CARSON COOMAN (b.1982): Seascape Passion: Midday Brightness (Third Piano Sonata), Kayser Variations, Dream-Tombeau: Cruxifixus, For Gwyneth, Dream Etudes, Book II, Postcard Partita, Fourth Piano Sonata.
Catalogue Number: 09J093
Description: Cooman is a young American composer-organist of extraordinary energy and fecundity of imagination; his opus numbers already run into the 600s. Invoking Americana, in a characteristically far-ranging, eclectic style, one thinks of Rzewski of the North American Ballads. When indulging his taste for dissonant, coloristic harmonic clashes, he recalls Messiaen; the tightly organised construction of the works, employing note-rows as appropriate and then building something of significant spiritual and emotional thrust out of them may remind one of Sessions or Wuorinen. Not surprisingly from a noted and prolific composer of church music, Baroque constructions - variation and polyphonic devices - are also in evidence. The most extended work here, Crucifixus is a work of mystical contemplation, exploiting the piano's sonority in evocations of bells and gongs, also a recurring motif elsewhere, especially the striking Dream Etudes; the recent sonata, written for the present soloist, is a more conventionally virtuosic work, passionate and richer of texture than is typical of Cooman's slightly austere, economical harmonic style. Donna Amato (piano).