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Wed, Sep 06

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Epsilon Spires

Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: Carson Cooman

Carson is the Composer in Residence at the Memorial Church, Harvard University. As an organist, he specializes in the performance of contemporary music. His program for September includes works by Angelo Maria Trovato, Dean Rosenthal, Yûitirô Katô, Sarah Davachi, Thomas Åberg, and Karen Beaumont

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Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: Carson Cooman
Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: Carson Cooman

Time & Location

Sep 06, 2023, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the Event

 Carson Cooman  is an American composer and organist. He holds degrees in music from Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University and since 2006 has held the position of Composer in Residence at the Memorial Church, Harvard University. As an organ recitalist, Cooman specializes in the performance of contemporary music. (Portrait of Carson by Oger)

Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series  Program for 12pm, September 6th

Toccata all’antica (2019) -Angelo Maria Trovato (b. 1977)

Katama Path (2021) -Dean Rosenthal (b. 1974)

Prelude and Fugue No. 3 (2009/21) -Yûitirô Katô (b. 1984)

Four Colors (2023)  -Karen Beaumont (b. 1965)

Life Springs Ever Green

Orange: Color of the Sun 

Moonlight over the Purple Moor 

Fragmentary Blue

Harmonies in Green (2021) -Sarah Davachi  (b. 1987)

Toccata No. 6, “Sancta Clara” (1984) -Thomas Åberg (b. 1952)

Notes on the Composers and Pieces:

Italian organist and composer Angelo Maria Trovato (b. 1977) was born in Catania and educated at the conservatory there. His teachers included Daniele Boccaccio and Gianluca Libertucci. In addition to many organ works, Trovato has written music for choir, piano, band, orchestra, and jazz ensembles. He has also been active as a writer, publishing both poems and short stories.

As the title suggests, Toccata all’antica (2019) alludes to early Italian keyboard music. The work is in five sections, beginning with an opening section of robust, energetic music. The three middle sections are a slow aria, a light dance, and an expressive adagio. The fifth and final section is a return to the mood of the beginning. Unlike early models, the composition is cyclic—the thematic material is shared across the sections.

*** Dean Rosenthal (b. 1974) is an American composer of contemporary and experimental music,

field recordings, digital pastiche, sound collage, and installations; as well as a performer and a writer on music. His works are performed, broadcast, choreographed, and installed internationally, primarily in North America and Europe at venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, Ohrenhoch der Geräuschladen, Center for Collaborative Arts and Media at Yale, Spectrum, The Wulf, Electronic Music Foundation, Elastic Arts, Symphony Space, at many universities and art schools, and outdoors, over 50 times across three continents for his piece

“Stones/Water/Time/Breath.”

Katama Path (2021) takes its title from a region of Edgartown on the composer’s home of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The music is based on a drawing.

***

Japanese composer and pianist Yûitirô Katô (b. 1984) began playing the piano in 1987 and gave his first concerto performance (a Haydn concerto) in 1992. In 1996 he began composing and has focused on what he has called “new counterpoint music,” based strongly on Medieval and Renaissance influences. Katô has written pieces for orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and chorus.

Prelude and Fugue No. 3 (2009/21) contrasts a pastoral prelude with a more vigorous fugue. The fugue’s subject is derived from the opening motive of the prelude.

***

American organist and composer Karen Beaumont (b. 1965) received her degree in Music History from the University of Wisconsin and studied organ with Gerre Hancock, John Behnke, Jeffrey Peterson, and Carol Haakenson. Beaumont has performed as a recitalist in numerous venues throughout the USA and the UK. From 1988 to 2011 she provided the organ and choral music for St. James Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her album of classic French noëls was released on the Pro Organo label in 2020. Her musical compositions have been published by Lorenz, Leupold Editions, Fagus-Music, and SMP Press.

Each movement in Four Colors (2023) responds to both the inspiration of the color itself and a quotation from a writer alluding to the color. 

The quotations are:

“The golden tree of life springs ever green...” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)

“Orange is the color of the sun. It is vital.” — Edgar Cayce (1877–1944)

“A ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor...” — Alfred Noyes (1880–1958)

“Why make so much of fragmentary blue... when heaven presents sheets of solid blue.” — Robert Frost (1874–1963)

***

Sarah Davachi (b. 1987) is a Canadian composer and performer whose work is concerned with the close intricacies of timbral and temporal space, utilizing extended durations and considered harmonic structures that emphasize gradual variations in texture, overtone complexity, psychoacoustic phenomena, and tuning and intonation. Her compositions span solo, chamber ensemble, and acousmatic formats, incorporating a wide range of acoustic and electronic instrumentation. Similarly informed by minimalist and longform tenets, early music concepts of form, affect, and intervallic harmony, as well as experimental production practices of the studio environment, in her sound is an intimate and patient experience that lessens perceptions of the familiar and the distant. In addition to her acclaimed recorded output, Davachi has toured extensively as a performer.

Harmonies in Green (2021) is one in a series of “color harmony” pieces that the composer has written. The harmony is explored through a very gradually changing soundscape.

***

Thomas Åberg (b. 1952) was born in Stockholm, Sweden and works there as composer and concert organist. Most of his works are written for the organ and are often characterized by their rhythmic joy, simplicity, and humor. He has stated that “music must bring enjoyment, without abandoning reverence,” and as such his style often uses the most basic of musical materials to create a discourse that is both spiritual and visceral. Åberg’s music speaks with a distinctly Swedish voice and emotional aesthetic, and since the early 1980s his works have become an important part of the Scandinavian organ literature. His music has been performed by organists at festivals throughout Europe, Asia, and the USA. He also tours regularly worldwide as concert organist with his own works. In December 2012, Carson Cooman released a CD (Legends in the Garden) devoted to Åberg’s organ compositions and also has recorded more than 70 other Åberg works for YouTube.

Toccata No. 6, “Sancta Clara” (1984) is dedicated to the Swedish organist Per Thunarf (1941–2014) who was one of Åberg’s closest friends and collaborators. The subtitle refers to the church of Sancta Clara (Klara kyrka) in Stockholm where Thunarf was organist for

more than 30 years and played more than 4,500 organ concerts. Åberg’s close association with Thunarf, Sancta Clara Church, and the church’s Åkerman & Lund organ inspired a number of compositions. It was at Thunarf’s instigation that Åberg’s cycle of toccatas began in 1981. Toccata No. 6 is one of the most joyous of the entire toccata series with its very optimistic harmonies and consistent rhythmic excitement. As in most of Åberg’s work, the expressive dimension is explored through modal shifts and juxtapositions.

***

Carson Cooman is an American composer and organist. He holds degrees in music from Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University and since 2006 has held the position of Composer in Residence at the Memorial Church, Harvard University. As an organ recitalist, Cooman specializes in the performance of contemporary music. Over 300 new compositions by more than 100 international composers have been written for him. Cooman has made many recordings as organist, including more than 10 complete CD releases of music by Thomas Åberg, Paula Diehl, Carlotta Ferrari, Lothar Graap, Eva-Maria Houben, Marian Sawa, and Andreas Willscher, along with several multi-composer albums. His recordings of more than 5,000 additional contemporary organ compositions can be heard freely from YouTube and his website. As a composer, Cooman has created a catalog of works in many forms—ranging from solo instrumental pieces to operas, and from orchestral works to hymn tunes. His work has been performed on all six inhabited continents and appears on over forty recordings, including more than twenty-five complete CDs on the Naxos, Albany, Artek, Gothic, Divine Art, Métier, Diversions, Convivium, Altarus, MSR Classics, Raven, and Zimbel labels. For more information, visit carsoncooman.com

In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by donation. Our Monthly Lunchtime Pipe Organ Concert Series is currently struggling financially to cover costs. Please consider making a donation to help us support the artists and be able to continue this series. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Enjoy the program and THANK YOU for your support!

Tickets

  • Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series

    In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by donation. Our Monthly Lunchtime Pipe Organ Concert Series is currently struggling financially to cover costs. Please consider making a donation to help us support the artists and be able to continue this series. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Enjoy the program and THANK YOU for your support!

    Pay what you want

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