CARSON COOMAN (b.1982): Toccata-Fantasy on a Medieval Welsh Carol, Op. 741, Alive!, Op. 401, Sunburst, Op. 255, Trio: in memoriam Dirk Flentrop, Op. 552, Exaltations, Op. 252, No Darkness at All, Op. 559, Toccata: Homage to Buxtehude, Op. 708, Blessing, Op. 496, Dawning, Op. 396, Ab ortu Solis, Op. 645, Make Glad the City of God, Op. 640, Jubilee-Postlude on "Converse", Op. 301, Berceuse, OP. 846, Trumpet Tune, Op. 879, Wild Sunrises, Op. 406.

Catalogue Number: 12N090

Label: Raven

Reference: OAR-932

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: The organ is Cooman's own instrument, so it comes as no surprise that such a versatile and accomplished composer should write so idiomatically and with technical and expressive mastery for it. The works span the past decade, and a general trend may be observed toward the original and striking manipulation of tonal relationships that characterize the composer's most recent pieces, but there is no hint of juvenilia about the triptych of Exaltations from 2001, for instance, which illustrate Biblical texts with exultant fanfares and prayerful solemnity. Cooman excels in music of reverent meditative serenity suggesting the grandeur of nature, then transfigured into direct expressions of spiritual matters, even in works without a specifically religious subtext - Wild Sunrises joins the nature-music of the superb cantata Revelations of Divine Love (11L096) and the exuberant Summer Solstice (12M086) in this particularly satisfying category of the composer's output. Several pieces evoke earlier models - the modal hymn tune of the Toccata-Fantasy, the familiar hymn tune Converse or the Baroque toccata in the Homage to Buxtehude, but observe these traditional forms through a kaleidoscope of contemporary harmonic variants. A handful of short occasional pieces - ideal voluntaries for church use, one would think - round out a most appealing disc. Harry Lyn Huff (Skinner organ of Old South Church, Boston).

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