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Legends In The Garden: Organ Music By Thomas Aberg

Aberg / Cooman
Release Date: 03/12/2013 
Label:  Soundspells Productions   Catalog #: 137   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



ÅBERG Marsch Babacou. I Folkston. Postlude. In the Garden. Five Miniatures. Legends Nos. 1, 3, and 6. Låt fran Tånum (Melody from Tanum) . Toccata III Carson Cooman (org) SOUNDSPELLS 137 (73:02)


Swedish composer Thomas Åberg (b. 1952) writes mainly for the organ. His stated intention, according to Cooman’s notes, is that “music Read more must bring enjoyment, without abandoning reverence.” Certainly that is the case here. The first piece, Marsch Babacou (1983), is the perfect way in to both composer and the present recital: jaunty, witty, and given in a marvelous performance. Articulation is beautifully neat from Cooman, so there is no suspicion of needless blurring. The piece’s title derives from the names of three composers that the composer played a lot at the time of composition: BAch, BArtók and COUperin.


The lovely homage to folk music (the tune is actually by the composer) I Folkston (1990) is gorgeously restrained and infinitely touching; later, the Melody from Tanum , presents a more meditative take on folk music. The two Swedenborg pieces (“The Clock” and “Time goes...,” 2004–05) were actually commissioned for the tiny organ in Swedenborg’s summer house. About as sweet as can be, these two short pieces offer up much delight.


The trilogy In the Garden (“Dew Drops,” 1999; “Frosty Morning,” 1999; “Rainy Day,” 2002), after which the disc itself is entitled, was composed during a stressful period of the composer’s life. The sound world is bleak and slow moving, yet it draws the listener in. At around seven minutes per movement, there is space for the music to unwind slowly and unhurriedly as long as the concentration is retained, and this Cooman does brilliantly. In contrast, the Five Miniatures (1984) are more active, but they share one vital component with In the Garden : intimacy. They are deliberately small scale, and can be absolutely vibrant (the fourth movement in particular); the finale, a Presto , positively sparkles. Cooman’s articulation is delicious.


The Legends are “meditations written as dialogues between composer/organist and composer/audience.” The first, from 1985, slow moving and restrained, is separated from the sixth (the next we hear in the program) by the robust 1984 Postlude. The sixth Legend , written much more recently than the other two in 2010, seems to meditate on the higher pitch regions. The third Legend threatens to dissipate into stasis before a melody appears, in stark, nasal contrast.


Fittingly, a Toccata closes the disc. This 1962 piece receives a virtuoso performance from Cooman. Although dissonant, the prevailing impression is celebratory.


I have saved this until last: I am no lover of organ music. Not at all. Yet if anything might convince me to spend more time with the King of Instruments, this disc would be it.


FANFARE: Colin Clarke
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Works on This Recording

1.
Marsch Babacou, for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1983 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
I Folkton (Swedish Folktune), for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1990 
Length: 6 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3.
Swedenborg Piece for organ No. 1 ("The Clock") by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2004 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Swedenborg Piece for organ No. 2 ("Time Goes...") by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2005 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
5.
In the Garden: Dew-drops, for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1999 
Length: 7 Minutes 11 Secs. 
6.
In The Garden: Frosty Morning, for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1999 
Length: 7 Minutes 54 Secs. 
7.
In the Garden: Rainy Day, for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2002 
Length: 6 Minutes 49 Secs. 
8.
Miniatures (5), for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1984 
Length: 8 Minutes 11 Secs. 
9.
Legend for organ No. 1 by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1985 
Length: 6 Minutes 21 Secs. 
10.
Postlude, for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1984 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
11.
Legend for organ No. 6 by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2010 
Length: 5 Minutes 33 Secs. 
12.
Låt fran Tånum (Melody from Tanum), for organ by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1997 
Length: 5 Minutes 34 Secs. 
13.
Legend for organ No. 3 by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1985 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
14.
Toccata for organ No. 3 by Thomas Åberg
Performer:  Carson P. Cooman (Organ)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1982 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 

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