The Merchants of Venice

“Money makes the world go round”, as Sally Bowles proclaimed in the 1966 hit musical Cabaret, was as true in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe as it might seem today. Cities, states and families rose and fell in pursuit of the wealth and power generated by successful trade. Luxury goods such as silk, sugar, wool and spices, for which Western markets were rapidly growing, became mainstays of the European economy and competition was fierce. Wars were fought between rival trading alliances and the stakes were high. In renaissance Europe, however, wealth and cultural patronage went hand in hand, and in this programme we bring together some of the musical legacy of a cosmopolitan, international trading elite, at the heart of which lay the Venetian city-state, La Serranisima, gateway to the East.


Giovanni Gabrieli, Giovanni Picchi, Giovanni Bassano, Gioseffo Guami, Henry VIII, Ferrabosco Jr., Matthias Weckmann, Dietrich Buxtehude and Jan Peterszoon Sweelinck all feature in this full-length recital programme for 6 winds and organ, which includes rich polyphony, virtuosic instrumental music and some of the finest writing for our instruments.


Requirements: 7 musicians (3 cornetts, 3 sagbutts, organ/harpsichord)


For more information and details of budget requirements for the project, please e-mail

HMSC Ltd & sfzMusic 

2 Whitworth Road

London SE25 6XN

Phone: +44 7956 971453


General Manager: Stephen Saunders


Registered Charity No. 1114376 

trading as

His Majestys

Sagbutts & Cornetts

registered in England and Wales Company Registration number 5792198


HMSC Limited 

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