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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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The Organ Music of
Sandra GAY

Variations on Faith Journey (2000)
Meditation and Dance on 'Weisse Flaggen' (2000)
A Host of Angels (2001)
In God's Image (2001)
Partita on a Hymn Tune of Tallis (1975)
With Shouts of Loud Praise (2000)
Carson COOMAN

Jesus is the Sunlight (2001)
From Past to Future (2001)
When the Morning Stars Began to Sing (2001)
With Quiet Joy and Inner Peace (2000)
Sandra Gay and Carson Cooman, organ
Rec. Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester, New York
ZIMBEL ZR101 [66'54]

 

This is a collection of mostly recent compositions by two active American church musician/composers. Carson's pieces are based on hymn tunes by Alfred V Fedak, while the last pair of pieces on the disc are duets. The music is mostly harmonically static and unremarkable. In genre it ranges from little more than American 'bubble-gum' commercial service music, ('Variations on Faith Journey’, 'Meditation and Dance on Weisse Flaggen' - British readers will equally understand the genre to which I'm referring) to Gay's more harmonically interesting but listless A Host of Angels. The latter is a short suite of five pieces with titles such as Angel Dust, Guardian Angels and Angels Praising God.

The organ is a crashingly dull 1956 Austin in a dead acoustic. Perhaps some of the pieces - Gay's Variations on a Hymn Tune of Tallis and Carson's music in general come to mind - could have sounded rather more effective on a quality instrument in a good space. Both player/composers revel endlessly in the colourless celestes, though all playing on the disc is perfectly competent.

The inlay card consists of a brief biography of both composers and even briefer thumbnail descriptions of each piece. Probably the raison d'etre for the disc was partially to sell scores, Zimbel - of which Sandra Gay is president - also publish a number of the works.

Chris Bragg


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