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Enormously prolific and prodigiously talented, American composer Carson Cooman is a bright star in modern music for works which are always approachable and understandable yet never simplistic or shallow. They range from Romantic and lush works for string orchestra, to sharper pieces for chamber ensembeles with brass, to song cycles of a wholly up to date flavor. As a concert organist, Cooman naturally specializes in works for the instrument and these too cover a wide spectrum - from rich and intense symphonies, to works inspired by the renaissance, and all forms between. This album like the previous release 'Litany' focuses on tonal, accessible works suitable for concert or liturgical use, and again is briliantly performed by Erik Simmons, this time presenting the beautiful organ of Ss. Peter and Paul, Weissenau.

Click 'composer profile' above for links to other music by Carson Cooman.


AUDIO SAMPLE: Planctus IV (beginning)

dealer release date: January 20, 2017





CD program:
Haec Aeterna
Festive Processional
Pavane for a Duchess at St. Andrew's
Planctus IV
Two Elegiac Pieces
Prelude in Copper
Chorale semplice
Folk prelude on 'Azmon'
Aria quasi una ciaccona
Partita semplice
Three Enigmas
Prelude on 'Dix'

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“ Most of the pieces are reflective and meditative in nature, although there is still a good bit of contrast in style from one piece to the next… all exquisitely rendered by Erik Simmons. Despite his prolificity, Cooman is by no means rewriting the same piece 100 times, as some prolific composers have done. Well-recorded and superbly performed and registrated organ recital.” – David DeBoor Canfield (Fanfare)

“Nothing beats the sound of a pipe organ displaying its "quiet" side. One or two single stops per manual always reveal the beautiful tone, the soul, of a well built instrument. Most of the pieces were written in memory of various individuals and are therefore mostly serene and contemplative, and make full use of the... organ's beautiful registration. Simmons instinctively knows which combination of stops is best suited to each individual piece based on its style, solemnity or character, and therefore brings together the organ's tonal qualities and the music's anima to create an image of lasting impression.” – Jean-Yves Duperron (Classical Music Sentinel)

“Erik Simmons' latest release demonstrates how new technology and contemporary music can be a winning formula for an older genre. Producers of organ recordings have always wrestled with microphone placement in the quest for the right balance of acoustic space and the instrument's presence. Enter digital technology. That's exactly how this 1787 organ in Weissenau, Germany, appears in this recording. Every actual sound from the initial speaking attack of a pipe to its final decay and slight pitch drop is captured faithfully with every note. The variety of his writing is impressive and he's capable of evoking greatly contrasting moods. This is especially effective as Erik Simmons uses the Weissenau organ to maximum colouristic effect, whether drawing a single flute rank or the full organ registration. It's a terrific recording for three reasons: superb playing, fine composition and technological astonishment.” - Alex Baran (The Whole Note)

“ Cooman is not only a composer but also an organist and a musical commentator. His vast output is obviously the result of someone with real musical felicity. It has been a pleasure to audition this disc multiple times. The performances here are stunning in their grasp of the musical material. The recording is superb… and it is difficult to imagine a more satisfying result. Wholeheartedly recommended.” - Colin Clarke (Fanfare)

“Short, pleasant, well-crafted pieces. Simmons delivers his usual fine performance.” – Robert Delcamp (American Record Guide)

“Melodic and approachable music.. Erik Simmons makes much of subtly differentiated music distinguished by serene, slow-moving lyricism. Sound is atmospheric, surprisingly attractive and altogether pleasing.” (Awarded four stars) - Michael Quinn (Choir & Organ)