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Grand Tour - 16th- & 17th-century composers from Italy, Spain and Germany
anon.: Canciones de clarines
Arauxo: Tiento de segundo tono
Bassano, G: Vestiva i colli
Buonamente: Sonata a 6, Canzona à 6
Castello: Sonata Duodecima
Macque: Seconde Stravaganze
Marini, B: Sinfonia grave: La Zorzi, Sonata à quattro tromboni, Sonata à 6
Merula: Chiacona
Penalosa: O Domina sanctissima
Scheidt: Canzona super Cantionem Gallicam 'Est-ce Mass?', Galliard Battaglia
Schein: Padoana
Vierdanck: Sonata 31 'Als ich einmal Lust bekam', Sonata 28
Weckmann: Toccata III,
Ximénez: Batalla de octavo tono

His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts

Helios - CDH55344

This disc is a sheer delight and will make many converts to original wind instruments. The programme celebrates the heyday of the cornett before its sheer difficulty led to its decline and eclipse.

I was privileged to be involved with Musica Reservata of London at a recording session when one of the first modern exponents of the cornett, Don Smithers, was making one of the first LP recital discs on cornett (c.1968). We listened in awe to the beauty and virtuoso flexibility of his playing.

Nowadays cornett & sackbutt are ubiquitous and oftyen to be heard, indeed taken for granted, in early music concerts.

The sequence (Italy, Spain & Germany) as played is felicitous and there is no let-down from composers een whose names will be unknown to other than specialist readers. I am pleased to endorse the high plaudits it received on first release, e.g. Grand Tour (Hyperion CDA 66847, recorded 1993 & 1995)
'' - - the musicians of HMSC are travelling companions of extraordinary congeniality and impressive abilities" (Historic Brass Society) 'a fascinating collection of works by otherwise little known composers allows this superb ensemble to explore the grandly ceremonial as well as the thoughtfully meditative aspects of the genre' (The Scotsman). '' - - holds one's attention from beginning to end... am exemplary model of programming" (Historic Brass Society)

At Helios' reduced price this Grand Tour is a must-buy. The illuminating original notes (Timothy Roberts, 1996) are included.

Peter Grahame Woolf