<<< << -- 3 -- Ron Bierman TALENTED AND PROMISING
One inevitably approaches prolific composers with a suspicion that they must be, as Milhaud was, inconsistent and often lacking in depth. And Surely Saint-Saëns' stock would be higher had he not said that he wrote music as naturally 'as an apple tree produces apples'. But I believe Saint-Saëns is under-rated, and facility needn't equate with facile in its pejorative sense. It's too soon to tell whether it will in Cooman's case. On the positive side there are striking felicities of orchestral expression, moments of melodic beauty, effective use of the strengths of individual instruments, and obvious technical depth. On the other hand, his larger works would have more impact if the ideas were developed at greater length, and if his loving preoccupation with melody and the sonorities of particular instruments did not sometimes work to the disadvantage of momentum and drive.
Performances are generally competent or better, and the sound is up to Naxos' usual fine standard for the most part, but the recording equipment appears to have inserted a bit of low-level noise in the two pieces for violin and organ.
Finally, I can imagine a more coherent program. The variety of instrumental combinations, the brevity of some movements and the mix of styles sometimes gave me the feeling that I was listening to one of those samplers containing excerpts from a half dozen new recordings by various composers. But curiosity alone should compel you to hear roughly one percent of the output of this talented and promising mid-twenty year-old. The piano concerto is especially enjoyable. Recommended.
Copyright © 20 August 2007
Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA
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CARSON P COOMAN
Cooman: Symphonies Nos 2 and 3
8.559329 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 73'40" 2007 Naxos Rights International Ltd
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Kirk Trevor, conductor; Stephen Schultz, baroque flute; Nora Skuta, piano; Rachel Gough, violin; Rupert Gough, organ; Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra (Songlines, Sun Dreaming only)
Carson P Cooman (born 1982): Symphony No 2 'Litanies of Love and Rain' Op 574 (2004) for orchestra; Partita Op 526 (2003) for baroque flute (Cantus; Ludus); Piano Concerto Op 649 (2005) for solo piano and strings; Vision Op 646 (2005) for violin and organ; Symphony No 3 'Ave Maris Stella' Op 650 (2005) for chamber orchestra (Pentimento; Interrupted Motet); Songlines, Sun Dreaming Op 307 (2001) for orchestra; Sonata for Violin and Organ Op 573 (2004) (Telescope; Ballade for Max; Keep on Shining!)