Thursday, March 10, 2011

Locatelli: Concerti Grossi Op.1 (The Raglan Baroque Players / Nicholas Kraemer / Elizabeth Wallfisch)

Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695 – 1764) 是義大利晚期巴洛克的作曲家,其小提琴作品技巧之高超,可謂是現代的「小提琴炫技法之父」。他的作品三小提琴協奏曲「小提琴的藝術」裡,十二首協奏曲的一三樂章,中間都有規模相當大的小提琴獨奏Caprice,更是現代協奏曲裡裝飾奏(cadenza)的前身。那24首Caprice的長度,有時甚至到總樂章長度的一半,之後更是被後輩帕格尼尼(Paganini)詳細研讀,為他寫他自己有名的24首隨想曲時帶來許多靈感,甚至還引用了幾段Locatelli的旋律。


對於Locatelli身世的了解,並不完整。他出身於北義的Bergamo,從小就有接受小提琴的音樂訓練,是個奇才。他年僅十四歲就在當地教堂的樂團裡擔任樂手,並於隔年就到了羅馬。普遍的相傳是他有和Corelli學習,但今天較被學者接受的說法是他的老師可能是Giuseppe Valentini。不管怎樣,Locatelli早期的作品,呈現出的是Corelli羅馬式的音樂風格。這套2CD裝裡收錄他於1721年所出版的作品一大協奏曲集,正是這時期的產物。

Locatell於1729年,永久地在阿姆斯特丹(Amsterdam)住了下來,但中間幾年發生了什麼事一直不太清楚。從文獻的記載,他的足跡可能遍佈義大利(特別是威尼斯)以及德國各處。比較謎樣的是他接下來出版的音樂的種類和曲風,有從優雅華麗的長笛奏鳴曲和三重奏鳴,到展現技巧的小提琴奏鳴曲和獨奏協奏曲,然後還有回到合奏協奏曲。可能處於音樂風格正在世代交替的時代,使Locatelli每部作品都使人捉摸不定,毫無規則可言。

將目光再拉回這些作品一大協奏曲吧。如同許多當時義大利的作曲家一樣,Locatelli選擇將這些音樂拿到阿姆斯特丹,給有名的荷蘭印刷家Estienne Roger出版。如果已熟悉Locatelli的名作「小提琴的藝術」,那剛開始聽這些大協奏曲恐怕會讓您失望了。因為仍在傳統的大協奏曲架構裡,所以少了許多俱有火花的小提琴橋段。因為大協奏曲的老祖宗作曲家是Corelli,Locatelli的作品一完完全全是向他致敬;不僅前八首是「教堂風格(da chiesa)」,後四首是「室內風格(da camera) 」,第八首也跟Corelli一樣,是一首「聖誕協奏曲」,最終樂章為平靜的田園風(pastorale)。

當然,Locatelli並不單單只是延續Corelli的傳統,是純模仿他的三流作曲家。Locatelli如同Geminiani,在獨奏樂器群(concertino)裡有加入中提琴的譜。Locatelli在獨奏樂器群裡第一小提琴,也寫了困難度較為高的部份,看得出來他在合奏音樂裡並沒有完全放棄技巧層面。這也算是為他作品三「小提琴的藝術」鋪路。Locatelli在保有傳統的大協奏曲多樂章架構之餘,他的樂句屬於較新潮的,並慢慢展露自己的風格。快樂章裡,Locatelli運用的是許多對位的賦格,而且氣氛通常來講,都比Corelli來得凝重些。最後,Locatelli通常在樂章結尾時,較簡捷有力,比較少見到Corelli特有的終止式(cadence),會用的延留(suspension)也比較短暫。

Locatelli作品一的大協奏曲,是我大三的時候就接觸過的音樂。當初並沒有對古樂器的偏好時,手邊第一個版本是Naxos上的絃樂團Capella Istropolitana用現代樂器表演的,而第二張還是和前女友逛唱片行時她買給我的。總之,在Corelli,Handel和Geminiani之後,Locatelli是我下一個我接觸的大協奏曲作曲家,心中也是有特別的回憶的。

這邊要介紹的版本,是Hyperion牌子上,由大鍵琴家Nicholas Kraemer和Elizabeth Wallfisch領導的The Raglan Baroque Players古樂團演奏的,是我上了研究所「 改信」古樂之後的「追加」版本。和Capella Istropolitana比起來,Raglan古樂團的風格更為俐落,不再是漫步在公園裡那麼悠哉悠哉的音樂,是近幾二三十年古樂的典型詮釋方式。Raglan是拉法英式的樂團,樂句修飾不會像德國或義大利的樂團那麼大膽和鮮明,音色也屬較輕盈和圓滑的。Raglan樂團的伴奏群豐富,利用大鍵琴和魯特琴製造輕快的效果,而嚴肅的對位音樂則運用風琴的音色,是另一個特色。而Elizabeth Wallfisch小姐的小提琴音色和拉法,有時我會有一些比較負面的意見,但這裡混在樂團裡的獨奏樂器群其實還算夠搭。整體而言,這套錄音在踏實中亦不失其快樂章的活力和慢樂章的柔美,是推薦的大協奏曲曲目和錄音。

Pietro Antonio Locatelli will most likely be remembered for the extremely virtuosic Op.3 violin concertos, also titled "The Art of the Violin," which represents a culmination of Baroque violin technique.  It's no surprise that Paganini himself was familiar with the works and even referenced some of the themes in his own famous 24 Caprices for solo violin.

Those that are remotely familiar with Locatelli's famous opus will then find his Op.1 Concerti Grossi an odd composition.  However, Locatelli's Op.3 concertos are in fact the only set of solo violin concertos Locatelli composed.  His other concertos subsequently composed (in Op.4 and Op.7) are also of the Concerti Grossi style.  Locatelli's tendency to alternately compose both in the pleasing gallant style and also the virtuosic style in his later works represents a somewhat beguiling dichotomy.

Well, his Op.1 Concerti Grossi were written when Locatelli was still in Rome, Italy (he would permanently settle in Amsterdam later), where he adopted the Corellian model of concertos.  Thought to be a student of Corelli, it is now more widely accepted that Giuseppe Valentini was his mentor in Rome.  Regardless of who his teacher was, these Op.1 concertos are conservative in musical form but not necessary in the musical language.  Besides the 7th concerto, the rest consist of 4 or more movements.  Like Geminiani, Locatelli adds viola parts to the concertino group for another layer of sound.  Locatelli's fast fugal movements generally are darker and more serious than Corelli's, which tend to be more lyrical.  Also, the familiar Corelli cadences are generally found less frequent in Locatelli, where his music can be more dramatic but seemingly end in a more straightforward manner.  Lastly, Locatelli will not hesitate to throw in some more juicy and showy passages for the violin concertino parts.  

Worthy of mention though,  is that Locatelli Op.1 is a clear homage to Corelli's Op.6 Concerti Grossi.  His first 8 concertos are of the da chiesa style, and his later 4 are in the da camera style.  And the Christmas Concerto?  No, Locatelli did not forget that.  His 8th concerto is exactly that, ending with a slow soothing pastorale.    

This recording is not my first recording of the music, but it is my current preferred disc.  My earlier recording was one on modern instruments, and since my "conversion" to period instruments, this Raglan set has brought joy to me on more than one occasion.  Led by harpsichordist Nicholas Kraemer and violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch, the Raglan Baroque Players are a British period instrument ensemble specializing in playing late Baroque music.  They are characterized by good solid playing, well-articulated, and a round tone.  They aren't as bold and flashy as their other continental Europe colleagues, but that doesn't take anything away from their fine playing.  Miss Wallfisch, whose recordings I happen to have collected a lot over the years, does not always get my unequivocal praise in either her violin tone or her playing style.  Here though, her violin sound blends well with the orchestra, and she handles the virtuosic patches in Locatelli's concertino writing with ease and finesse. 

Overall, this recording is well-played and recommended.  With period performances upping the ante in the flair and flamboyance department, hopefully the Raglan Baroque Players are able to withstand the test of time.










2 comments:

Ergaster said...

說到Elizabeth Wallfisch,小弟也有一張Violin Masters of the 17th Century,不知怎地就是覺得了無生趣,因此在此唱片之後,在購買時若有看到E. W.小姐的演奏就先予以無視;不過這張Hyperion的小提琴大師作品集還是保留了下來,想著或許日後有一天心境不同,會欣賞起這樣的演奏也說不定,這樣的想法在欣賞音樂上,是不是有點沒原則? :p 感謝您的分享,小弟一直是忠實讀者哩。

Deadlockcp said...

E. W的拉法和風格,的確沒Holloway那樣滑順,也沒有許多德義派的激情,相形失色。除了她錄的Locatelli的作品三「小提琴的藝術」比較常聽之外,剩下的錄音也是當做一種百科全書,擺在一旁。

我有很長的一段時間和您一樣,也是忽略她的錄音的。直到有一次,有緣聽她現場兩次的表演(有空,我應該寫寫那兩場音樂會),聽到她和在錄音室裡完全不同的樣子。從這之後,我便用新的眼光去看待她的錄音。雖然之前不滿意的批評仍成立,但多了另一層包容。

因為詮釋者而選擇欣賞音樂應該是很常見的,代表您對音樂有很明確的喜好和想法,未嘗不是件好事?這比愛花錢,目的只是為了「出席」音樂會的貴婦們好多了吧 :) 而且古典唱片不便宜,做出這種判斷也是最合理的。

不過,在錄音的時代裡,我們很幸福,因為他們的演奏可以被好好地保存下來。有一天,我們心境不同時,他們的音樂仍然站在那兒迎接我們。如果音樂只有現場的,那我們不知會與更多東西擦肩而過。

話說回來,E.W.的錄音版本,通常都不是我最滿意的。只是因為她選擇錄的曲子有意思,所以發現我有她的錄音居然數目相當龐大。這也是命運一種很奇特的安排吧。

很高興您長期的支持,也是小弟繼續寫作的一種動力。

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