The Monteverdi Vespers on July 16 will see the Dunedin Consort perform a 17th Century masterpiece under the direction of John Butt while Grand Tour will see His Magestys Sagbutts
and Cornetts acting as our guides on a sashay around the cultural hotspots of 16th and 17th Century Europe, concluding in Venice.
It was good to hear the pastel timbres of the lower sagbutts
(early trombones) and to enjoy the rare treat of a soprano one, melding well with the wellcontrolled incisiveness of cornets.
- His Majesty's Sagbutts
and Cornetts (Beall Concert Hall)
Concerts with period instruments by Baroque cellist Jonathan Manson, playing a recital of Bach and Domenico Gabrielli; and by His Majestys Sagbutts
and Cornetts, performing 16th- and 17th-century music.
Not the impeccable voices, or playing from His Majestys Sagbutts
and Cornetts, but the basic logistics of clarity from the musicians for the congregation.
Stylish instrumental support was provided by Ex Cathedra's own tiny baroque ensemble and the colourful if pretentiously named His Majestys Sagbutts
and Cornetts, a group which seems to have acquired a new lease of life and whose underlining of Monteverdi's soul-stirring cadence-points added a sense of gravitas to this sensual expression of devotion.
Jeffrey Skidmore coaxed his formidable forces, augmented by organ, theorbo and the virtuoso wind group 'His Majestys Sagbutts
and Cornetts' through some familiar and much unfamiliar but fascinating music.
Another Birmingham-centred choir comes to the table on Tuesday, when Ex Cathedra performs 'Occidentall Starre', subtitled 'Elizabeth I and her influence' at a late-night candlelit concert in Worcester Cathedral (9pm), when the singers are joined by the viol group Fretwork and His Majestys Sagbutts
But thanks to pioneering groups like His Majestys Sagbutts
and Cornetts (named after a similar band in Charles II's time) many of us are now familiar with the sight and sound of these charming instruments.
A week before, on November 8, His Majesty's Sagbutts
and Cornetts present a programme called Love is Become a Stranger which takes a musical journey through Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands in the company of composers including Tromboncino, Gabrieli, Susato and Schutz.