Burkhard Mohr (b. 1955) — Sonata V (2020) for organ
1) Fantasy on the Name Carson Cooman
2) In Tragic Times
3) Symphonic Intermezzo
4) Toccata of Friendship
The composer writes: “‘Sonata V’ (2020) was written as a gift for Carson Cooman’s 38th birthday. The immediate idea became the outer movements: a fantasy and toccata based on the letters of his name—each movement just 38 bars long. However, the time of the piece’s composition in early June 2020 was far from a tranquil one: not just with the Coronavirus shaking the USA but also the violent murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests for Black Lives Matter. This gave reason to think about the inner movements: something to show solidarity with these important issues at a time when a typical ‘birthday celebration’ does not make sense. The second movement is based on the musical pitch letters from George Floyd’s name: G-E-G-E-F-D, which when put together form an interesting chord. The third movement is an expressive intermezzo in rondo form; a mournful, melodic section alternates with call and response episodes.”
German composer Burkhard Mohr (b. 1955) was born in Gambach/Oberhessen and was educated in Frankfurt where he studied music and theology. He also attended the Darmstadt new music courses with Stockhausen, Kagel, Ligeti, and Xenakis. He has worked as a church musician in Frankfurt-Höchst and Wiesbaden and also taught music for many years at the technical university in Frankfurt. Mohr has composed numerous musical works in many genres, including several operas and orchestral works along with much chamber music and music for choir and organ. Mohr’s music usually concerns itself with the blurry boundaries and connections between atonal (12-tone) and tonal (triadic) materials and with the unexpected (or traditionally extended) formal designs that can result from teasing out these connections.