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Picturesque: Cameron Carpenter's mobile-ish Marshall & Ogletree & our 100 year old Rieger

The Wiener Konzerthaus saw the European premiere of Cameron Carpenter's made-to-order Marshall & Ogletree digital organ, his mobile touring organ… if you can call something that needs two 18-wheelers to be moved truly “mobile”.

In any case, the instrument allows him to pull of his organistic pyrotechnic-tricks without wasting hours or days before each concert trying to figure out the stops, getting the registration just right (and he registers—every phrase—meticulously!), and adapting to the touch, feel, and play of the organ at whatever hall or church he has just arrived. That may take one element away, from what makes organs special (the adaption to it... the individual character of each instrument—warts and all), but it also adds something to it: namely that Carpenter-element of Barnum & Bailey—meets Franz Liszt which is something rather different and ought not be compared to the traditional organ recital. It’s certainly good to have both: the sometimes admittedly stodgy, professorial organist diligently playing Reger and Bach and Vierne… and then the young man who reminds me of nothing so much as a love-child between Offenbach and Pee-wee Herman who ran through a glue factory and then stood nearby an exploding Swarovski outlet.

At the Konzerthaus Magazin there are several pictures of Carpenter’s brand new baby—as it sits on stage together with the 100-year old Rieger organ of the Konzerthaus (the largest of its kind).

Also: Here’s a little video made for the launch at Lincoln Center in March:; here he is discussing the idea of having three such beasts… one stationed in Europe, one in North America, and one in Asia:

Mobile speaker system of the Marshall&Ogletree opus 8

More here.

Rieger 1913 - con gran espressione

Marshall&Ogletree opus 8 - molto dramatico

Rieger 1913 - Detail, stops

Marshall&Ogletree opus 8 - Keyboards

Marshall&Ogletree opus 8 + Rieger 1913

Marshall&Ogletree opus 8 (Detail) and our Rieger 1913 behind it.

Großer Saal with Marshall&Ogletree opus 8

Marshall&Ogletree opus 8 - Detail, stops

1 comment:

jfl said...

Apparently just one 18-wheeler, actually. Still...