Giorgio Parolini gives a Concert in the sign of Italy

16 août 2017

Giorgio Parolini meets up to the reputation of Italian organists in Überlingen during the Überlingen organ summer concert series.

They mostly belong to no certain school, their organ playing is not marked by Bach or Reger or even by the French school, they play more freely and more virtuosic. Since the almost legendary concert of an organist last year in the organ summer concert series, a special reputation of Italian organists has manifested itself also in Überlingen. The Italian Giorgio Parolini did justice to it with the third concert of the organ summer: when the first tones of Bach’s C-Major Toccata sounded (BWV564) from the Nicholas-Organ it was clear that also Parolini tends in this direction.
With the improvisatory beginning of the Toccata and the repeated interruptions from the lowest pedal note, Parolini had picked out one of the most virtuoso pieces of Bach. However, even this Adagio seemed to be more open under Parolini. The fact that Bach drew inspiration for the composition of the C-Major-Toccata from the Italian Concerto style was surely another reason for Parolini to play just this piece.

Just before he had presented on the Marian organ two Italian masters rather unknown here: Girolamo Frescobaldi was once organist at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, Bach had great respect for his work while he was still alive. Hence, it was an exciting premise to compare a Toccata by Frescobaldi with Bach’s C-Major Toccata. And with the Largo f-minor and the Toccata per il Deo Gratias of the music theorist Giovanni Battista Martini Parolini underscored once more his free virtuosity. This applies also to the Theme and Variations op. 115 by the lesser known Italian Marco Enrico Bossi played on the Nicholas organ.

With the choice of the Fantasie Claire de lune composed in 1926 by the Frenchman Louis Vierne, Parolini proved be fortuitous: Vierne requires the soft sounds of the Nicholas organ. A further Toccata by the contemporary composer Hans-Andre Stamm resounded for the conclusion of the concert. After long and thunderous applause Parolini played a German-Italian encore: a Concerto by Bach (BWV 596) which is transcribed from Antonio Vivaldi’s famous L’Estro Armonico.

Dieter Leder (“Südkurier”, 16/08/2017)