Early baroque and braveries

21 Oktober 2008

Standing Ovation for the Organist from Milan at the Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul Neuhausen in the Fields

Again and again music director Markus Grohmann succeeds in winning famous organists for the Organ recitals in Neuhausen. After the summer break one of the most famous Italian organists of the younger generation Giorgio Parolini introduced himself to the parish of Saint Peter and Paul. The musician, born in 1971, was successful in various international competitions after his harpsichord and organ studies in Italy and at the Genevan conservatory. Beside heavy concert schedule Parolini works currently as Titular organist at the basilica Saint Eufemia in Milan. He brought an interesting program to Neuhausen. It stretched from the early-baroque sounds Girolamo Frescobaldi’s over the Italian late romanticism up to the harmonic boldness of Max Reger. Variety was assured. Beside the immense sounds of the big Walcker organ restored in 2005, the organ positive of Hieronymus Spiegel with its more delicate registers brought additional colour into the musical kaleidoscope. Parolini first played from the chancel on this jewel of an instrument. The different sequences of Frescobaldis „Canzona Quarta“ – a playful miniature brilliant in tone – were underlined by differentiated registrations. One heard quite different sounds then from the organ loft. Josef Gabriel Rheinberger’s deep-romantically coloured „Sonata a minor No. 4 op. 98“ unfolded with full sound and thick voicings. After a heavy introduction fine sounds of the reed stops beguiled in the Intermezzo, and in the Fuga cromatica Rheinberger showed how skilfully one can contrapuntally process a subject, which mostly subsists of semitones. Two Chorale Preludes and Prelude and Fugue in a-minor of Johannes Brahms and compositions of his compatriot Marco Enrico Bossi were accomplished equally as well by Parolini. One enjoyed the soothing quiet tones of „Chant du Soir“ and „Ave Maria“, interrupted the by festive-striking „Alleluja final“, for which the organist did not shy to use an occasionally perhaps too vehement organ registration. In his Chorale Prelude on „Rendez à Dieu“ Bernard W. Sanders, church musician active in Tuttlingen, prefers harmonic clarity and rather simple lines. In contrast to this Max Reger’s organ compositions are quite a different caliber. Both in „Toccata op. 59 No. 5“ and in the subsequent Fugue from the same Opus Reger tests the borders of tonality and while holding up an almost Bach-like severity of the texture. The organ unfolds all her splendour, becomes the symphonic instrument. Giorgio Parolini pulled out all the stops of his virtuoso skill and creative power again. When the final tone in immense Tutti had died away in the “Cathedral in the Fields”, the eager concert-goers celebrated him with standing ovations.
Rainer Kellmayer

From “Esslinger Zeitung”, 21/10/2008