CARSON COOMAN: A TRIP TO THE SKYChamber Music for Strings
SARAH DARLING, viola
JEFFREY GROSSMAN, piano
SLOVAK CHAMBER SOLOISTS
World Premiere Recordings
MusicWeb International: Recordings of the Year
Byzantion, MusicWeb International - December 2012
"[Cooman’s Sea Liturgy] is joyous and uplifting music of the first order... All of the performances...are committed and first-rate. With impeccable intonation and sensitive phrasing, these performers have presented this music in the best possible light, providing a testimonial to Cooman’s substantial compositional gifts. The composer’s style shifts in interesting ways from piece to piece, but he has convinced me of his talent in every single one of the nine works included herein."
David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare - July/August 2011
"Carson Cooman is something of a phenomenon. He is only 28 and has amassed nearly 900 opus numbers to date... I look in vain for evidence of his composing too much for his own good. Even in the first piece, more or less improvised on the piano by the composer, the variety of expression and depth of feeling are there to be heard... All is well played, and the music is quite beautiful, approaching tonality closely enough to hold my attention."
D. Moore, American Record Guide - July/August 2011
"[Cooman's] works evince a vivid combination of inspired mellifluousness, emotional excitement and creative expressiveness... As it happens, Cooman is one of the most prolific composers of all time... Such prolific production also reflects enormous breadth. He has written for virtually every solo instrument and every combination of two or more instruments. This amounts to a mind-boggling fertility and application... whatever ideas, fanciful or otherwise, may lie behind any given work, what really counts is what the score actually sounds like in performance. In that regard Cooman is unfailingly communicative. His music is at least as pleasing to the 'general ear' as it is intellectually stimulating. Schumann Serenade, the second track, immediately confirms this... every item on the disc stands up very well to repeated hearing... Sound quality is almost as good as it gets. The balance between soloists is likewise superb. All the performers...sound at their best. An outstanding disc in every regard."
MusicWeb International - May 2011
"The title track in this very attractive collection of music by Mr. Cooman, A Trip to the Sky, captures the listener’s attention immediately. Written for “any interesting or combination of instruments” (which makes me want to see the score), the solo piano version is beautiful [and] filled with drama and some impressionistic filigree. In this case, the composer is the pianist and a very fine one at that. [Cooman's] music is tonal but eclectic and very accessible... Each of these works has a slightly introspective character and a bit of brooding in places that contrasts with the beauty to be had from very high quality string writing. Cooman clearly works very well in chamber forms and creates some very attractive counterpoint out of small materials... a very talented composer with some clear connections to the music of earlier times and to church music. He writes exceptionally well for strings and I am anxious to hear more of his music and to learn more about him... The performing forces on this disc are top quality... Sound engineering is also great; the disc sounds clear and distinct... I liked this disc a lot and I suggest that anyone who enjoys modern string music or good quality music by lesser-known American composers would also like this release a great deal... Cooman has written a great deal and in almost every possible form. If this disc is any indication, it should all be quite good and well worth hearing!"
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition - May 2011
Violist Zuzana Bou?ov? - studied performance at the Conservatory in Brno and Janacek Academy in Brno . During her studies she participated at number of solo and chamber music competitions. In 1987 Ms. Bourova won the the Interpretation Competition of Czechoslovak Republic in Hradec and Moravici and in the same year became a member of the Bohdan Warchal Chamber Orchestra with which she she traveled throughout Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States. Ms. Bour(ova- is currently teaching at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica and performs with several chamber music groups.
Violist Sarah Darling enjoys a diverse musical career that spans centuries and styles. Ms. Darling studied at Harvard, Juilliard, Amsterdam, Freiburg, and the New England Conservatory, where she was a student of Kim Kashkashian. She is the director of the Arcturus Chamber Ensemble, concertmaster and assistant director of the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra, and a member of the Rosetta Trio, Musicians of the Old Post Road and the conductor-less orchestra A Far Cry. She also performs regularly with the Boston Symphony, Boston Baroque, Cambridge Concentus, La Donna Musicale, Les Bostonades, Callithumpian Consort, White Rabbit, Sarasa, Radius, and the Portland and Rhode Island Symphonies. The winner of the NEC, Harvard Bach Society, Arlington, Marlboro, and Freiburg concerto competitions, she is a passionate advocate of new music and has been involved in the premiere of more than 100 works, including a duo recording with Jeffrey Grossman featuring American composer Leland Smith.
Consistently praised for his impressive and wide-ranging musicality in nearly every style, Jeffrey Grossman’s extensive experience as a keyboard performer includes repertoire for the piano, harpsichord and organ from every period of the classical repertoire. A native of Detroit, he holds degrees in music from Harvard, Juilliard, and Carnegie Mellon, where he studied conducting with Grammy-award winning conductor Robert Page. He is co-founded and artistic director of the Cambridge Early Music Project, an organization which has presented numerous concerts in the Boston area. As a pianist, he has studied with Louis Nagel and Lois Shapiro. In 2008, Naxos released his recording of the chamber music of Leland Smith, and his recording of piano solos by Keith Barnard was released in 2010.
Violinist Vladimir Harvan studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague . In 1988, he became concertmaster of the Slovak National Opera Orchestra. He has been a member of Capella Istropolitana (1988–94), Bohdan Warchal Chamber Orchestra (1996–99) and Travnicek String Quartet (1994–97). Mr. Harvan also taught violin performance at the Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Bratislava between 1993 and 2000.
Violinist Lucia Harvanova - won third prize at the 1999 International Amadeus competition in Brno and second prize at the Hummel competition in Bratislava . In 2002, she won a violin competition in Nižná. Harvanova- participated at violin workshops under the leadership of Jindr(ich P azdera and František Novotný and has studied at the Music Conservatory of Bratislava.
Cellist Jozef Lupták studied at the Music Conservatory and Academy of Music Arts in Bratislava and continued postgraduate performance course at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Robert Cohen. In addition to an active solo schedule, Jozef regularly performs with chamber music partners Eleonora Kutová, Gabriela Demeterová and Ronald Ebesta, as well as international artists Robert Cohen, Rena Sharon, Vladimir Mendelsson, Edgar Meyer, Beny Schmid, Peter Mikulá, Eduard Brunner and the Colorado String Quartet. Lupták is founder and artistic director of the successful international festival of chamber music, Convergence.
Violist Juraj Madari studied at the Conservatory in Bratislava and Janacek Academy in Brno . He currently plays in the Bohdan Warchal Chamber Orchestra as well as the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Cellist Jozef Podhor?nsky studied at the Conservatory in Bratislava and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow . He has been Professor of Cello at the Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Bratislava since 1996 and a guest teacher at numerous international courses. His varied discography ranges from concerti of Vivaldi to Gubaidulina. He has premiered more than ten major works by Slovak composers and has recorded with Capella Istropolitana.
Pianist Nora Skuta, one of the Slovakia´s leading musicians, is active as a soloist and chamber pianist. Her repertoire ranges from the works of Bach to contemporary composers. Skuta has collaborated with numerous significant composers, including Gubaidulina, Reich, Andriessen, Kancheli and Christian Wolff. She has performed in recital and at festivals throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia, and received a special prize for “best performance of a new work” at the Gaudeamus International Competition in Rotterdam . Her solo disc of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano received double five-star accolades in BBC Music Magazine, Classic FM and International Record Review. Skuta’s large discography includes concerti by a variety of contemporary composers, including a recording of Carson Cooman’s first and second piano concertos.
Violinist Mari?n Svetlik studied at the Conservatory in Žilina and Janác(ek Academy in Brno . During his studies, he was a prize winner at many international competitions. Mr. Svetlik was a member of Bohdan Warchal Chamber Orchestra and is the concertmaster of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Svetlik recorded numerous solo recordings for Slovak Radio and TV and regularly appears at music festivals in Slovakia and abroad.
Violinist Juraj Tomka studied at the Conservatory in Bratislava and Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Bratislava . In the 2008–09 Season, he held the position of second concertmaster of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Tomka is a member of piano trio Istropolis and a winner of a Yamaha Artist Grant for the year 2010.
Cellist Ivan Tvrd?k studied at the Conservatory in Žilina and Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Bratislava . Since 1988 he has been a member of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and has held the principal cello chair since 1993.
Violist Juli?n Veverica studied at the conservatory in Banská Bystrica, the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague , and the Janá?ek Academy in Brno . He has been a prize winner in numerous international competitions. He serves as principal viola of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Violinist Marek Zwiebel studied at the State Conservatory Košice and the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava . He is co-founder of the Zwiebel Quartet which has won many prize and performed throughout Europe at major music festivals.
Violist Peter Zwiebel studied at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava and the Hochschule für Musik Basel. He has served as section leader of the European Philharmonic and the Akademie Symphonieorchester and is a current member of the Slovak Chamber Orchestra, Quasars Ensemble and the Melos-Ethos Ensemble. He is co-founder of the Zwiebel Quartet.
CARSON COOMAN (b.1982)
A TRIP TO THE SKY (2009) for any instrument or combination of instruments
SCHUMANN SERENADE (2007) for string trio
QUARTET FOR PIANO AND STRINGS
(A SEA LITURGY) (2009)
ESTAMPIE (2008) for 2 violins
TOMBEAU-ARIA (2003) for string quartet
CAVATINA (2008) for viola and piano
FOUR APHORISTIC INVENTIONS (2003) for string quartet
PLANCTUS (2005) for viola
VIOLA QUINTET (UNQUIET PARABLES) (2009) for 2 violins, 2 violas, and cello