Parvis Hejazi the clarity and intelligence of a youthful poet in Perivale

Tuesday 10 January 3.00 pm

Some superb playing from a poet who not only has a heart but also a mind as you would expect from the school of Norma Fisher.
A Mozart of a clarity and sense of character but with a rhythmic precision and buoyancy that brought this well known sonata vividly to life.The characters entered and exited from the stage in what is a superb operatic scenario.
It was a great operatic sweep he also brought to Liszt’s all to rarely heard ‘Lamento’.It was played with a sense of style and just the right amount of showmanship that could bring this beautiful piece vividly to life.The delicacy he brought to the final few bars was most touching after the passionate outpouring that had preceded it with a sumptuous sound and refined sense of balance.
There were chiselled sounds of great beauty in Messiaen’s contemplation.Pungent harmonies and atmospheres with the intensity of a fervant believer.
The first performance I ever heard of Brahms Handel Variations was from Parvis Hejazi’s teacher Norma Fisher.I had been taken as a teenager by our mutual teacher Sidney Harrison to hear his star pupil in the London Pianoforte Series at the Wigmore Hall when she was already an established artists.
I have never forgotten that performance of such warmth and nobility and an astonishing transcendental command of the structure of this almost orchestral work.
Parvis gave a remarkable performance of simplicity and dynamic drive.Shorn of all rhetoric it was a young man’s performance – Brahms was after all only 28 when he wrote it for his beloved Clara’s birthday.
Of course from Norma Fisher he had learnt the importance of the bass and each variation grew out of the other with this never wavering anchor that he had created.A technical command that was astonishing for a live performance and a clarity that was not ‘Brahmsian’- thank God!
The sheer beauty of his playing and unwavering command was quite remarkable as Handel’s innocent little melody was transformed into an outpouring of Busonian proportions.Spurred on into the fugue by this driving undercurrent that he had created he brought this masterpiece to a breathtaking conclusion.
Visibly exhausted as we all were he was happy to share his own beautiful Messiaen like piece with an enthusiastic audience.
‘After the magnificat’ showed the same fervent conviction of a true believer with magic sounds the melted into a cherished distance of oblivion and peace.

There was above all a clarity and sense of style that allowed Mozart’s players in this operatic scenario to enter and exit,each with their own character and personality.Interrupted only by the fairy like horn call or the pungent forte and piano contrasts,all played with such delicacy and style.The Adagio was poised and eloquent with a sense of balance that allowed the melodic line to sing so naturally.There was great delicacy too with subtle ornamentation in the ritornello.The Assai Allegro was played with infectious rhythmic verve and buoyancy.The staccato and legato could have been more carefully noted at the end to create even more contrast with Mozart’s genial surprise ending after the streams of notes of innocent Mozartian charm.

The Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major K.332 was published in 1784 along with the No.10 in C major, K. 330, and No.11 K. 331.[Mozart wrote these sonatas either while visiting Munich in 1781, or during his first two years in Vienna.[Some believe, however that Mozart wrote them during a summer 1783 visit to Salzburg made for the purpose of introducing his wife, Constanze to his father. All three sonatas were published in Vienna in 1784 as Mozart’s Op. 6.In the 1994 film Immortal Beloved , Giulietta Guicciardi is heard playing the second movement during a piano lesson with Beethoven

Great sweep to Liszt’s luxuriant melodic line that was played with style and just the right amount of showmanship.The passionate climax was played with grandeur and aristocratic authority before the return of the opening melody embellished with cascades of golden strands leading to an ending of subtle beauty.

Three Concert Études (Trois études de concert), S.144 is a set of three Etudes by composed between 1845–49 and published in Paris as Trois caprices poétiques with the three individual titles as they are known today:Il lamento (“The Lament”), La leggierezza (“Lightness”), and Un sospiro (“A sigh”)Il lamento is the first of the études and is among Liszt’s longest pieces in the genre. It starts with a four-note lyrical melody which folds itself through the work, followed by a Chopin like chromatic pattern which reappears again in the coda.Although the piece opens and ends in A-flat major, it shifts throughout its three parts to many other keys, A, G, D-sharp, F-sharp and B among them.

Chiselled sounds of ravishing simplicity with pungent harmonies creating the rarified air of a true believer.Insistent harmonies with fervent conviction ever more intense.

The Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus (“Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus”) are a suite of 20 pieces for solo piano by the French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992). It is a meditation on the childhood of Jesus and was composed from March to September of 1944 following commission by Maurice Toesca wishing for a reading of his twelve poems on the nativity. The abandoned plan was later reworked with a dedication to his protégée Yvonne Loriod later to become his wife.Although the work was finished shortly after the liberation of Paris in August and excerpts played in public by Messiaen and Loriod, the complete premiere took place 26 March 1945 at the Salle Gaveau with the composer reading aloud his own commentaries.Messiaen uses Thèmes or leitmotifs, recurring elements that represent certain ideas. They include:

  • Thème de Dieu (“Theme of God”)
  • Thème de l’amour mystique (“Theme of Mystical Love”)
  • Thème de l’étoile et de la croix (“Theme of the Star and of the Cross”)
  • Thème d’accords (“Theme of Chords”)

Regard du temps (“Contemplation of time”) in the 9th of the set.

Rather a brisk opening which opened the gate for this extraordinary set of variations.From the rhythmic flow of the first,flowing legato and solidity of the second and the charm of the halting rhythm of the third.The fourth was of great nobility dissolving into the mellifluous continuous outpouring of the fifth.Octaves mysteriously shadowing each other to be interrupted by the militaristic rhythmic insistence of the seventh.Grandeur and nobility of the ninth before the quixotic chase up and down the keyboard of the tenth.Contrasting with the beautiful outpouring of the eleventh played with a sumptuous sense of balance.Gentle cascades of notes in the seventeenth before the gentle bourée of elusive charm and grace.There was ravishing beauty in the music box variation before the ominous build up of great rhythmic drive with ever more exciting swirls of forward moving notes,like a great gust of wind.The triumphant declaration,before the entry of the fugue,was played with great assurance and overpowering authority.The Fugue was played with great clarity and even if he was visibly tired after such an exhausting journey he managed to bring this early masterpiece to a triumphantly youthful conclusion.Missing maybe the orchestral sounds and thick luscious harmonies of more mature artists Parvis gave us a vision of clarity and sincerity shorn of the usual Brahmsian rhetoric that can weigh down a work that is of a master craftsman

The Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, was written by in 1861. It consists of a set of twenty-five variations and a concluding fugue, based on a theme from Handel’s Harpsichord suite N.1 in B flat .Ranked by Tovey as “the half-dozen greatest sets of variations ever written” and biographer Jan Swafford describes the Handel Variations as “perhaps the finest set of piano variations since Beethoven”.They were written in September 1861 after Brahms, aged 28, abandoned the work he had been doing as director of the Hamburg women’s choir (Frauenchor) and moved out of his family’s cramped and shabby apartments in Hamburg to his own apartment in the quiet suburb of Hamm, initiating a highly productive period that produced “a series of early masterworks”.Written in a single stretch in September 1861,the work is dedicated to a “beloved friend”, Clara Schumann widow of Robert and was presented to her on her 42nd birthday, September 13.Brahms’s approach to variation writing is made explicit in a number of letters. “In a theme for a set of variations, it is almost only the bass that has any meaning for me. But this is sacred to me, it is the firm foundation on which I then build my stories. What I do with a melody is only playing around … If I vary only the melody, then I cannot easily be more than clever or graceful, or, indeed, if full of feeling, deepen a pretty thought. On the given bass, I invent something actually new, I discover new melodies in it, I create.” The role of the bass is critical.

Being a pianist and composer, Parvis Hejazi is known as a “rising star on the piano sky” (ARD television), interested in a variety of performance activities from solo recital and concerto programmes to chamber music performances and from composing to conducting his own works. He holds the Gerd Bucerius award of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben for being “a highly promising young artist”. In 2021, Parvis won the Grand Prix of the International PianoArt Competition in Kiev. He furthermore was awarded the first prize and special prize of the International Piano Competition Gagny in 2017 and was also awarded first prizes in various national and international competitions in Germany.His performance activities led Parvis to prestigious venues, including the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Die Glocke Bremen, the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin, the SWR Sendesaal Stuttgart, the Wiener Saal and Solitaire at the Mozarteum Salzburg and to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic and Israel. Broadcasts of concerts and TV documentaries were transmitted on leading German TV and radio stations such as ARD, NDR, NDR Kultur and Deutschlandfunk.
Born in 1999, Parvis studied piano and composition at the Junior Department of the University of the Arts Bremen. He received crucial influence from working with world leading pianists such as Norma Fisher, Jerome Lowenthal, Vanessa Latarche, Stephen Hough, Jerome Rose, Anatol Ugorski, Igor Levit and Lars Vogt.He is currently studying with Norma Fisher at the Royal College of Music in London with a Music Talks Scholarship, as well as grants from the prestigious Evangelisches Studienwerk (Villigst), the Hollweg Foundation and the D eutsche Stiftung Musikleben. Parvis is a Member of the Keyboard Charitable Trust as well as of Talent Unlimited UK.

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