Monday, December 20, 2010

Farina: Le Sonate (Lukas Friederich et al)

Carlo Farina (c1604 - 1639) 是十七世紀初重要的義大利作曲家,在小提琴技巧的發展還有音樂上有極重要的貢獻。許多人甚至認為,他是小提琴雙絃(double stopping)技巧的發明人。因為在德奧的宮廷擔任音樂家,所以直接影響了同輩和後一輩德奧作曲家在小提琴上的重視,其中包括到Hamburg(漢堡)發展的同時期作曲家Johann Schop,晚一輩的Schmelzer,甚至再晚一輩的Biber, Westhoff,還有Walther的音樂裡都有他的影子。

Farina出生日期不詳,但確定是在義大利的Mantua。其父親很有可能是當時在那一帶活動的古中提琴家Luigi Farina。如果是這樣,那Farina自幼便受到良好的音樂訓練。而且,當時Mantua有Monteverdi(蒙台威爾第)以及Salomone Rossi兩位重要的音樂家在那兒,讓像Farina這種年輕的音樂家受到一定的薰陶。在Farina二十幾歲的時候,他離開義大利到布拉格發展,並因為其才藝,受到有力人士大力推薦,得以進入位於Dresden(德勒斯登)的Saxony宮廷。當時Dresden在Heinrich Schütz(舒茲)的帶領下,有全歐洲最優秀的音樂家。在Dresden,Farina過了他人生中音樂產量最大的幾年。應該說,他一生裡出版過,也是今天唯一流傳至今的五部作品,全都在短短的兩年內所完成。

可是,幾乎完全癱瘓歐洲的三十年戰爭,蔓延到了Saxony。因為打仗的原故,郡主Johann Georg一世陷入財務危機,付不出給宮廷樂團的錢,於是Farina走人。最後幾年,他過著相當不穩定的生活,先後在科隆待過,回到義大利的Parma還有Lucca,還有今天在波蘭的Danzig。不會說德文的Farina,因為其才華,時常收到同輩的排擠。在Danzig僅僅六個月,當神聖羅馬帝國的皇后Eleonora一世決定成立自己的專屬樂團,Farina立刻受其號召,並在維也納渡過他生命中的最後兩年。

Farina在古典樂裡,就連常聽巴洛克的朋友們,說不定都是一個比較陌生的名字。如果大眾古典樂裡的一首成名巴洛克作曲家有寫卡農的Pachelbel,那一般古樂聽眾裡,就有寫Capriccio stravagante的Farina。寫於1627年,這首作品裡面使用了在當時小提琴上仍相當創新的技法,來模仿各種動物還有樂器的聲音,如貓,狗,母雞,吉他,及軍鼓等,展現出提琴藝術的無窮潛力。知道Biber的人,應該也會曉得他在晚了幾十年之後也寫了一首Sonata Representiva,有相同的意味。

這張CD上錄音的並不是Capriccio stravagante,而是他一生寫過全部的奏鳴曲,共有十首,分別出版於他那五版作品裡的第一,四,還有五冊。世人常常因為作曲家的一二首名曲而完全被其矇蔽,以為他都是寫如此的曲子。Farina的音樂並不是都這樣故意耍炫技,製造效果的不正經之作。在五冊作品裡,當許多音樂為簡短的小舞曲時,這些奏鳴曲不但份量很重,而且符合早期義大利的形式,還是認真嚴肅的作品。

和另外一位到德奧發展的義大利的同時期作曲家Bertali多為多樂器寫的奏鳴曲不同,Farina寫的這些奏鳴曲都是二或三聲部的奏鳴曲,給一支或兩支小提琴和數字低音所寫。他的這些早期奏鳴曲,形式自由,是單樂章但裡面多段的曲子。每一段的性質不同,從改變節奏,速度,還有其他作曲方式達到音樂情境上的變化。三聲部奏鳴曲裡,Farina選擇用較少的對位,而是盡量展現二小提琴之間對話的效果。

再者,因為只有一把或兩把小提琴,正因為如此,Farina好好地探索了小提琴的技巧,常常挑戰當時音樂家的演奏極限。許多三聲部奏鳴曲裡,兩把小提琴旋律似乎在平行三度移動的時候,譜上並不是如此寫。反而,兩把小提琴其實拉的音是不斷地上下交錯。這樣做的目的,是可以更完整地將聲音融合起來。如沒看譜,一般的聽眾可能無法查覺到。因為一時興趣,我到學校圖書館借到了他的兩首奏鳴曲,翻一下,還果真是如此。

最後,Farina的奏鳴曲還加入許多別的國籍音樂的元素,常可直接寫從在奏鳴曲標題上得知,如Polaca(波蘭)和Cingara(匈牙利)。

這張CD上聚在一塊演奏的音樂家,是一群德國音樂家,由Lukas Friederich和Christine Busch負責小提琴的重任。Lukas Friederich之前並沒聽過他,不過他是傳統小琴背景,一度和美國茱麗亞音樂院已逝的名師Dorothy Delay學琴。但他接著和Musica Antiqua Köln的Goebel長期學習,使他開始轉拉巴洛克小提琴。而Christine Busch,更是擔任過Freiburg Baroque Orchestra以及Akademie für alte Musik Berlin等德國一流的古樂團的樂手。他們的演奏方式是極有力度的強悍性,選擇拋開飄逸或優雅的整體感覺,和當初奏鳴曲嚴肅感是一致的。伴奏群有大提琴,archlute,以及風琴或是大鍵琴,所以如果需要更有活力些,那archlute迅速地撥和絃,配上大鍵琴的清脆聲,可以稍微轉變一些情緒的。

儘管如此,每首奏鳴曲開始和結束時都是緩慢和嚴肅的,中間有扣人心絃的段落,雖然音樂速度有鬆緊的變化,但整首曲子一直令人處於緊繃的狀況。我得承認,聽到前幾首奏鳴曲時,情緒維持在一定高漲的程度。長期聽的話,因曲風相似度高,容易馬上衰落。因此,十首奏鳴曲要一次聽完,是需要有相當的毅力。當然,分幾次聽,每次聽的時候將上次同樣的情境帶進來,則會馬上再度進入昇華的境界。只能說,義大利傳到德奧國家的奏鳴曲和小提琴技巧,日後被德奧作曲家繼續發揚光大。Friederich等音樂家這張的錄音,無疑是向這位義大利大師致敬,再適合不過。

Carlo Farina (c1604 - 1639) was one of the most important Italian violinists of the early 17th century.  He kept experimenting and pushing the envelope of what the violin was to accomplish and is believed by some scholars as the inventor of the double stop technique (or at least the first to feature it prominently enough in his works).  Although his stay in the Dresden music court was brief, but it had a lasting effect, as he brought the Italian sonata and violin style to the German speaking countries, and within years the Germans and Austrians would produce some of the most brilliant violinists in Europe, names like Schmelzer, Walther, Westhoff, and of course, Biber.  All of them show traces of Farina's influence. 

Born to a viol player in Mantua, Farina probably received a very solid music training from his father.  An aspiring young musician in the early 17th century Mantua was truly blessed.  The great Monteverdi made his stay in Mantua during this period, and Salomone Rossi also called Mantua home during this time.  In addition to learning the violin, considered to be a young instrument at the time, he probably soaked up the musical language of the two masters pretty quickly in creating his own musical idiom.  In his mid-twenties, he left for Prague, where his outstanding musical talent earned him a recommendation to work in the Saxony court in Dresden.  Led by Heinrich Schütz, the Dresden court musicians were considered one of, if not the best in Europe.  Surrounded by superb music talent,  Farina led an active and productive musical life.  All his five published books were written during a period of 2 years, and these are the only works that have survived.

However, his stay in Dresden was cut short because of the Thirty Years War.  In deep financial crisis, his employer could no longer pay him.  Farina traveled through the European continent during the subsequent years, having been to Cologne of Germany, Parma and Lucca of Italy, and Danzig, now part of Poland.  Farina eventually ended up in Vienna, when Empress Eleonora wanted a capella of her own.  Farina died in Vienna in 1639, spending the last two years there.

Today, Farina, like Pachelbel, is primarily remembered as a one-hit wonder.  Although, in Pachelbel's case, his infamous Canon in D is known by the entire world, whereas Farina's Capriccio stravagante is only vaguely heard by even the semi-serious Baroque listener.  To briefly describe the piece, Capriccio stravagante is a piece where an ensemble of bowed instruments mimic animal sounds and other instruments, such as the cat, dog, hen, guitar, and drums.  Written a few decades before Biber's great Sonata Representiva, it was certainly very inventive and original for its time.

This CD is not about Capriccio stravagante.  It is a recording of the complete sonatas from his five published opuses, written for one or two violins and bass continuo.  Unlike the Capriccio stravagante, which is light and humorous, these sonatas are serious pieces of work, as they were back in the early 17th century.  As were typical of sonatas of the day, Farina's sonatas are free-flowing single movement sonatas with multiple contrasting sections, either in terms of tempo, mood, and form.  In the sonatas for 2 violins, Farina avoids using much counterpoint, instead focuses on the interplay of the violins and rhythmic variations between sections.

Unlike Bertali, who wrote sonatas for larger string ensembles, Farina's sonatas for just one or two violins allow him to explore the capabilities of the instruments, writing more virtuosic passages.  Many times, there are sections where the two violin parts seem to be moving at parallel thirds.  A closer inspection of the score (the library had scores of one or two sonatas edited by none other than masetro Goebel) reveals that the violins actually leap back and forth between the upper and lower voice.  It was thought that such writing would allow the music to blend more seamlessly.  To the casual listener like mine, it is easily overlooked (overheard).

Last but not least, Farina also uses musical elements from other nations, conveniently found in the sonatas' titles, like Polaca (Poland) and Cingara (Hungary).

The musicians on this disc are all German musicians.  The role of the violins fall on Lukas Friederich and Christine Busch.  Friederich started out as a serious modern violinists, even studying with Dorothy Delay.  However, after working with Reinhard Goebel extensively, he now plays on the Baroque violin.  Busch has played in top period ensembles like the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin.  As with a very German approach, the musicians here have a very powerful masculine sound to the music, throwing any feeling of lightness out the window.  This is consistent with the sombre mood that most early Italian sonatas generally conveyed, and the approach is convincing.  However, virtuosic passages are given a lift by the continuo group, whose strumming archlute and crisp harpsichord spring liveliness in them.  Keep in mind though, that the sonatas all start and end seriously, and despite the breathtaking passages in between, the listener is kept wound continually at a high tension.  Sitting through all the sonatas in one taste is a feat and not recommended, as the strongest of minds will start to fatigue.  Instead, divide this disc into multiple sessions, pick up where you last left off, and the effect is sublime.  The fact that this disc is recorded by German musicians is greatest homage paid to Farina on how he was to shape 17th century German and Austrian instrumental writing.  Imagine a universe where Farina did not exist, they'd be probably be asking us "Biber who?"





2 comments:

Mingus said...

Bravo,寫得真好!

兩三個月前進了這張片,一直沒機會動筆。我看沒多少空間發揮了。

Capriccio stravagante 這個曲子我也有,不時與Biber、Telemann 一起雞飛蛙跳蟲叫一番。

我非常贊成古樂像巧克力要分批一小口一小口嚐。才不會浪費了曲子的內涵與精緻。

Deadlockcp said...

感謝Mingus兄如此抬舉~~~

的確,當時一套奏鳴曲裡,目的也不是要一口氣表演完。這張也是花了幾次才真正聽完的。

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