Andreas Willscher: Organ Symphony No. 5


Catalogue No: DDA 25150
EAN/UPC: 809730515026
Release Date: March 2017
Genres: ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 73:53

German composer Andreas Willscher has won many awards for his compositions, which range widely from symphonic forms and oratorio to cabaret jazz and rock. His organ works are especially fine and varied – involving often a mélange of post-tonal modernism, minimalism, and jazz and rock elements. Willscher is also an active writer of literary and scientific articles and as a collector and preserver of ‘lost’ and forgotten music of the past.

Organ Symphony No. 5 is on a grand scale but is mostly quiet peaceful and meditative with only two fast and louder sections; the symphony is subtitled “On Francis’ Preaching on Holy Poverty” and is a reflection on the life and teaching of St. Francis of Asissi.

Carson Cooman is organist of the Memorial Church at Harvard University and also a most prolific composer, writer and teacher. His works have appeared in many recordings and have been played in every inhabited continent. This is his first recording for Divine Art as performer, but the label has already released six CDs of Cooman compositions with many more planned.

Organ of Laurenskerk, Rotterdam

Track Listing

    Andreas Willscher:

  1. I. Organ Symphony No. 5 − I. Fanfare – Sehr ruhig (4:26)
  2. II. Organ Symphony No. 5 − II. Grave – bewegter – grave (5:24)
  3. III. Organ Symphony No. 5 − III. Sehr ruhig (8:46)
  4. IV. Organ Symphony No. 5 − IV. Allegro (1:48)
  5. V. Organ Symphony No. 5 − V. Ruhig (5:57)
  6. VI. Organ Symphony No. 5 − VI. Allegro molto (4:28)
  7. VII. Organ Symphony No. 5 − VII. [ohne bewegung] (13:20)
  8. VIII. Organ Symphony No. 5 − VIII. Allegro (6:40)
  9. IX. Organ Symphony No. 5 − IX. Andante (4:42)
  10. X. Organ Symphony No. 5 − X. Ruhig fliessend (6:06)
  11. XI. Organ Symphony No. 5 − XI. Allegro marcato (4:40)
  12. XII. Organ Symphony No. 5 − XII. Lento, misterioso (7:31)


The Organ Club Journal

Carson Cooman’s playing talents are displayed. Quite an interesting recording.

” —Mark Jameson
Choir & Organ

A coherent and occasionally forceful, largely reverential whole. Carson Cooman is a nimble, nuanced and eloquent advocate.

” —Michael Quinn
American Record Guide

Not program music per se, but it is meant to be a large-scale meditation on this theme [St Francis preaching about holy poverty]. He employs a motive (FDA-Francis d’Assisi) and several Gregorian chant melodies in alternating toccata, fughetta, and meditative movements. Cooman’s success as a composer for the organ is due in large part to his innate understanding of the instrument as a performer. He plays a large and wonderful 1973 Marcussen organ found in the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam.

” —Robert Delcamp
The Whole Note

A substantial work of 73 minutes and rich with colourful registrations and dynamic effect. The four movements marked Allegro are each brilliant and thrilling, with bold pedal lines that need durable speakers to deliver them without distortion. The quietest movements are equally impressive for the reverberant space around their sounds. Cooman has made an excellent choice of combining instrument and repertoire.

” —Alex Baran