Cor de Nuit French

Most sources (Audsley, Irwin, Skinner, Sumner, Wedgwood) consider Cor de Nuit to be a synonym for Nachthorn. Maclean, however, warns that the two are “not to be confused”. Grove states that they have nothing to do with each other in origin, and describes Cor de Nuit as follows:

An open or stopped flue rank of wide scale, at 8', 4', or 2', found in French organs c1850 and in those in England and the USA which they influenced.

Maclean has rather more to say:

As made by Cavaillé-Coll, the Cor-de-Nuit was a metal Gedeckt of medium-large scale, say 2 1/2 inches at middle C with a fairly low mouth and covered at the top with a canister-lid packed with with felt to ensure a tight fit, in place of the wooden stopper as used in his metal Bourdons. The twelfth, first overtone in the harmonic series of stopped pipes, was more in evidence than in the Bourdon, so that the tone was correspondingly brighter and clearer. A closely related stop was the French Flûte-a-Cheminée, in which the tone was even more transparent.
[Night Horn] is found in some organs built by Ferris A. Odell of New York City around the middle of the [19th] century. It was probably a replica, translated into English, of the French Cor-de-Nuit introduced by Cavaillé-Coll at about the same time. This American example is noteworthy in view of the fact that the stop was virtually unknown to English organ-builders of that period.
The French type of Cor-de-Nuit has been recently revived in the U.S. by Aeolian-Skinner with aesthetically gratifying results. As made in Canada by Casavant Frères, the stop is of somewhat smaller scale, having a tone-quality midway between the Gedeckt and the Quintaton.
A Cor-de-Nuit of 4 ft. pitch is sometimes called Flûte Couverte. Smets identifies the Cor-de-Nuit with the stop currently known in Germany as Gedeckt Pommer.

Bonavia-Hunt, who does not mention the Nachthorn, describes the Cor-de-Nuit as a cross between a Quintaten and an ordinary metal Gedeckt.


Cor de Nuit Celeste


Osiris contains nearly 150 examples, with thirteen at 4' pitch, four at 16' pitch, two at 2', one at 1', and the majority at 8' pitch. All of the early examples are at 8' pitch; the earliest are given below.

Cor de Nuit 8', Recit; Old Cathedral of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cavaillé-Coll 1852. Relocated to Igreja Sao Jose do Ipiranga in Sao Paulo.

Cor de Nuit 8', Recit; Igreja Matriz de Itu, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cavaillé-Coll 1852.

Cor de Nuit 8', Recit; Cathedral of Jundiai, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cavaillé-Coll 1852.

Cor de Nuit 8', Recit; Igreja Bom Jesus do Bras, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cavaillé-Coll 1866.

Cor de Nuit 8', Recit; Capela de Santa Casa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cavaillé-Coll 1866.

Sound Clips

Cor de Nuit 8', Récit Expressive St. Bernhard, Mainz, Germany Cavaillé-Coll, 1872-1892 arpeggio St. Anne
Cor de Nuit 8', Echo Kellogg Auditorium, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA Aeolian-Skinner, 1933 St. Anne
Cor de Nuit 8', Choir Culver Academies, Indiana, USA Keller 1968-72 arpeggio St. Anne


Audsley[1]: Cor de Nuit; Nachthorn; Pastorita. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Cor de Nuit; Nachthorn. Bonavia-Hunt[1]: Quintaten. Grove[1]: Cor de Nuit; Nachthorn. Irwin[1]: Nachthorn. Maclean[1]: Cor de Nuit; Night Horn. Skinner[1]: XII Cor de Nuit; Nacht Horn. Sumner[1]: Cor de Nuit; Pastorita. Wedgwood[1]: Cor de Nuit; Pastorita.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
CorDeNuit.html - Last updated 13 February 2009.
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