His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts is celebrating its 25th season this year having given its debut concert in London in 1982. The group’s illustrious sounding name is taken from Matthew Locke’s “five-part tthings for His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts” that were probably played during the coronation celebrations for King Charles II in 1661.
Essentially a recital group comprising two cornetts, three sackbutts and chamber organ, HMS&C often joins with singers and string players, and is frequently asked to take part in projects with choirs: John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir, the BBC Singers, and the choirs of Trinity and King’s College, Cambridge, as well as those of Westminster Abbey, St Paul's and Westminster Cathedrals, London.
Activities over the group’s twenty-five year history have been as diverse as sound and vision recordings for the BBC comedy “The Two Ronnies”, to appearances in the Salzburg Festival, St. Mark’s, Venice, and the Sydney Opera House.
Individual members of HMS&C teach at conservatoires and universities throughout the UK and the group is often invited to give masterclasses and workshops as a part of its educational activites.
His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts has numerous recordings to its credit, among them A Bach Album which was honoured "recording of the year" in Gramophone Magazine, December 2002. 2007 saw the launch of the group’s own recording label sfz music, the first release winning a five star maximum award from Goldberg Magazine.
Recent highlights in the group’s 25 year career have included two performances in London’s Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms. Here the group joined The Tallis Scholars and The BBC Singers in Striggio’s reconstructed Mass in 60 parts; and, for the BBC’s unique and inspired “brass day”, HM appeared on stage with the Black Dyke Mills and Grimethorpe Colliery bands. At the South Bank Festival, His Majestys joined The Kings Singers in the Queen Elizabeth Hall for a truly memorable occasion, a musical encounter which had been some five years in the planning.
Our basic ensemble consists of two cornetts and three sackbuts with chamber organ (usually also doubling on harpsichord). This core line-up expands - or, occasionally, contracts - according to the requirements of the wide range of colourful programmes that we now perform.
Recordings by His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts available on the sfz music label
At His Majesty's Pleasure
Canzoni per Sonare
Grillo - complete instrumental works etc.
Music for The Twelve Days of Christmas etc.
Listen to Samples from