Carson Cooman: Hymnus

review cooman x1 cong

We seem to be falling over CDs from the prolific American composer Carson Cooman, who puts out an album every other day (he’s even on a jazz-based work we have lined up for review). His works are approachable, while being proper classical music as well, suitable for both novice and stuffed-shirt expert.

The Press notes say the album focuses on “tonal, accessible works suitable for concert or liturgical use”; we say it’s the music you hear when you walk into a church and the organist is noodling gently on the organ, probably before a funeral. Thoughtful music without being sombre.

It’s performed by Erik Simmons, playing the organ of St Peter and Paul’s, Weissenau.

“The music you hear when you walk into a church and the organist is noodling gently on the organ” is about all the review needs, to be honest. If the purpose of a review is to tell what you a programme of music sounds like, and what it can be compared to, you have it right there.

We had several attempts at playing this and we and it never quite hit it off, until it was played when we a little more relaxed, and tired. Its reflective nature means it’s not going to suit all moods but when you want to be thoughtful, it’s spot on. Atmospheric and surprisingly pleasing. We Googled St Peter and Paul, and the music is played on a 1787 Holzhey organ at what’s actually the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Weissenau. This is out on Divine Art, Dda 25147.

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