Archive for organ

‘Women of History’

Divine Art Records continues its series of recordings with American organist Carson Cooman, who is organist at the Memorial Church at Harvard, as well as being a teacher, writer, speaker, music critic and incredibly prolific composer. Following three recordings including organ works by German composers Andreas Willscher and Raimund Schächer, Cooman has recorded an album of music by the Italian composer Carlotta Ferrari (b.1975). Ferrari’s compositions have been performed frequently around the word and appear on many recordings including six all-Ferrari CDs. She is currently professor of music composition at the European School of Economics in Florence, Italy.

Ferrari has written many works based on historical figures, and the five works on this album are all inspired by the lives and works of famous women, lending to the album’s title, ‘Women of History’. She writes in a distinctive modal style, utilising the modal harmonic system of ‘Restarting Pitch Space’ which was actually developed by Cooman in 2005.

The recording will be issued this July on CD and many digital formats (Divine Art dda 25178). Cooman’s own compositions continue to appear, performed by Erik Simmons, in the ongoing series from Divine Art, with three more volumes scheduled for 2018.

The release is also timely as 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein which is the inspiration for the first piece.

Lady Frankenstein
Maria Restituta
Historia Gullielmae
Viva la vida
Esctasy (La transverberazione di Teresa d’Avila)

New recording of music by Naji Hakim

Among a full schedule for 2018 is a new recording of works by Naji Hakim centering on organ and harpsichord. The main soloist is Simon Leach, joined for two works by violinists Benedict Holland, and for one each by recorder player John Turner and tenor Ranald McCusker, the latter singing a plainsong introduction to the program.

Simon Leach’s connection with the composer goes back to 1992, when Leach was awarded a bursary, while a student at the RNCM, to study with Hakim in Paris. He has developed his career to a high level and has performed with the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Northern Sinfonia, and other top orchestras; he is a regular performer on the BBC Daily Service and since 2001 has been organist at Holy Name Church in Manchester which has a long and celebrated musical tradition.

In addition to being the recipient of many international awards throughout his career, including one from Pope Benediktus XVI, Hakim has held extended positions as organist at both the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Paris and at the l’église de la Trinité, in succession to Olivier Messiaen. He is now professor of musical analysis at the Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne-Billancourt, and visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

The new album, working title ‘Embrace of Fire’, is to be recorded on March 5-7, 2018 at Holy Name Church, Manchester, England with engineer/producer Richard Scott and will be released in CD and digital formats later in 2018 (MSV 28583).

November Releases

Look out for three new albums in November (our last issues of 2017). We are delighted to present Volume 6 of the Carson Cooman organ music series (“The Cloak with the Stars”). Cooman also appears, this time as performer, in Andreas Willscher’s Organ Symphonies 19 & 20 and a suite ‘The Beatitudes’; and from Métier we focus on works for solo violin and violin/viola duo by Michael Alec Rose, currently teaching at Vanderbilt University, Nashville.