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Thread: Gert van Hoef ... vs ... Cameron Carpenter

  1. #11
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Excellent thoughts, Arthur. Thanks for your observations. I've come to pretty nearly the same conclusions about both these guys. I only wish I could gain a small fraction of the skill and energy that these youngsters bring to the bench!
    John
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  2. #12
    pp Pianissimo mrdc2000's Avatar
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    When Gert plays, it is about the music and when he has those wonderful pipe organs at his disposal it helps making good music easier.
    When Cameron plays, it is mostly about Cameron such as (look what I can do), and the digitals he plays also do not help getting the music out.
    The extreme ends of the musical spectrum between these two performers is far greater than the old comparisons between Fox vs Biggs, whose recitals we have attended during 70s 80s
    I would place Gert musically somewhere between Fox-Biggs. Cameron is out in the wild blue yonder musically speaking, with his speed and skills, all on extremes, the pipe organ is no longer usable since the pipes cant speak fast enough for the sounds to be an intelligible coherent effort at music making.
    But there is room for any kind of performer in this world, to each his or her own. Just keep making music, there is always someone willing to listen and maybe even pay for it.

  3. #13
    ppp Pianississmo MatteoB's Avatar
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    I have been following Gert since he was about 11 years old on Youtube and he is a fine player if a little academic. I find his performances enjoyable but not especially exciting. I can't compare him to Cameron Carpenter though. No matter what you think of his style and views Cameron is supernally gifted in a way not many musicians are.He has a brain like a computer. I think Gert's ability comes from hard work and enthusiasm but Cameron's comes from God: just my opinion!

  4. #14
    pp Pianissimo F Kalbrenner's Avatar
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    Now I have to be honest here but I’m not a fan of Cameron Carpenter. I don’t have anything offensive to say (though that probably won’t stop members of the Cameron fan club from dropping their monocles into their champagne over some mere negative remarks) but what I have to say is not positive.
    My opinion I think can be summed up by this speech on the term edgy in a clip from the animated TV series Daria.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqJTMl1F9Wg
    So basically as much as everyone sees him as being some sort of big anti-establishment figure to me he just feels like something that was created by business men.
    One cartoon character that I personally think Cameron relates to is Poochie from the Simpsons. The reason why is because I think episode which Poochie is in (episode 14 season 8) loosely relates to what has been going on in the organ world. So to summarize what happened in the episode the Itchy and Scratchy cartoons were starting to run out of steam. So after an enlightening speech from Lisa Simpson the studio was inspired to rejuvenate Itchy and scratchy by creating a new character for it called Poochie. But the significance of Poochie was that he was a character that kids can relate to. But Poochie was a flop because Poochie doesn’t relate to the younger generation. It’s probably a bit far-fetched but I think the organ world has been following a similar path. For example- the organs popularity falls onto hard time and needs to save its self by reaching out to the younger generation. Cameron then comes along clamming to be some sort of savour. Only difference is that he has come out as some sort of success.
    I have three theories as to why he didn’t flop like Poochie. The first theories is that he’s mainly popular with an older generation, the second is that most critics are to embarrass to say anything unflattering about him because they may get lot of backlash from the Cameron fan club condemning them for being some sort of purist. And then third reason (which I think is the real reason for his popularity) which you can find by clicking the link below to a review of the movie Moulin Rouge and then fast forward to a certain segment of the review which is between 37:00 and 39:29.
    I should mention that because I’m not posting this rant in the grease pit I probably should warn you that the videos do contain a bit of everyday swearing but I’m sure most of the members of the organ forum are old enough to hear the odd rude word.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPUPcD91mXY
    Speaking of edgy cartoon characters there is also a show that was made sometime around the early 200’s called Loonatics Unleashed which I also think relates very well to Cameron. You can see a mention of this cartoon in a video of top 10 edgy cartoons around 6:18 to 7:26 in the link below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UzWhtQBNoE

    Q "When are we going to get to the fireworks factory?!"




    Last edited by F Kalbrenner; 02-08-2018 at 11:14 AM.

  5. #15
    pp Pianissimo F Kalbrenner's Avatar
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    I have to make a correction with the Milhouse’s quote from my Cameron rant. It should have been “when are they” rather than “when are we” but by the time I found out which was the next day it was too late to correct it and it really didn't seem that worth it.

    The only reason why I’m pointing this out now is because I recently remembered another Simpson’s moment which I think is also a good metaphor for what Cameron is trying to achieve with the organ. It’s the scene from the episode ‘Homer’s Barber shop quartet’ when Homer’s quartet starts to lose steam and Barney comes back with his new art house girl friend with plan to re-energies the Quartet by taking it to some strange new places.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGjnwsaYdww

  6. #16
    p Piano voet's Avatar
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    I have enjoyed reading the comments of everyone on this thread. I wonder how much the cultural milieu has influenced the approach to the organ of Gert and Cameron.

    I have heard many organ concerts in the Netherlands and I think it is fair to say that Dutch culture is much more enamored of the organ than American culture. In the Netherlands most of the performances I have been to have been well attended by people of all ages. Dutch friends who do not attend church, still have opinions about their favorite organ. Often on market days there is an organ recital at the local church.

    Fine organists playing on stunning instruments in this country often have difficulty attracting much of an audience to their concerts. Those who do attend are usually older. Most of my US friends would never think of attending an organ performance.

    With this disparity in the two cultures, I can understand why there is a different approach to their performance style and literature. Personally, I can appreciate both.

  7. #17
    ppp Pianississmo fatslim65's Avatar
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    Cameron is talented, but I'm a big Gert van Hoef fan. His music comes from within, and he's always smiling and/or looking very content behind the console playing. He like Fox is an organ evangelist of sorts, going to churches and venues explaining how the organ works to common folks. There is video of him doing this on YouTube. I also like the fact that he plays a wide variety of music and seems to be a very nice young man. He recently married the young lady seen in the videos as his registrant.

  8. #18
    pp Pianissimo F Kalbrenner's Avatar
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    One thing that I would also want to say about Cameron (even though some people may find this ridiculous) is that I don’t think Cameron really is in love with the organ and that he is just playing the wrong instrument. It’s unlikely that this is true since this is just a wild theory of mine but who knows.
    I remember a long time ago my Mum once quoted a story that I think was by Douglas Addams. It was about a puddle of water that believed that it was made for the puddle it was in because it fitted into the puddle so well. But then the sun came out or something and started to evaporate the water from the puddle but while the water was evaporating it something like “I can’t be evaporating I was made for this spot!”
    One thing that we have to remember about the classical organ is that although we praise it for being this mighty colour machine that can emulate other instruments and we constantly reinforce how great it is by comparing it to simplistic instrument like the piano. But we forget that since the early 20th century there has been a rise in electronic music not just electronic organs but electronic music in general such as the Hammond and Moog synthesizer. To confess electronic music is not something I know much about. I just got into this sort of music through Wendy Carols’s album Switched on Bach. But what I want to demonstrate here is what sounds synthesizers can make when they’re not impersonating other instruments.
    Many people would probably sigh at the sound of something like a Moog synthesizer and remark in a very posh manor “what a dreadful noise these machines make. It would be better if they were merely used to recreate sounds of far better instruments like the pipe organ rather create an identity of the own.” But to be honest I enjoy the sounds these synthesizers make but I sometimes find it unfortunate that we pressure electronic music into emulating sounds of other instruments rather than encourage it to have an identity of their own.
    Now I remember someone I think on this forum said something about how the sound of the pipe organ even when on a digital organ is unable to keep up with Cameron’s fast playing so I curious if his playing would work better on something similar to the sound of a Moog synthesizer. I don’t think it would be easy to perform on a moog since these machines are unfortunately polyphonic but it does give an idea as to how responsive these machines can be. Below are links to two Studies No. 1 and 10 from Chopin’s opus 10.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7lXeRfmmHs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6ODPR9QZ74
    The next link is a video of a recording of Bach’s Keyboard concerto in A major BWV 1055. This recording would have to be one of my favourite electronic interpretations of a classic work. The guy who made this specializes in synthesized renditions of popular classics similar to the album switched on Bach by Wendy Carlos. I recommend checking out some of the other videos on this channel as I personally enjoyed the videos he’s done.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSt7zlXlor8
    Another video from this channel I strongly recommend by listening to is the Sunrise from the Grand Canyon suite by Ferdinand Grofe. Although I should warn you that the visuals may make you a bit dizzy.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm70_JBpJpk
    With that all out of the way one argument that Cameron and a lot of people would make is that organs have bass pedals and multiple keyboards which is something the piano doesn’t have. But we also have to remember that the bass pedals are no stranger with instruments such as the piano and especially the harpsichord. Plus there is nothing stoping people from taking an AGO pedal board and strapping it onto a synthesizer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdEGiELy7h0
    One video I would like to leave you on is a contemporary version of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 which uses a mix of sampled as well as electronic sounds. It’s not the most extravagant take on an old classic especially when compared to the Bach and Chopin recordings on the same channel but I find there is an undertone to this video that would the make ears bleed of those with sensitive tastes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CLkQFA19Kg
    Last edited by F Kalbrenner; 03-19-2018 at 07:02 AM.

  9. #19
    ppp Pianississmo Larc's Avatar
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    If a mere layman is permitted to comment... Gert and Cameron are both undeniably magnificent organists. But I find Gert's playing to be significantly more musical than Cameron's. After all, it's the music that is most important. Or, at least, it should be.

  10. #20
    ppp Pianississmo profeluisegarcia's Avatar
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    Yeah¡ Carpenter and Gert are inconmensurable. Two styles, characters, personality, repertoires, public attitudes, values ..well different. Besides, the first one qualifies -I think- as a genuine genius.
    OTOH, to my taste, the best organist nowadays is Wolfgang Seifen.¿Why? What I value most in an organist is his talent to make complex and harmonious improvisations. I do not know someone like him. He makes me believe in re-incarnation (Bach´s, in his case).
    Luis

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