Nantucket Dreaming/Cooman

September 20, 2010

For a twenty eight year man Carson has certainly kept himself busy considering his opus numbers which exceed over 800 as of 2009. This is in addition to writer, reviewer, and musical consultant. Apparently he has learned how to survive without sleep! This new recording on (Naxos 8.559655), which consists of eight different works all inspired by beautiful Nantucket Island, is yet another example of new material to explore on the American Classics series. Having lived in the Boston area for a small part of my life I must confess the title of the work was what got my attention to explore the material further.

Including the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra performing “Miacomet Dreaming” and “Flying Machine,” Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra in “Shawkeno Dreaming,” Chris Gekker on Flueghorn for “Nobadeer Dreaming,” a Bassoon Quintet featuring Roman Mesina, solo piano nocturne with Jeffrey Grossman in “Madaket Dreaming,” a Lyric Trio, and a String Quartet performing “Sankaty Dreaming” you know your in for a varied and unique 70 minutes of listening. Each tells a story and invokes some particular feeling from the listener from sad to happy to pensive or really just shut your eyes and imagine your own landscape or situation. After several listens there seems to be a common thread that somehow bonds all of these pieces together when looking at the track listing of the works it would make no sense at all. Hightlights for this reviewer include the “Flying Machine” which conjures up images of all sorts of soaring experiences. There is a reference to the L. Bernstein song “Maria” from the brass section halfway into the work. “Nobadeer Dreaming” is the first piece that this reviewer has heard written for Flugelhorn, an instrument I always associated with Maynard “Rocky” Ferguson. I was very impressed with the playing ability of Chris Gekker. It made me relive my hours of practice on the trombone trying to achieve that good tone. The “Madaket Dreaming” is a very easy to digest nocturne.

The work is all premiere recordings and is well recorded and mastered. The liner notes are provided by the composer giving further insight to how it came from thoughts to notes and what inspired Carson. While there are some dissonant passages you can still put this work in a lyrical/melodic category that after the first listen is quite easy to become easily comfortable with. This CD or download is well worth investing in.

The recording listed below is also available on Naxos Classics Online or on CD. It will be reviewed separately at a later date.

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic conducted by Kirk Trevor perform Cooman Symphonies 2 and 3, Partita, Violin Sonata, and Piano Concerto (Naxos 8.559329)

Track Listing:

Miacomet Dreaming, Op. 781

1. Miacomet Dreaming, Op. 781 00:06:21

Nobadeer Dreaming, Op. 784

2. Nobadeer Dreaming, Op. 784 00:03:13

Bassoon Quintet, Op. 764

3. Bassoon Quintet, Op. 764 00:13:03

Madaket Dreaming, Op. 774

4. Madaket Dreaming, Op. 774 00:05:04

Shawkemo Dreaming, Op. 811

5. Shawkemo Dreaming, Op. 811 00:05:16

Lyric Trio, Op. 710

6. I. Red Darkness 00:03:49

7. II. The Thousand Candles 00:04:04

8. III. Windswept 00:01:18

9. IV. Whispering Wings 00:03:16

10. V. Towards Light 00:02:02

11. VI. Let Evening Come 00:04:39

String Quartet No. 4, Op. 461, “Sankaty Dreaming”

12. I. Capriccio 00:04:59

13. II. Elegy and Arias 00:06:19

Flying Machine, Op. 775

14. Flying Machine, Op. 775 00:07:55

Total Playing Time: 01:11:18

Naxos CD# 8.559655

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