By Christopher Axworthy. 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. (…)
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. (…)
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. (…)