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Guami's sacred vocal music survives in two main collections, published in 1585 and 1608, the partbooks for which are now distributed variously among several different research libraries in Italy, Germany and the UK. Therefore the first task is to reassemble the various partbooks for the first time since the seventeenth century, so that the music can be edited and performed - an exciting prospect! This research work is already underway in partnership with Newcastle University, where HMSC's cornettist Jamie Savan is also a Lecturer in Music. The performing editions will be ready by the end of 2013, at which point we will be ready to embark on the process of rehearsing and perfoming this music for the first time in over 400 years!
'The qualities of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts have been established for many years, particularly in relation to sound-quality and agility in the
improvised ornamentations. The ensemble generates a real sensation of splendour'
Early Music 2011
'HMSC: They're unbelievable!'
a recent audience member in the USA!
His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts is a group of virtuoso wind players who specialise in playing Renaissance and Baroque music in historically appropriate styles on original instruments. The noble sound of cornetts and sackbuts was among the most versatile instrumental colours available to composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was heard in many musical contexts: in consort or in alternation with voices in the extravagant liturgy of the great Italian and Spanish churches - above all the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice; in aristocratic entertainments such as the intermedii of northern Italy or the masques of Jacobean England; and in the ceremonial and devotional music for the courts and free cities of Lutheran Germany.
"If there was any question that HMSC is the pre-eminent early brass group, that question should have been laid to rest. It was like watching one brain in 8 bodies! Very impressive."
Audience member, Berkeley, February 2012
We've recently released a CD of a new work, written expecially for us by composer Martyn Harry. 'At His Majesty's Pleasure' features the core group, solo pieces and an extended HMSC to paint a picture of a childhood Monarch in 16th century England.
Our recently release CD of music by Giovanni Gabrieli, in collaboration with Ex Cathedra and Concerto Palatino, has been winning the hearts of critics and listeners across the world.
We are proud to welcome cornettist Helen Roberts to the group, expanding our core ensemble to three cornetts and three sackbuts.
'the playing is nothing short of exquisite. A breath of fresh air'
Historic Brass Society
"done with a style that is wonderful and also Good Playing! - That's the hallmark of HMSC" David Hurley - The King's Singers...
'Attractive music, excellent playing' - Adrian Horsewood in Classical Music Magazine, March 2013