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Pieter Cornet

(1562 - 1626)

Cornet was a Belgian organist and composer. He was organist at the Royal Chapel in Brussels for most of his life. Cornet's surviving compositions consist of a handful of keyboard works, mostly fantasias. These pieces display a fine synthesis of Italian ricercar and English variation styles.

Among his other works are a figured chorale on "Salve Regina," a toccata, and two courantes. All of his music is contrapuntal in a virtuosic idiom, with a happy degree of spontaneous invention and many free episodes. In this, they contrast with his contemporary Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's more rigorous and theoretically oriented works, though they are not lacking in formal vigor. Cornet's keyboard writing is quite idiomatic, and though so few of his compositions survive, it is still easy to consider him one of the organ masters of the era. ~ Todd McComb (6/94)

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