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Talented and Promising

Music by
Carson P Cooman -
recommended by

'... striking felicities of orchestral expression ...'

Naxos American Classics - Carson Cooman: Symphonies Nos 2 and 3; Piano Concerto; Partita; Vision. © 2007 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Cataloging Carson Cooman's work is a full-time job. In his mid-twenties, he's already written over 700 pieces, exceeding the number credited to Darius Milhaud, a candidate for most prolific composer of the twentieth century. Should Cooman match Milhaud's composing longevity, his catalog will be several multiples of even the hardest working baroque composers. Perhaps steroid usage hasn't been limited to the sports world.

Many of the works of Milhaud and Cooman are relatively small in scale. The longest of Cooman's symphonies, assuming he hasn't composed a few longer ones while I've been writing, snaps the tape at under seventeen minutes. But by any measure, he's already produced an extraordinary amount of music.

The seven selections on this release nicely demonstrate many of the composer's characteristics. In addition to being concise, he uses a wide variety of instrumental combinations, is unafraid of recognizable melody and could hardly be more eclectic in his selection of techniques and effects from the full historical range of classical music. In the final movement of his Sonata for Violin and Organ he is at his most 'American' sounding [listen -- track 11, 0:00-0:52]. The Piano Concerto sometimes recalls Poulenc or Shostakovich [listen -- track 4, 4:34-5:41]. The Third Symphony begins with the austerity of many contemporary composers but soon proves much indebted to ancient plainchant [listen -- track 6, 0:00-1:17]. The young man is clearly still experimenting with forms, styles and instrumentation.

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Copyright © 20 August 2007 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


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