World Championship2018

“Cinema and football are very similar”: the German accompanies the World Cup 2018 matches on the organ in the church

And football games are turning into an even bigger show.

Karsten-Stefan Graf von Botmer during the concert. Getty Images

The well-known German organist Karsten-Stefan Graf von Botmer began organizing concerts in the church with the World Cup 2018. The musician improvises on the instrument during the games, which are shown on the big screen. His story was told by The New York Times.

The place of representation of von Botmer was chosen Protestant Church of the Twelve Apostles in Berlin. A musician could not physically play during all the games of the championship, so he chooses only “selected” meetings for the concerts. In social networks you can find episodes from performances for Spain-Morocco and Iceland-Croatia.

Tiki taka en la iglesia y con órgano tenebroso y llamando de todo al equipo contrario en la #iglesia Danke!!!!!! #zwölfapostelkirche #kurfürstenstrglam #stephangrafvonbothmer #stummfilm https://www.zwoelf-apostel-berlin.de/m/blog/31365 Bravo bravo bravo #berlinbyberliners #ejspañistán #españa #fúmbol #futibol #tikitaka

A post shared by Rosarisa Rosa Risa (@rosarisarosarisa) on

Von Botmer is known both in Germany and abroad, including in Russia. He became famous for concerts, where he accompanies silent films: for example, German classical maps “Nosferatu. Symphony of Horror “and” Metropolis “. On the weekend in 2007, the musician played for 30 hours in a row against the background of the films of German director Ernst Lubich.

In 2008, von Botmer first wanted to cross music and football – just in the summer of that year in Austria and Switzerland was the European Championships. Judging by the interview with the NY Times, he had no problems negotiating with clergymen. And although the musician from the outset was confident of the uniqueness of the idea, he still doubted whether the football fans would trade the hike in sports bars for the church. And yet, about 500 people came to the first concert. Since then, he has been trying to arrange such performances during all major football events.

From what viewers experience: von Botmer plays Darth Vader’s “Star Wars” theme , when a judge fixes a rule violation and gives out yellow or red cards. During the tricks, the soundtrack from Spaghetti Westerns is included . Especially the triumphant moments of this or that team the musician notes national anthems of the countries.

from NY Times

In the church there is no silence during such unusual concerts. Spectators, like in a bar or on a fan zone, react to events during a match and how von Botmer chooses music for playing moments.

The musician admits that if a regular film composer reacts only to a film, then the audience of such concerts responds not only to the football game, but also to his music. And the organist, in turn, has to react to the match and the attitude of the audience.

Germany vs. Italy match von Botmer

The World Cup in Russia is already remembered by a loud failure of the German national team, which could not leave the group. The match of the Germans, lost to South Korea with a score of 0: 2, went to the accompaniment of von Botmer. The organist suggested that in a sense he helped the audience. “Music somehow eased the mood after the defeat, because it’s more about the sport itself, rather than about the victory,” said von Botmer.

In football there are scenes of success, tension, tremendous passion – you experience all those emotions that you get from watching movies. I do not know who said it first, but my idea proved – cinema and football are very similar.

Karsten-Stefan Graf von Bothmer
German organist
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