CARSON COOMAN (b.1982): Haec Aeterna, Festive Processional, Arioso. Pavane for a Dutchess at St. Andrew’s, Planctus IV, 2 Elegiac Pieces, Prelude in Copper, Chorale semplice (in memoriam James Pressler), Folk Prelude on “Azmon”, Aria quasi una ciaccona, Partita semplice, 3 Enigmas, Prelude on “Dix”, Hymnus, Diptych.
Catalogue Number: 02S090
Label: Divine Art
Reference: dda 25147
Description: Much of what we said when we welcomed the 2-CD set of Cooman's shorter organ pieces (07S080) last July goes for this disc too. The predominant mood of these works tends toward the elegiac, though, with many being in memoriam pieces. There is nonetheless a good deal of variety, for instance in the harmonic ambiguity of the aptly named Three Enigmas, which refuse to resolve onto any kind of 'answer' and float questioningly around the composer's customary polymodal tonality throughout their brief duration, or the 'Copper' prelude in memory of a violin loving metallurgist, which evokes Baroque violin figuration in its outer sections. The second part of Diptych, a jubilant rondo festivo brings the recital to a rousing conclusion, but contemplation and introspection are the prevailing emotional territory here. A treat for organ enthusiasts who long for new, approachable additions to the traditional repertoire, full of subtly unexpected harmonic twists and homages to the history of organ music. Erik Simmons (organ of St. Peter & Paul, Weissenau, Germany).