Erik Simmons: Carson Cooman: Masque (music for organ)

review cooman x1 cong

We reviewed a church organ album the other week, and just couldn’t be doing with it. Very discordant and unsettling.
This, on the other hand, is very different and we’ve been playing it over and over all week.

If you told us a while ago that we’d be moaning about pop bands and praising church organ music, we’d have thought you were giddy.

Unlike the discordant one from the other week, this is quiet and gentle, though it does boom out in places. It’s most definitely organ geared towards a more modern audience, with plenty of variations and even playfulness.

The opener Prelude and Fugue No. 1, Op. 913 opens quite perkily but then turns into a more traditional fugue.
Track two Prelude and Fugue No. 2, Op. 1021 is intellectually playful. Written for two girls, Lydia and Emily (the daughters of organist Simmons), the first part uses Lydia as a theme and is written in Lydian mode (which as you all know, is a rising pattern of pitches comprising three whole tones, a semitone, two more whole tones, and a final semitone, and pitches roughly describes the fifth of the eight Gregorian [church] modes). You can see why in the Chilly review (below we say we feel inadequate reviewing this stuff.

Still, you can get all the clever bits from the sleeve notes. To listen to, it’s gentle and ranges in sound from the more sombre 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?  Out now on Divine.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s