Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Concert: Hallifax & Jeffrey (03/11/2011)

 bass viols


 03/11/2011

The Monthes and Other Fantasies by Christopher Simpson and His Contemporaries

Christopher Simpson: January
John Jenkins:  Fantasia 14 for 3 viols and organ
Simpson:  Duo divisions on a ground in F major
               May
               Prelude
Anonymous:  Barafostus' Dream (Divisions for treble)
William Young:  Fantasia 4
Simpson:  Prelude
               August
Jenkins:  Pavan
Simpson:  Prelude
               June               
Matthew Locke:  Pavan in G minor from The Little Consort
Simpson:  Duo divisions in G major
Thomas Tomkins:  Sad Pavan for these distracted tymes
Young:  Fantasia 9
Simpson:  April
               Prelude
               October

Peter Hallifx and Julie Jeffrey, bass viols
Marie Dalby, treble viol
Gilbert Martinez, virginal and organ


這場音樂會的曲目,其實是平常比較少去接觸的音樂。手邊不是沒有此類的錄音,因為其實還算不少,只是英國早期的Consort Music不是自己最喜歡,也不是最有意思的音樂。儘管如此,這天有機會聽現場的音樂會的機會,我當然也不能放過。

音樂清一色是英國作曲家,而且都是十七世紀初期到中期所謂的Consort Music,也就是合奏器樂曲。不過當時使用的樂器都是viol 古提琴家族的成員,和小提琴家族成員不同。Viol裡也有像下面這張的六條絃的高音提琴,只是後來很快就被小提琴給取代了。

 Treble Viol

 Marie Dalby and her treble viol

古中提琴(viola da gamba)則比較頑固,撐得比較久,到了古典時期才被淘汰。這也是為什麼它算是它家族裡知名度是最高的樂器。

音樂會的主題是作曲家Christopher Simpson (1602 − 1669) 當初寫的一套十二首Fantasia,叫做The Monthes,每首都是一個月份。和韋瓦第的「四季」小提琴協奏曲比起來,敘述性沒那麼強烈,音樂也沒那麼生動,反而較是描寫情境的音樂。音樂會表演了十二首幻想曲裡的一半,其他則穿插同時期作曲家的小曲子當間奏。

由於viol家族樂器本身的特性和限制,使得音樂起伏不大,相當內斂。平常聽這種音樂,心思很容易飄走,而這一晚硬坐在那兒,中間也經歷不少次頭腦呈現放空狀。不過,偶而還是有一些比較有趣的地方,仍然是可以將我的注意力拉回來。除了那首暱名之作Barafostus' Dream,其他小品的印象不特別深。而Simpson的The Monthes因為自己有錄音,所以是先前就有點認識的。現場的表演,樂器比重比較均勻,兩把古中提琴和高音的古提琴是平起平坐的。Simpson的這些Fantasia如仔細聽,仍可感到動聽之處,不同月份的情緒稍稍可有些體會。

Peter Hallifax和Julie Jeffrey是灣區的古中提琴家,之前專攻法國時期如Saint-Colombe,Marais,還有Forquerary的作品,最近幾年才開始表演英國Consort Music的曲目。因為平常不聽古中提琴的音樂會,所以少了可以比較的標準。再過幾週會去聽二十世紀最重要的古中提琴家Wieland Kuijken的音樂,到時聽完之後應該會更有心得。和他們一起表演的是Marie Dalby,是拉高音的古提琴,而且也是夾在雙腿中間的。如對音樂的共鳴沒那麼高,光看表演也是有一定的趣味性。Gilbert Martinez,則在小風琴和virginal之間換來換去。整體感覺,他們的演奏和自己對此時期的音樂的印象還算吻合,英式複音音樂帶著哀愁,歡喜的部份也猶如看到身邊周遭鄰居不幸,無法開懷大笑,深怕被罵沒同理心。

音樂會之後好奇和音樂家們請教有關樂器的一二問題。雖然對於樂器為什麼會有如此特別的音色,畢竟他們是音樂家,沒辦法給我真的讓我滿意的答案,但仍然讓我留下更深刻的印象。

Julie Jeffrey and her bass viol

English consort music is not exactly my favorite cup of tea, and despite owning quite a few recordings, listening to them has been sporadic.  Given the chance to hear a live performance, I still wasn't going to pass up the opportunity .

The performance centered around English composer Christopher Simpson's The Monthes, a set of 12 fantasias written for treble viol, 2 bass viols, and continuo.  Nowhere near descriptive nor vivid as Vivaldi's Four Seasons,  they were meant to be more of mood pieces.  Although, with the design of the instrument, tonal contrasts and dynamic range is generally more limited than the violin family.  The concert features 6 of the 12 monthes, and shorter pieces from Simpson's contemporaries are played as interludes between the longer fantasias.

I own a recording of The Monthes, and given the style of the music, it's good to have had some impression of them going in.  It's not exactly the type of music I would like to jump start my day.  It does have its good moments, and some of these fantasias is well-crafted music.  I'm glad that I was able to catch this one. 

Peter Hallifax and Julie Jeffrey are bass violists that focused on the French viola da gamba composers like Marais, Saint-Colombe, and Forquerary.  It seems like the English repertoire was a recent endeavor (starting 2008).  As I don't understand English viol music and their particular expressiveness that well, I at least appreciated their playing as I envisioned consort music of the time should sound.  They addressed the audience on what England was at the time, and their playing was convincing and consistent as their claims.

Wieland Kuijken is coming in two weeks.  I look forward to that one too~~~~

tuner tuning the chamber organ

muselar virginal

4 comments:

GGs Adventure said...

不知道是不是我的誤解,總覺得你去聽音樂會都能夠和演出者有頗多互動,是因為聽眾少的關係?還是你有特別管道去和演奏家交談?

Deadlockcp said...

(1) 場地的關係,音樂會人較少,較容易和音樂家互動。
(2) 古樂音樂家大部份我遇過的,人都很友善,也很高興和你分享他們的樂器。畢竟不是常見到的。
(3) 我臉皮比較厚 :) 不過有CD叫他們簽,通常他們也都很樂意。

Ergaster said...

想到之前The Peabody Consort與李文智先生來台灣演出的時候,也是相當地友善,在中場休息時還把他們的樂器擺放在舞台上讓大家參觀,有問題也可以提問,他們也都很樂意作解說,是演奏者和聽眾互動性很高的音樂會;我想這樣的氣氛也讓比較少接觸這類樂器的聽眾更容易地融入音樂之中,而音樂家們應也是像格主一般,以推廣早期音樂與古樂器的熱情在演出,才能營造出這樣一種融洽的氣氛吧!

Deadlockcp said...

正是~~~ !

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