Parvis Hejazi The Musicanship and Poetry of a true artist – a winning combination at Netherhall Auditorium

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sonata in C minor K457 Allegro – Adagio – Allegro assai

Dmitrii Shostakovich

Four Preludes op. 34 1. Moderato – 6. Allegretto – 10.Moderato non troppo – 24. Allegretto


Johannes Brahms

Variations on an Original Theme op. 21 No. 1

Johannes Brahms

Variations on a Hungarian Song op. 21 No. 2

Parvis Hejazi in recital with Mozart,Shostakovich,Brahms .Some remarkable musicianly performances from a true artist.Always a great showman but one who has learnt that the message of music is the greatest show that one can share.A performance of Mozart C minor Sonata that was both dramatic and tender.
Early Shostakovich Preludes with their sometimes grotesque sense of humour but that spoke as eloquently as Prokofiev’s poetic Visions Fugitives.
But it was the Brahms variations op 21
n.1 and 2 that unleashed the depth of sound and ravishing sense of colour from this young poet of the piano,together with his aristocratic sense of harmonic structure.
It gave great weight and meaning to these sumptuous scores of passionate pulsating harmonic blocks of ever moving romantic effusions.
A single encore of Couperin who’s sublime simplicity was the ideal antidote to Brahms’s passionate effusions and the allusion to the Mysteries of Bacchus led very nicely to the post concert drink.

There was a clarity and rhythmic drive to the opening movement where the energy of the opening statement was answered by the plaintive questioning reply.It was these contrasts that were so poignantly played never allowing the tempo to slacken even for the most mellifluous of second subjects.There was an imperious drive as the opening motive was expanded in the development only to dissolve onto a pianissimo questioning chord as the recapitulation regenerated the initial opening energy.The mysterious coda was beautifully played as it disappeared into the depths of the piano.There was a fluidity to the tempo of the Adagio played very much in four that allowed it to flow so naturally with simplicity and beauty.The central episode,so similar to Schubert,was played with a sense of peace and reverence as it’s dark colours contrasted so well with the luminosity of its surrounds.There was great mystery to the opening of the Allegro assai that contrasted so well with the rhythmic interruptions that follow.A fluidity and simplicity in Parvis’s playing that brought a freshness combined with drama to this remarkable movement.A hypnotic coda brought this extraordinary sonata to a Beethovenian conclusion from the hands of a real musician.

The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor K.457, was composed and completed in 1784, with the official date of completion recorded as 14 October 1784 in Mozart’s own catalogue of works.It is dedicated to Theresia von Trattner (1758–1793), who was one of Mozart’s pupils in Vienna. Her husband, Thomas 1717–1798), was an important publisher as well as Mozart’s landlord in 1784. Eventually, the Trattners would become godparents to four of Mozart’s children.It was composed during the approximately 10-year period of Mozart’s life as a freelance artist in Vienna after he left the patronage of the Archbishop of Salzburg in 1781 and is one of the earliest of only six sonatas composed during the Vienna years.It is only one of two sonatas Mozart wrote in a minor key, the other being the the A minor K.310 which was written six years earlier, around the time of the death of Mozart’s mother.He was extremely deliberate in choosing tonalities for his compositions; therefore, his choice of C minor for this sonata implies that this piece was perhaps a very personal work.Kochel said of this sonata, “Without question this is the most important of all Mozart’s pianoforte sonatas. Surpassing all the others by reason of the fire and passion which, to its last note, breathe through it, it foreshadows the pianoforte sonata, as it was destined to become in the hands of Beethoven The last movement is unlike many of Mozart’s sonatas’ last movements, which tend to have fast tempo and joyfulness and happiness. This movement contains a great tragic sense that really makes it stand out.

A choice of four preludes that were four miniature tone poems .With each one that could portray so much in such a short space of time.There were the pungent harmonies and deep bass notes of the Moderato and the brittle strident sounds of the parody of a dance in the Allegretto .There was a beautiful fluid melodic line to the Moderato n.10 very similar in atmosphere to Prokofiev’s Visions with the calm and tranquility of brittle sounds.A magical ending in trills that in Parvis’s hands were mere vibrations of sound.The last n.24 Parvis relished the grotesque parody of the dance that he was obviously enjoying as much as the audience.

The 24 Preludes, op.34 is a set of short piano pieces written and premiered by Shostakovich in 1933. They are arranged following the circle of fifths with one prelude in each major and minor key.He began composing the preludes in December 1932, shortly after finishing his opera Lady Macbeth .He completed the cycle in March 1933, and premiered it in Moscow himself in May of the same year.He composed the preludes largely in order to return to public performance as he had stopped performing in 1930, after his failure to be placed at the 1927 First International Chopin Competition.The preludes are intimate and brief forming a link to Shostakovich’s next work, the Piano Concerto No 1 (for piano, trumpet and strings), which he began just four days after completing the preludes.Each prelude shows that Shostakovich was able to distil his genius into the shortest time span, as well as, of course, he would prove able to explore on the largest scale in his next work, the fourth symphony.

There was grandeur and sumptuous full sounds to the simple mellifluous theme of op 21 n.1 that spread over into a series of variations of fluidity and ravishing beauty.Sounds that spread gradually over the whole keyboard with a radiance and harmonic richness without any hardness.There was grandeur and brilliance too but always within a sound world that he built from the bass and that gave such ecstatic warmth to this beautiful work.The variations op 21 n.2 were of an orchestral brilliance and rhythmic energy that contrasted so well with it’s twin.Parvis brought to it a completely different sound of radiance and sunlight where it’s twin had been bathed in a twilight area of subtlety and deep emotions.

Brahms began his career as a pianist. His contribution to the piano music of the 19th century is significant in two respects: following Schubert and Schumann he cultivated the small, lyrical form, while as Beethoven’s successor he admitted large forms such as the piano sonata and variation cycle. His two variation cycles op. 21, published in 1862, place great demands on the performer. In the first cycle, on a lyrical theme in D major, the technique of figurative and contrapuntal alterations is highly developed. The “Variations on an Original Theme” although published as “No. 1,” as a set of independent piano variations–the only one on a theme of Brahms’s own devising–was certainly composed a few years later than the ‘Hungarian song ‘ set published as “No. 2.” The two sets work well when performed together, as they share a central key. The Hungarian Song op 21 n.2 was composed as early as 1853, thus even predating the “Schumann” variations op 9 .The “Hungarian Song” was given to Brahms by his violinist collaborator Eduard Reményi and as used in the variations, the “theme” is a brief, vigorous eight bars. Its distinctive aspect is the alternation between 3/4 and 4/4 bars, a typical example of Eastern European mixed meter. The ‘Hungarian Song ‘set can function as an extroverted “encore” to the more introspective and longer “Original Theme” set. The “Variations on an Original Theme” were probably composed in the late 1850s, partly as an exercise in variation technique. Brahms set several challenges for himself in devising the theme. The irregular lengths of each repeated half–nine bars each–remain mostly consistent through the variations, lending stability and recognition as other elements range farther from the theme.

There was a beguiling ease to the rondo theme of Couperin ‘Les Barricades’ as it returned with hypnotic fluidity.It was an ideal encore after such a sumptuous feast of music from the hands of a true musician.

Les Barricades Mystérieuses (The Mysterious Barricades) by Couperin for harpsichord and was composed in 1717. It is the fifth piece in his “Ordre 6ème de clavecin” from his second book of collected harpsichord pieces (Pièces de Clavecin).Debussy expressed particular admiration for Les Barricades Mystérieuses and in 1903 wrote: ‘We should think about the example Couperin’s harpsichord works set us: they are marvelous models of grace and innocence long past. Nothing could ever make us forget the subtly voluptuous perfume, so delicately perverse, that so innocently hovers over the Barricades Mystérieuses.The title is probably meant to be evocative rather than a reference to a specific object, musical or otherwise.It has suggested that, in keeping with the bucolic character of other pieces in Couperin’s Ordre 6ème de clavecin, the pounding rhythm may represent the stamping of grapes in winemaking (given that the French word barrique means ‘barrel’, and barriquade was a designation adopted by viticultualists of the day in France).In this view, the “mysterious” epithet could allude to the significance of wine in the Mysteries of Bacchus.

Parvis Hejazi is known as a “rising star on the piano sky” (ARD), and “a poet and virtuoso at the piano” (Christopher Axworthy). Playing his debut at the Salzburg Festival aged 16, Parvis has performed throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the US at venues such as the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Die Glocke Bremen, and the Gnessin Institute Moscow. Having won more than 30 first prizes in national and international competitions, Parvis has received coverage by ARD, NDR, and HR, and in foreign and domestic print media. Parvis is a graduate Scholar of the Royal College of Music, where he currently pursues a Master of Music, studying with Norma Fisher and Vanessa Latarche. In autumn, Parvis will commence his studies on the prestigious Artist Diploma programme at the College on a full scholarship. A Member of the Keyboard Charitable Trust and Talent Unlimited UK, Parvis holds the Music Talks Award and the Bärenreiter Urtext Award. He is supported by the Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst, the Karin and Uwe Hollweg Foundation and Susan Sturrock.

Parvis waiting to greet his guests ready to unwind and discuss the concert over a glass of wine
Robert Tickle a great admirer of classical music with Parvis and Parvis’s duo partner Sonia Tulea Pigot both in the class of Norma Fischer.
Our genial host with the Netherhall House tie .Pietro Genova Gaia will give a violin and piano recital with Parvis in a future concert on the 26th May in their season.


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