Cornet, Peeter [Pierre, Pietro, Peter, Pieter]
- Mary Armstrong Ferrard
(b ?Brussels, 1570–80; d Brussels, March 27, 1633). Flemish composer and organist. He is the only known composer in a 16th- and 17th-century musical family in Brussels, which included a violinist, singers and organists; other Pierre Cornets are mentioned in archives; one was a singer at the court in Madrid (1571–99) and later in Brussels. Cornet was organist at St Nicolas, Brussels, from 1603 to 1606. He presumably became organist at the Brussels court of Archduke Albrecht and his consort Isabella at this time. In March 1611 he was made a canon at Soignies, but in April he married and relinquished his canonry. In the extant court account books (1612–18) he is listed among the chapel musicians; the other organists included Peter Philips and John Bull; Géry Ghersem and Matthijs Langhedul were also colleagues. In 1615 Cornet advised the church of St Rombouts, Mechelen, concerning its organ; in 1624 he signed a contract to build a choir division for the organ there. He presumably worked at the court chapel until his death. He was well appreciated during his lifetime both by Albrecht and Isabella and by his fellow-musicians. His music varies in style from the profound Salve regina to bright, animated courantes. The long fantasias demonstrate great imagination, and many passages indicate his familiarity with English, Dutch, Spanish and Italian compositions. Despite the small number of his extant works, Cornet must be considered, particularly on the strength of his fantasias, one of the leading keyboard composers of the early 17th century.
- C. van den Borren: Les origines de la musique de clavier dans les Pays-Bas (nord et sud) jusque vers 1630 (Brussels, 1914), A, 34, 36, 175
- S. Clercx-Lejeune: ‘Le dix-septième et le dix-huitième siècle’, La musique en Belgique, ed. E. Closson and C. van den Borren (Brussels, 1950), 145–233
- T. Dart: Appendix to John Bull: Keyboard Music, ii, MB, 19 (1963, 2/1970), 223
- M.A. Ferrard: Peeter Cornet (?–1633), organiste à la cour d’Albert et Isabelle à Bruxelles (Brussels, 1973)