Masque: Music for Organ by Carson Cooman


Catalogue No: DDA 25127
EAN/UPC: 809730512728
Release Date: March 2015
Genres: ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 78:07

Erik Simmons has recorded a second programme of fine organ music by Carson Cooman, Composer in Residence at Harvard University’s Memorial Church and one of America’s most prolific composers, writing in a variety of approachable musical styles, innovative but within traditional tonal boundaries. The previous album ‘Litany’ received rave reviews, one critic called it a ‘benchmark recording”, and this new CD will appeal very much to organ enthusiasts.

The album is recorded on the sounds of the wonderful Marcussen organ of the Laurenskerk, in Rotterdam using the Hauptwerk system which gives full rein to the wide tonal range of the instrument, while avoiding the excessive reverberation which can spoil many organ recordings. The sound here is crisp and clear allowing full enjoyment of the music and the instrument.

Track Listing

    Carson Cooman:

  1. Prelude and Fugue No. 1 (5:31)
  2. Prelude and Fugue No. 2 (5:38)
  3. Prelude and Fugue No. 3 (5:56)
  4. Prelude and Fugue No. 4 (5:27)
  5. Prelude and Fugue No. 5 (5:39)
  6. Prelude and Fugue No. 6 (5:06)
  7. Prelude and Fugue No. 7 (4:42)
  8. Prelude and Fugue No. 8 (6:23)
  9. Prelude and Fugue No. 9 (7:02)
  10. Preghiera (3:36)
  11. I. Symphony for Organ − Masque (10:21)
  12. II. Symphony for Organ − Sarabande (6:10)
  13. III. Symphony for Organ − Chorale (6:38)


Classical Music Sentinel

This new Masque disc centers more around form and structure, but that certainly doesn’t prevent composer Carson Cooman from yet again flexing his creative muscle and laying out a series of Preludes and Fugues as varied as they are meticulously crafted. And once again, organist Erik Simmons, through the use of a wide variety of stop combinations and expressive playing, reveals each one’s unique colors and character. The Symphony for Organ, actually dedicated to Erik Simmons, is quite something. All of this great music is performed on the outstanding 1973 Marcussen & Son Organ of Laurenskerk, Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, comprised of 85 stops that range from a 1′ Octaaf to a 32′ Bazuin. It can purr like a kitten or roar like a lion, and everything else in between. This is yet another outstanding recording courtesy of Divine Art.

” —Jean-Yves Duperron
The Classical Reviewer

Beautifully crafted Preludes and Fugues … This is an organ symphony to rival any, spectacularly played by Erik Simmons. He receives an excellent recording and there are excellent notes from Carson Cooman. Surely all organ enthusiasts will want this fine new disc.

” —Bruce Reader
Choir And Organ

Cooman’s inventiveness is beguiling. The limpid sounds of the Marcussen organ help to draw the best out of this contemporary music.

” —Rupert Gough
The Chronicle

This is most definitely organ geared towards a more modern audience, with plenty of variations and even playfulness. To listen to, it’s gentle and ranges in sound from the more somber end of the church music spectrum to rather jolly music that could be played at a wedding. It’s an enjoyable CD, so what more do you want?

” —Jeremy Condliffe
American Record Guide

The composer is an excellent craftsman who has developed a distinctive, individual voice. [The Symphony] has an approach­able style and is well conceived for the organ. Simmons gives clean, com­mitted performances on the 1973 Marcussen organ in the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam. The recorded sound is vivid.

” —Robert Delcamp