Cornet de Récit French
Solo Cornet English

This stop is listed only by Irwin, who says:

A manual Cornet of unusually prominent tone, sometimes referred to as a Solo Cornet. It may or may not be placed high up in one of the upper tiers of pipes, but it is frequently mounted in front of the rest of the organ to give it some additional tonal advantages and to make room for the other pipes. Since this is frequently a solo stop, it may be enclosed, perhaps in the Swell Organ. This name may refer to the more loudly voiced of two Cornet stops or to the Solo Organ's Cornet. It may be under higher wind pressure than the rest of the organ. As many as fourteen ranks have been used for this stop.

It is curious that Irwin never mentions the most likely derivation of the name, a Cornet appearing on the Récit manual of the classic French organ. This style of instrument always contained several different Cornets, and the Récit was a half-manual that only had treble pipes. One also wonders whether Irwin may have confused this stop with the Mounted Cornet, which he never mentions.

Audsley mentions the Cornet de Récit only in a footnote in which he quotes Regnier, who provides information that is probably more reliable than Irwin's:

Autrefois, on mettait un Cornet à chaque clavier; celui du grand orgue s'appelle encore le grand Cornet; il est de plus forte taille et sonne huit-pieds; il en est même de seize. Celui du positif, le petit Cornet, est un quatre-pieds. Le Cornet de récit a d'ordinaire la même mesure. Le Cornet d'ècho peut être de moindre taille que celui de récit, mais toujours sonnant quatre-pieds. Ces deux dernier cornets n'ont pas toujours cinq tuyaux sur marche, en Allemagne même, le grand Cornet est souvent de quatre, de trois tuyaux.

A translation follows:

Formerly, one put a Cornet on each keyboard; that of the Grand Orgue is still called the Grand Cornet; it is of larger scale and sounds at 8'; it is [sometimes?] 16'. That of the Positif, the Petit Cornet, is of 4' pitch. The Cornet de Récit usually has the same scale. The Cornet d'Ècho can be of smaller scale than that of the Récit, but always sounds at 4'. These two last Cornets do not always have five ranks, in Germany, the Grand Cornet is often of four or three ranks.

In his book on the classical French organ, Douglass says:

Cornet V was always found on the Récit manual, and we have observed that its pipes were just above the chest for the Grand Orgue, but winded separately. The Grand Cornet V might have occupied space contiguous to the Cornet de Récit, but it was, of course, played from the Grand Orgue.
. . .
For melodies in the soprano range, the use of the Cornet de Récit (Cornet séparé) and the Trompette de Récit was very frequent. ... they are single stops always used alone.

Agricola, in a footnote to Adlung, reports:

Cornet separé, or Cornet de Recit ... sometimes extends downward [from c'''] for 3 octaves [to Tenor C] and has its own keyboard. It is of narrower scale than the great [Grand] Cornet, but also normally goes a few notes lower.


Irwin gives the following 8-rank example:

8 + 4 + 2-2/3 + 2 + 1-3/5 + 1-1/3 + 1 + 2/3

The highest two ranks would have to break once in the highest octave.

The Cornet V mentioned by Douglass would invariably have been composed of the following:

8 + 4 + 2-2/3 + 2 + 1-3/5


Cornet de Recit V, Bombarde; Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; Aeolian-Skinner 1935.

Cornet de Recit 8' [8', 4', 2-2/3', 2', 1-3/5'], Great; Chancel organ, St. Thomas, New York City, USA; Aeolian-Skinner 1956.

Solo Cornet V (prep.), Choir; St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Casavant 1997.

Solo Cornet V, Swell; Chancel organ, First Congregational Church, Los Angeles, California, USA; Skinner 1932.


Adlung[1]: §132 Cornet. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Cornet (footnote). Irwin[1]: Cornet de Recit. Douglass[1]: Ch.5, Melodic Textures. Williams[1]: Glossary: Cornet.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
CornetDeRecit.html - Last updated 11 May 2003.
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