Corno da Tirarsi

Corno da Tirarsi The corno da tirarsi was a horn with a layout similar to the late 18th century “Inventions” horn, with a freely-moving, double (cylindrical) tuning slide positioned diametrically across its circular body. An instrument similar to this, dated at a controversially late 1776 by German maker Haltenhoff, is in the Conservatoire collection at the Cite de la Musique museum in Paris. It has not yet been copied.

Corno da tirarsi, one of the mystery instruments from Bach’s Leipzig period. As mentioned in the programme last March, no example survives. Thanks to Blechblas-Instrumentenbau Egger in Basel, we now have one. The corno da tirarsi, (lit. ”Pull horn”), was unique to Gottfried Reiche, Bach’s celebrated trumpet virtuoso. Using a copy of the coiled instrument from Reiche’s portrait, Gerd Friedel has ingeniously added a crook -of which Reiche would have had many- with a short double slide, enabling the required notes to be played with a historically possible solution.