CARSON COOMAN (b.1982): Chasing the Moon Down for Mezzo-Soprano, Trumpet and Piano, Cantus I for Piano, Quidnet Shadows for Flugelhorn and Harp, Cantus II (Into Unknowing Light) for Piano, Autumn Sun Canticle for Trumpet and Piano, Woodbury Sestina for Trumpet, Tuba Sonata, Yizkor for Piano.
Catalogue Number: 10P073
Reference: msv 28538
Description: Recent solo and ensemble works - the earliest less than a decade old - by the unfailingly inspired and prolific young American composer. All are in the sophisticated and original tonal vocabulary that has now become his very recognisable personal idiom. Cantus I gently alternates a rustling, impressionistic motif with a contrasting gesture suggestive of a meditative chorale, as though the one is an image of nature and the other the inner reflections of an onlooker - a theme that unites much of the music here. Cantus II, an in memoriam piece, couples its chorale motif with the tolling of bells. A climax of repeated chords suggests the illuminated columns of some vast cathedral (the affinity with nature's cathedral in MacDowell's In Deep Woods is striking), after which the music subsides into peaceful repose. Quidnet Shadows is one of a number of Cooman's works inspired by the landscape of Nantucket. The mellow flugelhorn timbre and the delicate sound of the harp shadow each other in a softly glowing depiction of the fading evening light. The substantial three-movement tuba sonata covers a wide range of harmonic and expressive territory, providing a virtuoso vehicle for the tuba commensurate in level with those for more customary solo instruments. A dramatic first movement is followed by a spiritual-like melodic slow movement and a dancing perpetuum mobile finale. Katarzyna Sadej (mezzo), Chris Gekker (trumpet, flugelhorn), Mark Nelson (tuba), Jeffrey Grossman, Marie Sierra (piano), Rebecca Smith (harp).