CARSON COOMAN (b.1982): 3 St. Francis Legends, Piccola fantasia francescana, The Cloak with the Stars, Entrata festiva, Diptych for New Life, Gebet, Sketch No. 3, Ciaccona angelica, Variations on a Theme of Andreas Willscher, San Andreas Suite.
Catalogue Number: 12T066
Label: Divine Art
Reference: dda 25159
Description: Like the previous offerings in this attractive and varied series (e.g. 08T083, 02S090, 07S080), these works, remarkably all written this year, showcase Cooman's apparently inexhaustible invention for his own instrument, in a tonal vocabulary that draws on forms and traditions from organ music of the past. A number of these pieces refer in one way or another to Cooman's colleague Andreas Willscher (see also 04S072 from April and 12T055 this month) and to St Francis of Assisi, on whom Willscher is a noted authority. Thus the Legends, a chorale, passacaglia and rondo, illustrate with gentle humour three well known stories about the saint; the Diptych in one lovely meditative movement and one of blazing exuberance is based on passages from “The Canticle of the Sun”, and the theme of the fantasia is a plainsong Alleluia for the Feast of St Francis. The variations explore Renaissance and Baroque styles, and the Suite makes reference to Willscher's ties to France. There is music of imposing grandeur and devotional meditation here, jubilant celebration and gentle prayerfulness, making this perhaps the most rewarding of this series so far. Erik Simmons (organ of the Abbey of Saint-Etienne, Caen).