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Martyn Harry, inspired by the name of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, has created a suite of ‘character pieces’ that represent members of a fictional Tudor or Stuart royal household. Written especially for HMSC, this programmatic music makes unusual, if not extreme, demands on the players: microtonality, unexpected registers, and strident Stravinskian rhythms. Many of these musical snapshots are slow moving, giving plenty of opportunity to wallow in the beautiful sound of early brass instruments, but tend not to develop thematically once they’ve started. I find myself rather bemused by this CD: attractive music, excellent playing, but not engrossing enough to warrant repeated listening.

Adrian Horsewood Read the full review on Agora Classica


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