Founded in 1997 and based in Basel (Switzerland), the ensemble Les Cornets Noirs is principally interested in presenting 16th and 17th century repertoire that features the cornet – hence its name.
The six musicians of Les Cornets Noirs met at the Basel Academy of Music. They produce many of their own projects, but also regularly collaborate with renowned soloists and vocal ensembles, and perform at festivals in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Italy and Portugal.
The primary group consists of two cornets, two violins, violoncello and organ and may also, at times, include singers and other instrumentalists.
The repertoire played by Les Cornets Noirs is selected primarily from Italian and German composers of the 17th century, including Heinrich Schütz and Claudio Monteverdi, but also lesser-known composers such as Niccolò Corradini, Dario Castello, Johann Vierdanck, and Johann Staden. The aim of the group is to present this repertoire with a lively interpretation.
The group is particularly interested – as a result of their own research – in discovering and presenting hitherto unknown repertoire from this period.
Les Cornets Noirs, or “black cornets” are named after the black leather that was wrapped around the wooden cornet in the 16th and 17th centuries.
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