Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Facco: Pensieri Adriarmonici 6 Concertos Op.1 (L'Arte Dell'Arco / Federico Guglielmo)

Giacomo Facco (1676-1753) 是位巴洛克晚期的義大利作曲家。Facco雖然出生於義大利的威尼斯,但日後到西班牙發展,和小史卡拉第有類似的際遇。當時十八世紀初,威尼斯來了一位西班牙的候爵,Marquis de los Balbases,叫 Carlo Filippo Antonio Spinola。Spinola家族原本來自北義大利Genoa,因為政治鬥爭失利,轉向投靠西班牙帝國,而後來被封候的。Spinola在威尼斯的時候,結識了24歲的Facco。從此,西班牙的宮廷開啟了這扇大門給Facco。

Facco的一生,歷史上並沒有詳細的記載,因此有關他的事蹟,其實多半是從和Spinola候爵身邊的文件中尋來的。在1707年,Spinola奉西班牙國王之命,當Sicily(西西里島)的總督。1713年,因為政治上的協議,西班牙將Sicily讓了出來,給House of Savoy,使得Spinola和Facco,被迫回到馬德里。Facco靠著Spinola的關係,成功地進入西班牙宮廷,成為西班牙皇室的音樂老師。除了教王子們音樂,還有為不同場合創作音樂的職務。

Facco在西班牙宮廷裡,是最出眾的小提琴家。甚至可以說,Facco是將義大利小提琴技巧,傳至西班牙的第一人。另外,Facco在聲樂曲的創作上也大有可為,其歌劇 Amor es todo imbención: Júpiter y Amphitrión 是最早用西班牙文唱的歌劇。Facco在西班牙宮廷舉足輕重的份量,可在一份記載1729年西班牙和葡萄牙兩家皇室政治婚姻的重要文獻Fasto de hymeneo中清楚瞧見,因為他是文獻中唯一被提起的音樂家。可惜,Facco在西班牙宮廷獨霸一方的地位,卻在1737年之後急轉直下。這一年,紅遍歐洲的閹人歌手Farinelli到了西班牙的宮廷。從此,Facco就失寵了,而他音樂活動也完全停滯了。從那時到1753他過逝時,他只持續領著乾薪過活吧~~~ 

這張CD收錄著他作品一的十二首協奏曲中的前六首。雖然他在寫這些曲子的時候,已經轉任宮廷的音樂家,但他仍和之前的顧主Spinola候爵保持連絡。這部作品,便是獻給他的。當初這些曲子是交給了荷蘭的大出版商Estienne Roger發行。其中他的同鄉韋瓦第(Vivaldi)和阿比諾尼(Albinoni),也都靠Roger成功地打響了他們在歐洲的知名度。這些協奏曲,道道地地的威尼斯風是錯不了的,甚至還有許多和Vivaldi以及Albinoni相似的地方。譬如,協奏曲為快-慢-快的三樂章形式,且正式名稱為五聲部協奏曲(Concerti a Cinque),但編有主奏小提琴,如同Albinoni的作品五協奏曲。可是仔細再聽,Facco和他們不同的地方慢慢會開始顯現出來。例如,Facco的協奏曲運用對位的元素比之前說的二位還要深厚許多,但又不是像Torelli的波隆拿(Bologna)式對位。Facco的協奏曲,沒有Tartini或是Vivaldi另外兩位同鄉作曲家的協奏曲中,小提琴獨奏的橋段,會故意要愛現高音把位。反而,小提琴來回穿梭在樂團間,是一種較為和諧的感覺,而且音樂的流動是非常流暢的,沒什麼生硬的地方。

好的音樂需要由好的錄音來襯托,而Federico Guglielmo領軍的L'Arte Dell'Arco則有做到這一點。L'Arte Dell'Arco是Federico Guglielmo和其父親Giovanni Guglielmo(同時也是他的啟蒙老師)於1994成立的義大利古樂團。我第一次注意到他們,是他們在Dynamic這個牌子開始錄Tartini全部的協奏曲的大工程。由於Dynamic這個牌子價位有點高,所以手邊只有那系列裡的兩張而已。L'Arte Dell'Arco的錄音大部份都是義大利的作曲家,如Vivaldi和Tartini,而他們對義大利式的協奏曲,應該也都瞭如指掌。

L'Arte Dell'Arco採的是小編制,一聲部只有一個樂器。在Dynamic廠牌的錄音裡,有時候聲音會顯得太有點單薄,不過這張DHM的錄音,卻沒有這個問題,聲音飽滿。L'Arte Dell'Arco,如同許多古樂團一樣,是非常有活力的拉法,給人的是義式的那種隨性,不受約束的輕快感。他們不像科隆古樂團的力量那麼強烈,跟Europa Galante比起來,也沒有那麼狂野。但是,可別就這樣小看L'Arte Dell'Arco。除了他們絃樂表現精彩,他們還有一個很活潑的伴奏群,有低音大提琴,大鍵琴,和撥絃樂器theorbo,除了低音有一定厚實度,大鍵琴和theorbo的輕脆的聲音,讓音樂更有動感。總之,這是絕對不會令你失望的錄音和音樂。
 
Giacomo Facco was a late Italian composer that prospered in the Iberian Peninsula, much like Domenico Scarlatti, although he has been pretty much neglected.  Much of his early life is not very well known.  He was born in Padua, near Venice, where it is believed that he received his musical training there.  In 1700, Spanish nobleman Carlo Filippo Antonio Spinola, whose Italian Genoese family held the prestigious title of Marquis de los Balbases, visited Venice.  His encounter with the then 24-year old Facco must have been a pleasant one, as he agreed to become his patron.  Many accounts of Facco's activities are traced through Spinola's own.

Facco would be in Sicily in the early 1700s, when Spinola was the viceroy of the island.  In 1713, however, a treaty required Spain to cede Sicily to the House of Savoy, and when Spinola returned to Madrid, Facco would go with him.  Through Spinola's connections, Facco would make it to the Spanish court and become the musical instructor of the royal family, including the princes.   He was also to compose music for the various occasions.    

There is no doubt that Facco was a brilliant violinist, and many musicologists even attribute Facco as the founder of the Spanish violin school.  As an Italian composer, he also exercised his skills at the opera, and his Amor es todo imbención: Júpiter y Amphitrión is the earliest Italian-style opera written for Spanish text.  Facco was held in high prestige in the Spanish court, as he is the only composer mentioned in the bibliographical source Fasto de hymeneo that documents the wedding ceremonies between the Spanish and Portuguese courts of the houses of Bourbon and Braganza.  It was certain that this was an event that Domenico Scarlatti was present.  Anyhow, Facco's fortunes made a bad turn in 1737, when Farinelli arrived at the Spanish court.  It seems like Facco's music activities ceased to exist, but he was to receive payments up to his death in 1753.  

Of Facco's instrumental works, the Op.1 set of twelve concertos, titled "Pensieri Adriarmonici" is most significant.  This recording includes the first half of this set.  Although Facco was by now serving in the Spanish court, he still kept in touch with Spinola, and it is also to him that these pieces are dedicated to.  Facco also sought out the famous Estienne Roger to have his works published, a move which his fellow Venetian composers Vivaldi and Albinoni made and brought great success to their reputation.

Facco's pieces are unmistakably Venetian in character, adopting the fast-slow-fast three-movement concerto style.  In fact, Facco's concertos have many dashes of similarities to Vivaldi's or Albinoni's works, but more so Vivaldi.  Upon closer listening though, Facco's individual traits do start to shine out.  For one, there is an extensive use of counterpoint in many of the concertos' 3rd movements, something that Vivaldi rarely did use.  Also, Facco eschews passages that show off those high notes, something that Vivaldi and Tartini never hesitated to do.  Because of this, the solo violin passages blend in and out of the tutti passages seamlessly, and the music flows beautifully without any abrupt pauses.

The artists here is the Italian group L'Arte Dell'Arco, led by Federico Guglielmo.  The ensemble was founded in 1994 by Federico Guglielmo and his dad Giovanni Guglielmo.  The group first caught my attention when they embarked on a project to record all of Tartini's concertos on the Italian label Dynamic.  Because of the price, I have managed to only get my hands on two of those recordings.  Overall, L'Arte Dell'Arco play with brisk tempi, and they impart a certain lightness in their playing that is not like MAK's strong masculine sound, nor Europa Galante's wild craze.  They also have a nice continuo group, where the harpsichord's percussive effect and the theorbo's strumming help bring out the liveliness.  Because L'Arte Dell'Arco play with one instrument per part, their Dynamic recordings have occasionally sounded very thin.   However, the DHM recording does not suffer from this.  In fact, their sound here is so much fuller and well-balanced that I was very much impressed.  Upon repeated listening, this has started to grow on me.  A fitting recording for a composer that deserves more credit.



3 comments:

Fan of Biber said...

Facco is new to me as well. In listening to the first sample, it sounds as if there is no real "solo," what's lacking is real line in these solos, the main theme always comes back to the full ensemble. I'm wondering if the lack of high tessitura in the writing would have allowed for other instruments to take these parts? The only problem with this theory is that the writing is still very "violin" like.

I've never been a huge fan of Arte dell'Arco, but they do in fact sound different in this reading on DHM. In their Chandos recording of Vivaldi's op. 3, the recording was profoundly dry, and despite the star power of Chris Hogwood on harpsichord, the intonation issues in the violins make it sound like a a girl's orphanage was behind the endeavor.

Deadlockcp said...

Yes, exactly. Their Dynamic recordings (the ones I do own) sound extremely dry too. In retrospect, what gave me a leap of faith to go ahead and purchase this disc is beyond me. They actually sound much better here. I also picked up the 2nd half of the concertos on a different label, also well recorded. One thing I don't like despite the better sound is their tendency for a very short end cadence. It's as if they were running late on another engagement.

They have released new recordings on Brilliant Classics and CPO. I hope those recordings fare well too. L'Arte Dell'Arco has recorded a disc of Veracini Overtures and Concertos on CPO.

Mingus said...

並不是要只談錄音或唱片,不過常常同一個演奏家在不同的錄音與廠牌的表現,會有斗大的不同。

或許不只是演奏者自己的風格轉變,與錄音美學,以及製作人的品味偏好有關吧。

Freiburg Baroque Orchestra 在DHM的表現,較為工整淡味,Harmonia Mundi 時又趕上了較刺激戲劇的風尚。

相反地,Biondi 在opus 111時期,就與後來 Virgin 時期有極大差異。前者的樂器質感或是戲劇對比都好上許多。

Post a Comment