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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “If You Can’t Say Something Nice II”

September 21, 2008

[editors note: this email is posted exactly as it was received]

Dear Michael,

this cameron so desperately tries to outstokovsky stokovsky –and unfortunately, he seems to have all the technical wherewithal–that it is pathetic, indeed a sendup of bach’s most famous, and perhaps most often performed, organ work; the man whom he attempts to emulate, indeed surpass, on his organ at least had a modicum of taste and a decent sense of propriety – which completely lacks this little fella
i must confess that sadly i never heard fox in concert but also am not exactly enamored with that man’s t+f rendition. we of course don’t know how the great johann sebastian played this work, surely also with something akin to aplomb, but am fully confident that he didn’t have to make, and had the good sense to avoid, a public display of one of his most exciting orgasms thus
did you notice that this idiot genius dimmed the sound all the way to the vanishing point? repeatedly?
so happy that old bach did not have to listen to this disgraceful exercise of a thoroly unripe prune, i switched over to our friend dr mike at radioio where i was greeted with a pretty and very gentle version of elgar’s morning song




I expect that Mr. Stokowski’s transformation of the T&F in D-minor (which may or may not be by Bach, and may or may not originally be a work for the organ..so wondering ‘how he played it’ is perhaps a moot point?) was chided for a ‘lack of taste’ in his own time (and since). And, frankly, with the T&F itself, propriety is the last thing that work possesses...it is off-the-charts wild. It is as full-blown a ‘public display’ as has ever been written.
As for dimming the sound to the vanishing point, the deficiency is in the broadcast. If you were in the room with the instrument, you would experience a dramatic and broad dynamic range.
If you read about Bach, you should know that he was considered something of the “Cameron Carpenter” of his day...upsetting a lot of people with his obstreperous hymn accompaniments (not to mention the extra time he ‘took off’ to visit Buxtehude...without proper advance permission requested from his employer...almost went to jail for that one!).
Sorry that you have such a misguided view of CC. He may not be to your liking, but your reasoning is flawed in your unhappiness about him.




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