Cameron Carpenter…modern organist of note

I love to play Bach. His piano works are absolutely wonderful but pulling out all the stops on the organ used to give me such a power kick. Such an amazing feeling. And I often miss giving my fingers and feet a good workout on my favourite instrument. I haven’t played in years but when I did I used to get such joy out of adding a modern slant to the pieces. I don’t really have a chance to play at the moment, listening to Cameron Carpenter is the next best option. Having recently seen him in live action at the KKL Luzern, I was just blown away by this wonderful artist and his international touring organ. Oh what a performance he gave. (Get rid of any preconceived ideas of boring organ music)

Marshall&Ogletree opus 8 - molto dramatico

Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) had each of the 30 variations presented with a unique Carpenter-spin on it. Well, many might not appreciate this as a number of “purists” walked out fairly early on. What a pity. Isn’t art about personal interpretation? Anyway…each to their own. After interval, followed a contrasting Symphony Nr 2 (Romantic) by Howard Hanson and arranged for organ by Cameron Carpenter. It was so vivid that one could picture a movie unfold in the mind. Just stunning! I wish it hadn’t ended.

Well…here one of my favourite pieces by my favourite organist, albeit not what I heard at the KKL or on the touring organ…but hey… (turn up the volume to the full!):

Oh well…addendum…just found this performed on the touring organ…sigh…wonderful:

Discovering Organists

I absolutely love discovering musicians or bands that I’ve never heard of. And…I love organ music. But big, powerful organ music. When I used to play, the more stops I could pull out and the bigger the chords, the better. There’s nothing quite like an organist’s power kick. While most people associate organ music with “dreary” church music, it absolutely doesn’t have to be that way. There are some amazing organ works out there and who says you can’t improvise hymns and add some “oomph” to them (no offense meant)?

And then there’s Bach. Last night, I randomly searched for Bach Organ music and was rewarded with someone called Cameron Carpenter (apologies if I should know him). Wow…now he’s a welcome shift in organist stereotyping. I like. I like. Have a look and listen to the wonderful Toccata and Fugue in d minor:

Here’s another performance: