Cameron Carpenter, “the most eccentric organist in the world” (Die Zeit), / enjoys surprising his audience with unusual sound effects. To open our organ series he will play works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Registrated in an unconventional way and performed with an exuberant joy in playing, Carpenter casts a completely new light on the Baroque master’s complex polyphonic contrapuntal technique.
Prelude and Fugue in A major BWV 536
Trio Sonata in D minor BWV 527
Choral Prelude In dir ist Freude BWV 615
Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 543
Trio Sonata in E flat major BWV 525
Fantasy and Fugue in C minor BWV 537
Choral Prelude O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß BWV 622
Prelude and Fugue in B minor BWV 544
Choral Prelude Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 661
Organ Concerto in C major BWV 595
Introduction: 7:00 pm
Cameron Carpenter, “the most eccentric organist in the world” (Die Zeit), is dedicating the opening of the philharmonic organ series to Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the most significant (organ) composers of all time. Bach’s extensive body of work poses the highest demands on organists through the present day, as he uses almost all types of forms and movements known at the time. Anyone who imagines, however, that he’ll be hearing solely familiar works at this concert is mistaken. That’s because Carpenter, who already at the age of 11 made a name for himself with a complete performance of the Well-Tempered Clavier, is not afraid to make surprising changes in register and tempo which cast a completely new light on passages one through force of habit hardly even hears: one oft-repeated tone – fitted with a reed stop by Carpenter – sounds clearly audibly through the web of voices for the first time, in the course of which the registration, in general extremely high-contrast, ensures plastic transparency of Bach’s complex polyphonic contrapuntal technique.
Puritans of the historicist organ scene may be bemused when Carpenter, who now lives in Berlin, launches into improvised cadenzas in the middle of a Bach fugue. New worlds will open up, however, if you engage the energy that is released here, the just about untameable energy of this homo ludens in sound. Besides the highly virtuoso trio sonatas BWV 525 and 527, Carpenter presents chorale preludes, preludes and fugues, as well as the refined organ concerto in C major BWV 595 that Bach, when concertmaster and court organist in Weimar, wrote based on a violin concerto by the highly gifted prince Johann Ernst, who passed away at the age of 19.