Parolini combines Italian and German Composers

1 août 2017

Gräfenhain concert leaves splendid impressions and reveals musical relationship between the Thuringian Georg Böhm and Johann Sebastian Bach

After a purely German program in his last appearance two years ago, this time the Milanese organist Giorgio Parolini brought all different kinds of music of Italian composers into the Trinity church in Gräfenhain.
The concert began with three works by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) which the organist introduced in bright registers, as if illuminated by sunrays. He boldly played « Toccata quinta », this was followed by a Toccata and a Canzone from the collection « Fiori musicali » (« Musical flowers »), two smaller organ pieces to Mass parts from « Missa degli Apostoli » (« Mass of the Apostles »).

« German earthiness » was expressed in a Passacaglia d minor by Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707). In Buxtehude’s Chorale Prelude « Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott » the melody was hidden in the composition by almost unrelenting ornamentation as it were. Parolini selected for this colorful stops and thus left a splendid impression.
There can be much speculation on the connection between the Thuringian Georg Böhm (1661-1733) and Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and his influence on him from the time that Bach spent in Luneburg.
However, upon listening to the Partita by Böhm on « Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele », a reminiscence of Bach’s « Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring » involuntarily came to mind through the make-up of the Chorale, the underlying accompaniment, and the consistent playing by Parolini.

For the last part of the concert the organist selected three works of Bach. First he allowed the organ to resound in the « Alla breve » D-Major BWV 589. In the skillfully crafted fugue in b-minor BWV 579 Bach processed a subject of the Italian Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), again interpreted by the organist in a sensitive manner. The grand finale consisted of the Prelude and Fugue in c-minor BWV 546 whereby, already in the first part the sonorities of the Thielemann-organ were completely exhausted. And as if intoxicated by the sound itself Parolini played the ensuing fugue which he allowed to end in a majestic, glorious C-Major chord.

The guest acquitted himself for the applause with a selection from a further transcription of Bach, the rendition of a Concerto in d-minor by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) BWV 596. This cantabile, emotional melody marked the conclusion of an all-around successful hour of organ music.

Horst Gröner (“Thüringische Landeszeitung”, 01/08/2017)