Classical

Dancing At The Keys

12 SEP 08 VIVIEN SCHWEITZER

Many music lovers may associate the organ with a certain level of decorum and solemnity. It is, after all, played in church. But Cameron Carpenter adds a touch of showbiz pizazz to his performances. On the DVD released with Revolutionary, his new Telarc CD, he looks like the Fred Astaire of the organ.

Dressed in a glittery white shirt and white shoes, his feet dance over the pedals at dizzying speeds as he plays a transcription of Chopin's famous "Revolutionary" etude.

The disc includes plenty of other works not usually played on the organ, such as Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (The Dance in the Village Inn), which Carpenter performs in his own virtuosic arrangement, and Variations on a theme from Bizet's Carmen, in an arrangement by Carpenter and Horowitz.

The disc also the premiere recording of Cameron's "Love Song No. 1," his striking "remix" of Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue, Bach's Chorale Prelude BWV 659 and "Solitude," Carpenter's effective arrangement of the Duke Ellington original. All works are performed on a "virtual pipe organ," a controversial choice since many purists prefer acoustic organs. But, Carpenter seems ready to defy convention in the organ world.