A wonderful virtuosity

20 octobre 2009

Kronach: A sunny greeting from the “Bella Italia” has warmed Kronach Chistuskirke, when this week-end the second concert of the V International Organ Festival took place. Marius Popp, kantor and organizer of the Festival, succeeded to invite for this concert the famous international organist Giorgio Parolini. Parolini, born in 1971, has brought the public through a three centuries tour of organ music, whose barycentre was made by Italian composers. Giorgio Parolini, organist of the famous Basilica of S. Eufemia in Milan, has however started the concert with a homage to Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy of whom this year is the 200 anniversary of his birth. Already with the Ostinato in C minor the excellent organist – who among other prizes boasts the Premier Prix de Virtuosité of the Superior Conservatory in Geneva – has caught the attention with his vigorous and at the same time rich of sensibility way of playing. With Mendelssohn’s last Sonata, Op. 65 n. 6 (on Vater Unser) Parolini has demonstrated in an impressive way the richness of faceting of this piece technically very difficult. Mendelssohn asks for the full skill of the organist on the whole extension of pedal and manual. Parolini has perfectly controlled both the composition and the instrument, playing with heart, in an intuitive way, following a heavenly inspiration. The moving atmosphere has been followed by a series of pieces of Italian organ music, pieces very different among them. Parolini has opened this part of the concert with the “Sonata sui flauti” and “Toccata per il Deo Gratias” by Giambattista Martini (1706-1784). By Giuseppe Gherardeschi (1759-1815) we have listed to the fanciful “Rondò in Sol Maggiore” in which the composer’s love for opera and theatre can be recognized. “Solo di oboe” and “Invocazione” both by the romantic composer Filippo Capocci (1840-1911) are referred to the French and German organistic schools. Very evident the influence of the Gregorian Chant in the piece of the contemporary composer Eugenio Maria Fagiani (born in 1972), Fagiani has dedicated to Giorgio Parolini “Veni Creator Spiritus” written in 2009. In his piece Fagiani has orientated himself towards the very famous composer and organist Naji Hakim (1955). The composition is free from the rhythm point of view and rich of effect, and its elements are elaborated in a pressing way. The motives are characteristics, very quick and changing, which move with big dissonances on the Cantus Firmus presented to the pedal. Continuous changes in time and motives – that partially remind to dance and even to Pop Music – bring to the last sunny Tutti which ends this homage to the Holy Spirit. Fallen into oblivion since several years, today Marco Enrico Bossi’s compositions (1861-1925) are living a new re-birth. Parolini has presented “Rédemption” Op. 104/5 and “Allegretto” Op. 92/3. Afterwards the master of the virtuous music has shown his high skill at the Steinmeyer organ of Chirstuskirke playing the “Studio Sinfonico” Op. 78. The kantor Marius Popp explains why the previous organists avoided this complicated piece. “The big challenge is the use of the pedal on 2 and a half octaves and by the rapid alternation between pedal and manual. At the end hands and feet go down and up with high speed on the whole extension of the keyboard and this requires high skill. Organists extraordinary prepared as Giorgio Parolini is, today dare newly with these difficult pieces, and Parolini is not only a deep expert of Italian organ music but also a virtuous of the organ” Parolini plays as soloist in famous cathedral in Europe and United States, among them Notre Dame in Paris and St. Patrick in New York. “It’s quite possible to reach a large number of people in a big cathedral, but a concert in a small church as Kronach one is for me attractive as many. The public comes to listen to the music”, Parolini says. The public thanked him for his concert with enthusiastic applauses. And he granted a small “Humoresque” as an encore.
Sabine Raithel

“Ressort NP Feuilleton” – October 20th 2009