Klotz.. The ensemble performs Renaissance and Baroque music with voice and treble, tenor and bass viols, often with guest singers and other gambists. They specialize in the polyphony of the 17th century, including the English composers William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, John Jenkins, and Henry Purcell, and the Italian Giovanni Gabrieli.
The viola da gamba is a Renaissance stringed instrument that has six strings, frets and is a descendant of the vihuela de mano, a Spanish bowed guitar. All three sizes are held played upright, resting on the legs. The sound is clear and gentle and blends beautifully with voices, recorders, oboes and many other early instruments.
also perform some modern compositions based upon Renaissance, Baroque and folk traditions.
Since 1995, La Spirita
has been performing regularly in central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania chamber concerts, including combined concerts with other GEM groups. The name La Spirita
derives from a famous canzona of Gabrieli from the group's first concert.
to visit La Spirita's new website, designed by La Spirita and Guild for Early Music member Lynn Fergusson.