CARSON COOMAN (b.1982): The Revelations of Divine Love (Metaphors from Sea and Sky) for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Chamber Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 11L096
Reference: TROY 1143
Description: This oratorio is based on the mystical writings of Julian of Norwich (c.1342-1416), set in a framework inspired by the land- and seascapes of Nantucket. The character of the music in successive movements is suggested by visions of nature; the religious visions of the text parallel the nature-painting, as in the wide, warm vistas that accompany Julian's request for three gifts from God, the better to prepare her for the spiritual life; or the agitated vision of "The Blood from the Garland" - a crucifixion metaphor; or the storm music that sets her vision of the Devil. The music is throughout very tonal, avoiding the eclecticism of some of this prolific composer's scores, and it gains in cohesiveness and emotional impact as a result. There are moments of sheer beauty in the harmonic radiance of the hushed and tranquil affirmative vision-prayers, offset by the scintillating dance of "Three Heavens", and the dramatic mystery of "Secrets", one of many highlights of this powerful and varied score. This is certainly among the young composer's most compelling achievements to date, and very highly recommended as a refreshingly original concept of religious music which acknowledges and extends traditional forms while entirely avoiding any sense of cloying new-age 'spirituality'. Texts included. Rebecca Henning (soprano), Jonathan Mark Roberts (baritone), Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London, Buttrick Sinfonia; Rupert Gough.