Cameron Carpenter’s Revolutionary threatens to turn the organ world upside down. Among organists it’s generally accepted that he’s unmatched technically, but this debut CD reveals that his approach to the organ is unlike anything currently in the market. He is such an exciting new artist that the Royal Albert Hall has invited him to make his debut performance in the UK in a solo recital on the 21st October
Cameron Carpenter has been lauded as “the Maverick organist”, “madly original”, and “a superstar of the 21st-century organ”. His debut recording, Revolutionary, showcases an artist who is not only breaking new ground, but who runs a musical gamut that any musician would be extremely hard-pressed to match. There are only four organ works included. Three are major pinnacles of the organ repertoire (Demessieux: Etude in Octaves;Dupré: Prelude and Fugue in B major; and Bach: Now Come, Saviour of the Gentiles) while the fourth is the world premiere recording of Cameron’s suggestive Love Song No. 1 (2008).
The album’s major departures are found in Duke Ellington’s Solitude (wittily combined with Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze); Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz, and Vladimir Horowitz’ Carmen Variations. There are also two of Chopin’s Études in versions so convincing that they might have been organ music; and Cameron’s Evolutionary Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, an outrageous survey of the various instrumental arrangements that made Bach’s work famous.
The album was recorded not on a pipe organ, but on the equally revolutionary Marshall & Ogletree Virtual Pipe Organ at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City – an organ that, rising out of the destruction of Trinity’s pipe organ on September 11, 2001, continues to challenge the status quo of the pipe organ and the artistic possibilities of organ playing in general.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.