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Carson Cooman is a prolific composer, organ recitalist and writer, and yet the main piece here is a surprise, a work of stark and hectic grandeur. The Evening Choir is a cantata based on a poem by the disturbed Transcendentalist Jones Very, whose huge output of verse was only published in complete form 110 years after his death in 1880. Very’s ‘madness’, believed by some (including Emerson) to be a sign of spiritual election, is reflected in a fiery, often staccato organ part which sits at an acute angle to the soaring choral score. Nothing else on the set has quite the impact of the title piece, but Convivium give a glowing version of The Kingdom of Justice, a sequence of Biblical settings that might well have pleased old Emerson, and drawn even Thoreau back to the church, while a Veni Sancte Spiritus, based on the ‘Golden Sequence’, is wonderful but oddly placed in this highly various programme.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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