In Beauty Walking: Orchestral Music of Carson Cooman
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Label: Divine Art
Cat No: DDA25117
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 29th September 2014
WorksFolk Fantasies (3), op.1009
In beauty walking, op.952
Sinfonia Concertante, op.1010
Symphony of Light, op.484
ArtistsLeah Crane (soprano)
Chloe Trevor (violin)
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
Carson Cooman (b.1982) is an American composer with a catalogue of hundreds of works in many forms - ranging from solo instrumental pieces to operas, and from orchestral works to hymn tunes. His music has been performed on all six inhabited continents in venues that range from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the basket of a hot air balloon.
This album is the third in a new series from Divine Art - the previous programmes featured chamber music with brass (‘Rising at Dawn’ – Metier MSV28538) and solo organ works (‘Litany – Divine Art DDA25116). Here we have some of Cooman’s most exquisite, traditionally written and highly Romantic – and exceptionally beautiful – music for orchestra.
In Beauty Walking (2011; op. 952) is a setting of poems by Mary Hunter Austin (1868–1934), a significant nature writer on the subject of the American Southwest. The texts for this work are drawn from her collection 'The American Rhythm' (1923), which contains what she termed "re-expressions" in English based on American Indian sources. In some cases, the poems are very loose translations of the originals, but mostly they are new poems that partake of both style and character of the sources. Austin also believed that aspects of American Indian culture were in danger of being lost, and should thus be preserved via writings. The cycle is performed by soprano Leah Crane.
Sinfonia Concertante (2013; op.1010) for violin and orchestra has five movements, which draw primarily upon stylistic elements of medieval and Renaissance music, though viewed within a contemporary context. The title 'Sinfonia' is used in one of its 17th century senses: a small collection of modest instrumental movements. The fourth movement, an expressive ground, remembers the American composer Lee Hoiby (1926–2011). It is performed by Chloé Trevor, silver medalist at the 2008 Ima Hogg Competition, and one of the rising stars on today’s international violin scene.
Symphony of Light (2003; op.484) is cast in three movements, each inspired by different images and visions connected to light, and is scored for string orchestra and in parts carries reminiscences of the great 20th century pastoral string compositions from England.
Folk Fantasies (2005/13; op.1009) is a concert piece inspired by folk traditions and is dedicated to the performer, Chloé Trevor. Although this work draws upon folk music styles, it does not quote or use any actual folk tunes or material directly. For each of the three movements, Cooman began by composing an original tune indebted to that national style: the three being Scotland, Nigeria and pre-European North America. Each movement of the work is then a simple arrangement of that original tune. The formal and harmonic language of the work is very simple, direct and uncluttered throughout, as is appropriate for folk music.
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