The courante, corrente, coranto and corant are some of the names given to a family of triple metre dances from the late Renaissance and the Baroque era.
Courante literally means "running", and in the later Renaissance the courante was danced with fast running and jumping steps, as described by Thoinot Arbeau.
But the courante commonly used in the baroque period was described by Johann Mattheson in Der vollkommene Capellmeister (Hamburg, 1739) as "chiefly characterized by the passion or mood of sweet expectation”.
Very little is known about Cornet's life.
Much of the information comes from a letter by his widow. Cornet was born in Brussels, which was then the capital of Southern Netherlands, in the 1570s.
The family included numerous musicians, among them a violinist, singers and organists. From 1603 to 1606 Cornet worked as organist at Saint Nicholas Church, Brussels; around 1606 he became court organist to Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and his wife Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, also in Brussels.
Cornet wrote this Courante in 1624, while he was “Organista de la sanctissima Infanta” at the court in Brussels.
It is a set of a theme and 5 variations. As it is a Renaissance Courante I play it in a fast tempo and as it is rather short and over very quickly at that speed, I inserted the first theme a few times between the variations, in the way of a French ciaconne.