Italian organ sounds in Gräfenhain

1 August 2023

Giorgio Parolini from Milan inspires the audience with powerful music in the Holy Trinity Church

For the fifth time, organist Giorgio Parolini was a guest at the Gräfenhain Music Summer. In his programme, he brought along works by Italian composers that were surprising in their clarity.
From Giuseppe Burocco (1672-1728), called Frà Narciso da Milano, a “Sonata per l’Offertorio” in F major, a “Sonata per l’Elevazione” in G minor as well as a “Sonata à 4”, in between a richly ornamented “Largo in F major” could be heard. Parolini then played a “Sonata in C major” by the Venetian Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785). The Allegro in the full organ showed beautiful echo effects, the organist let the final Presto sound in a brisk tempo with daring harmonies.
The Italian Grimoaldo Macchia, who lives in Switzerland, proved that contemporary music can sound good. Parolini presented three differently arranged chorales on the baroque Thielemann organ, “Mein Herr und mein Gott”, “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” and, as a roaring finale, “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren” (Praise the Lord, the mighty King of Honour), in an easily comprehensible modern tonal language.

Three members of the Bach family in the programme

At the beginning of the concert, the organist placed two representatives of the North German organ school. Beautiful ornamentation over the melody was characteristic of a “Toccata in F” by Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707). With colourful registration, he interpreted a chorale prelude “Vater unser im Himmelreich” by Georg Böhm (1661-1733), who was born in neighbouring Hohenkirchen and later worked in Lüneburg.
Three members of the Bach family were on the programme. A beautifully played chorale prelude “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz” by Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) was followed by the Partita “Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein” by Johann Michael Bach (1648-1694) with its catchy variations on the chorale theme. After Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and his beautifully sounding “Fugue in G major”, Parolini had the organ “sing” in joyful movement in the aria “Mein gläubiges Herze”. Parolini thanked the well-attended Dreifaltigkeitskirche for the sustained applause with the chorale prelude “Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein”.
Next concert: Sunday, 13 August, 5 p.m. “viva la dance”, baroque dance group; 5.30 p.m. Bastian Uhlig, Gotha

Horst Gröner (“Thüringer Allgemeine”, 01.08.2023)