From Milan to Gräfenhain

9 juillet 2019

Giorgio Parolini fascinates once again during his guest performance on the Thielemann organ of the Trinity church

The Milan organist Giorgio Parolini returned once again to the Thielemann organ in the Dreifaltigkeitskirche in Gräfenhain built between 1728 and 1731. Much to our pleasure, he also included representatives of the Italian organ school in his program, which otherwise consisted mainly of German composers. Parolini arranged the order of the pieces according to the composers’ year of birth. It began with a straightforward Prelude in E-flat major fraught with echo effects by Georg Dietrich Leyding (1664-1710) from the North German organ school. His imaginative and playful arrangement of the chorale « Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern » contained finely wrought variations of the chorale melody.

Bach’s Fantasie in Thanksgiving and in memoriam

The famous Toccata with Fugue in d-minor BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) followed. With this work at a speedy tempo Parolini put the Thielemann organ into a powerful roar. In striking contrast to this, two quiet and lyrical chorale arrangements by Bach followed: « Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele » BWV 654 and « Von Gott will ich nicht lassen » BWV 658. How colourful organ music from Italy can sound was experienced in the following two pieces. In a melodious Pastorale by Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726) the Zimbelstern of the organ came into play, while the Flute Sonata by Giambattista Martini (1706-1784) consisted of artfully sparkling runs. This work, reproduced in calmly measured movement, was thus quite well suited for inner edification.
As at earlier performances in Gräfenhain, Giorgio Parolini again placed works by Bach’s pupil Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780) at the end of the program. At first he played two chorale preludes, a powerful « Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan » and then « Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr », for which the organist deployed mild and demure registers. In the concluding Prelude and Fugue in C-Major by Krebs the proximity to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue BWV 565 was unmistakable. Like there, the first part was tempestuous, masterfully performed by Parolini, followed by a large fugue with full organ at a brisk tempo. This thrilling organ concerto ended on Sunday afternoon with the final chord being savoured to the utmost.
Giorgio Parolini rewarded the persistent applause with Bach’s Fantasy in C-Major BWV 570, which he dedicated to a young woman from his circle of acquaintances who had died the day before much too early.

Horst Gröner (“Thüringer Allgemeine”, 09/07/2019)