Saturday, June 26, 2010

Concert: Concerto Köln (05/01/2010)

5/1/2010
Antoine Dauvergne, Quatrième Concert de Simphonies in A major, Op.4 No.2.

J.S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D major, BWV 1050
Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto for Cello and String and Continuo in D minor, RV 407
J.S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G major, BWV 1049
Giovanni Sammartini, Symphony in A major, Jenkins-Churgin 62a


早該寫這篇的,只是遲遲拖到現在才寫這個有近兩個月的Concerto Köln音樂會。這是本人生平第二次開車到Berkeley專程去聽音樂會。說來也蠻巧的,上次有興緻開上去,正是另外一個科隆來的樂團,享譽古樂界的Musica Antiqua Köln(科隆古樂團)的世界告別巡迴音樂(有到台灣表演)。

曲目單上的作曲家,從巴洛克大師巴哈和韋瓦第到小有名氣的Sammartini,到不為人知的Dauvergne。第一首曲子便是法國巴洛克晚期的作曲家Dauvergne的一首組曲。Dauvergne繼承了法國作曲家的傳統,主要寫劇樂,而作品三與四的組曲是他最後的純器樂。Concerto Köln表演的作品四之二的組曲,其實他們以前就錄過了,所以想必對他們是完全地不陌生。組曲中除了開頭的序曲和最後的Chaconne以外,中間的樂章都是義大利的樂章名稱,可謂是個義法形式的混合體。雖然這首組合同大部份一樣,聽完之後對它一切的印象會基本上都消失,但是Concerto Köln大膽的表演風格,卻是立刻就見曉,不會忘掉。

巴哈的兩首布蘭登堡協奏曲,第四號和第五號,都是我很喜歡的。能夠聽到現場的表演,當然是又心中充滿期待。Concerto Köln的表現,果然沒有令人失望。唯一美中不足的,是第五號的大鍵琴獨奏裡,彈大鍵琴的女士有明顯地彈錯,小小打斷了音樂的進行。但說句公道話,那是相當困難的一段,而且她要配合樂團之前的快節奏,所以獨奏部份一定也衝得比較快,容易造成失誤的機率。不然,除此之外,剩下的部份讓人聽得很享受。尤其是第四號第三樂章,情緒維持在高潮上,音樂更是層出不窮,。

韋瓦第的大提琴協奏曲,大提琴家Werner Matzke也表現地很好。只不過,最近不知道為什麼,對韋瓦第的協奏曲反應稍微冷淡些,因此有大師站台的音樂,仍是沒引起心中太大的回響。

真正讓我要從椅子上跳起來的,是最後一首Sammartini的交響曲。如果以前音樂課本都說海頓是「交響曲之父」,那只能說他是將交響曲形式發揚光大的。真正將交響曲形式奠定下來的人,是這位Giovanni Battista Sammartini,比海頓爺爺還要年長30幾歲。如果抱著像早期Academy of St. Martin in the Field (聖馬丁學院室內管絃樂團)之流的心態去聽這種早期古典交響曲,那衝擊效應可是會很大。這首交響曲不到10分鐘,但從第一樂章的第一樂句開始,就感受到Concerto Köln無限的能量,他們採取的節奏之快,感覺是都嗑了藥,超high版的表演。最令人驚訝的是,在那麼快的節奏之下,樂團的一致性讓人不得不佩服。不但沒有瓦解,反而是一體地在衝向終點。以這一首做為結尾,真是大呼過癮。

Concerto Köln準備了兩首安可曲。第一首是Telemann的一首協奏曲的終樂章。因為自己有那一首的錄音,所以一聽便知道是Telemann的,但實際上是哪一首一時間說不上來。後來有另一位聽眾爸爸問現場工作人員說那一首安可曲是什麼,工作人員是一問三不知。我好心地跟他說是Telemann的,但我也跟他說我不真的不確定倒底是哪一首。後來回家之後,瘋狂地翻了一晚自己的CD,最後終於找出是哪一首,是E小調的給長笛和直笛的協奏曲。

第二首安可曲,則是家喻戶曉,巴哈的G弦上的詠嘆調。如果第一首安可是輕快,是俏皮的,那這一首Air,則是寧靜與感性,讓整個音樂會悄悄地落幕。

Should have written this earlier, but was busy with other things and this got put on hold.

This is the second time I've driven all the way up to Berkeley for an early music concert.  The last time I drove up was for the world farewell tour of Musica Antiqua Köln.   This time, I was attending another ensemble from Köln, the Concerto Köln, which I reviewed in a recording earlier here

The first featured a piece by Antoine Dauvergne, his Quatrième Concert de simphonies, Op.4 No.2, late relatively unknown French Baroque composer who wrote mainly stage works.  His four suites for strings, Op.3 and Op.4 were apparently the last purely instrumental works he would write.  Concerto Köln has recorded this particular piece on CD, one which I do not own (yet).  The suite is something rather peculiar, with a gallant French overture opening and ending with a very interesting Chaconne, but the other middle movements do not bear the other French dance titles but rather Italian ones (Andante, Vivace, Presto).  Immediately from the start, you feel the brisk tempo and energy that Concerto Köln was going to bring to the concert.

The other two Bach Brandenburg concertos were of good delight.  Having heard the pieces countless of times on recording, it was good to hear it performed live.  I have now heard Concertos No.2, 3, 4, and 5 live at various occasions.  These performances were very sound and in general, more lively than the ones I've heard at the Carmel Bach Festival or the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's concerts.  Truly the best I've heard yet. 

The Vivaldi cello concerto was also played very aptly by leading cellist Werner Matzke.  However, I think I'm going through a phase of not responding too warmly to Vivaldi's music lately, so despite a good performance, my interest level towards the music itself was a bit lacking.

The real surprise, however, was the Sammartini symphony.  From the first few bars, Concerto Köln sounded as if they were playing completely high on adrenaline.  Compared to many other renditions of this early classical symphony form, their performance completely blew me away.  This piece was arguably the shortest piece in the program, but it served as an awesome finale.

Encores.  Concerto Köln was generous enough to play two encore pieces, something you don't see much in American orchestras in general.  The first encore was the last movement from a Telemann concerto for flute and recorder (TWV 42:e1).  I instantly recognized it as being Telemann, although it took me a day or two digging through my music to pinpoint exactly which piece it was.   In true Concerto Köln fashion, it was electrifying.  The Presto movement had a very rustic dance feel to it.  The second encore is the world-famous Bach Air on G string from his 3rd orchestra suite.  A complete contrast in mood, from one of festive to one of being serene.  Fitting end to the concert. 


1 comment:

John Hendron said...

Sounds like a real treat... I like their programming of familiar content with that less well-known.

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