Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

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Artist Hyperion Records
His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
© Bridget Saunders

His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts

Formed in 1982, His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts continues in the same spirit as always: aiming to bring the sound of its noble instruments, through pan-European repertoire from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the twenty-first century, attracting new audiences via recordings, radio, television and (best of the lot) live performance.

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/harpsichord, HMSC often joins with singers and string players, and is frequently asked to take part in projects with choirs: Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir, the BBC Singers, Ex Cathedra, the choirs of Trinity, King’s and St John’s colleges in Cambridge, as well as those of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s and Westminster cathedrals in London.

Individual members of HMSC 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 activities. His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts has made more than twenty recordings, including many for Hyperion.

Activities over the group’s thirty-year history have been diverse, ranging from sound-and-vision recordings for the BBC comedy The Two Ronnies, to appearances in the Salzburg Festival; St Mark’s, Venice; the Sydney Opera House; and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. As a lasting celebration of HMSC’s first thirty years, the group made its first commission from a living composer, enabled by funding from the Performing Right Society (UK). Oxford-based composer Martyn Harry has written For His Majesty’s Pleasure, a 65-minute work that has been, to quote founder-member Jeremy West, ‘the most exciting single project that His Majestys has undertaken in its thirty-year history’.

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