Unaccompanied solo works associated with the cornetto occupy a tiny niche in the instrument's total repertoire. With the exception of an adapted violin solo (Biber's Passacaglia, ca 1676), and the last solo known to be written for the cornett (Bismantova's Preludio, ca 1688), all the pieces on this recording come from pedagogical sources written in the last quarter of the 16th century by cornett virtuosi, Girolamo Dalla Casa and Giovanni Bassano. Both men were key figures in the development of an emerging baroque solo instrumental style and attained a pinnacle of virtuosity on the instrument virtually unsurpassed to this day. While their diminutions on popular madrigals and chanson laid the groundwork for a core repertoire of sonatas and canzonas in the early 17th century, the solo ricercari remain as an isolated, underrepresented part of the cornett repertoire - exemplary etudes nonetheless, for an instrument at the height of it's popularity. The solo ricercari are approached as vocal song and recitation rather than as technical etudes. Madrigal diminutions are performed as well as a uniquely expressive rendition of Biber's violin passacaglia.