The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble is a virtuoso period instrument ensemble with a host of distinguished recordings to its name.
As well as giving regular recitals in its own right, the ensemble collaborates with leading vocal ensembles such as I Fagiolini, The Tallis Scholars, Alamire, Resurgam, The Marian Consort, Westminster Cathedral Choir and many others. The group is a regular at major festivals such as York, Brighton, Cheltenham and the BBC Proms, and is in demand as a recording ensemble. In 2015 the group collaborated with Alamire on The Spy’s Choirbook (Obsidian), winner of the 2015 Gramophone Award for Early Music. Discs with I Fagiolini have included the monumental Striggio Mass in 40 parts Missa ecco si beato giorno (which scooped both the Gramophone Award for Early Music 2011 and the Diapason d’Or), and another super-size recording of music by Gabrieli and Viadana entitled 1612 Italian Vespers. 2017 saw yet another large-scale disc: Monterverdi – The Other Vespers (Decca).
The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 with a new solo CD on the Resonus label entitled Music for Windy Instruments: sounds from the court of James I.
The ensemble also comissioned a major work from composer Andrew Keeling, and gave a recital on BBC Radio 3 as part of the NCEM/Radio 3 Young Composer Award. 2019 saw the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble performing across the UK in York, London, Warwick, Durham, Exeter, Stour and also abroad in Ireland, Slovenia and Russia. 2020 will include return visits to Ireland, Germany, a spectaluar Venetian performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in St Mark’s basilica alongside The Taverner Consort (dir. Andrew Parrott), and a trip to Moscow with The Tallis Scholars celebrating the music of Giovanni Gabrieli.
In addition to this work with professional vocal groups and solo recitals, ECSE also works closely with other like-minded instrumental ensembles such as the Monteverdi String Band and the Altenburg Ensemble. ECE also performs regularly with choral societies throughout Britain, including many performances of Claudio Monteverdi’s magnificent 1610 Vespers.