Records International

Another entry in this immensely rewarding series, propelled as it is by Cooman’s apparently preternatural fluency in composing for his own instrument – everything here was written in 2016 and 2017 – without any suggestion of repeating himself. This volume reveals the composer’s range more than some of the previous ones, all of which had a different emphasis to the program. The pieces here range from grand and ceremonial (the second Fantasia, the Maestoso and Festivo preludes, which are fairly traditional (though always fresh and original) in idiom, to extrovert recessionals (the second Mantra, the Toccata and Finale) to more restrained pieces that could be used, for example, instead of the traditional Communion Chant during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. But some pieces here also remind us that Cooman is a versatile composer with well established modern credentials, such as the Ricercare, which employs Cooman’s system for generating modes of more than twelve notes, across different octave registers, which is capable of producing unusual harmonies and some striking dissonances, or the Concerto piccolo, which uses a note-row by the in memoriam dedicatee Eberhard Kraus (1931–2003), clothed in Cooman’s own harmony, or the Postludium, with its non-minimalist repeating patterns and vaguely Mediaeval melody.