Burdens and Fugues in D major - (2012)
for Carson Cooman
concert work tailored specifically to a small organ of one manual and
shortened pedal board was the topic of conversation between Carson and
myself. In thinking through the notions of such limitations -- limitations
being the fount of much creativity -- breaks in the texture of the music
would allow an organist to draw stops by hand, while a small number of
imagined registrations could carry the piece. For this, the episodes are
marked with only three dynamics, mp, mf, and f, with fermati placed
at junction points. Refrains return, and for this a small rondo form
emerges, the lyrical and ornamented moments marked as at measure 24 and
the subject of the work is the tonic major seven chords' members, an episode
of imitation highlights this with the pedal in augmentation against the lilt
of the manual's two voices. Restatements in imitatio occur at
the mediant and dominant.
After a refrain, a lively fugue subject follows. This first fugue opens in
the soprano line with its answer in the dominant.
After another refrain, the fugue takes up with a pedal solo with the subject
appearing in tonic, dominant and a short dalliance into the lowered seven's
region. This becomes a double fugue as two subjects unite in varying
restatements of the larger theme.
last statement takes the three different themes to weave a short burst of
counterpoint before closing with a look back to the texture of the refrain
wedded to the tonic major seven chord.
Composer and performer Carson Cooman currently serves as Research Associate
in Music and Composer-in-Residence, The Memorial Church of Harvard
University. His music is found on more than 35 recordings, and his
performances focus on contemporary music for the organ. Additionally he
writes on music for a number of publications. For much more information, his
website is www.carsoncooman.com.
Duration: 11 pages, circa 7' 30" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this score.
Burdens and Fugues in D major