Virtuosity and powerful playing

29 August 2008

Summer organ recital: Giorgio Parolini from Milan plays in St. Paul´s, Darmstadt.

DARMSTADT. The program which the Italian organist Giorgio Parolini presented in the organ summer in St. Paul´s in Darmstadt led from the baroque up to the modern age. Right from the start with Buxtehude’s d-Moll-Passacaglia Parolini, who works in Milan as an organist and lecturer, made clear that he loves the strong, luminous register colours. Also, he succeeded in illustrating the strict structure of the work clearly. This also held true for the performance of two short Chorale-Preludes by Buxtehude. Parolini proceeded with 2 of Bach´s most popular organ works: the Chorale-Prelude on “Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme” (BWV 645) and Prelude and Fugue in D-Major (BVW 532). In these he summoned all of his technique and combined virtuosity with powerful playing. Unfortunately the keen harmonic progressions in the Adagio at the end of the Prelude were somewhat obscured by the sonic rush. César Franck´s Chorale Nr. 2 in b-minor came off in Parolini´s interpretation almost like a symphonic tone poem thanks to the characteristic illumination in which he bathed the various visages of the chorale which Franck himself invented. The organist played the vision “Joie et clarté des Corps Glorieux“ (“Joy and brilliance of the transfigured bodies”) from the cycle “Les Corps Glorieux” by Messiaen. This cycle is dedicated to the theme of the resurrection. The pictorial sections were strongly contrasted. Subsequently Parolini drew attention to the American composer Bernard Wayne Sanders who lives and works as a church musician in Tuttlingen since 1994. His “Aria” and a Chorale-Prelude on “Rendez à Dieu“ were heard – catchy pieces in simple fashion, off the track of modernisms in melody and harmony. With Reger´s Toccata in d minor and Fugue in D major from opus 59 Parolini made a striking final point. He succeeded in bringing the improvisatory Toccata under a big curve of tension and in building up the Fugue from a tender beginning to the hymnal end purposefully and impressively. He responded to the persistent applause of the listeners with a playful encore.
Klaus Trapp

From „Darmstaedter Echo“, August the 29th, 2008