Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Handel: Concerti Grossi Op.3 (Les Musiciens du Louvre / Minkowski)

韓德爾1740所寫的作品六協奏曲,和Corell的作品六並列為巴洛克最有名的大協奏曲。不過,在1734年,韓德爾就已經有一套作品三的大協奏曲問世。和作品六最大的不同是,他這套作品形成背後的故事還相當複雜。

韓德爾於1712定居倫敦,後來成為英國十八世紀最有名的音樂家,今天許多家喻互曉的音樂也都是他移居到倫敦時所寫的。當時他的歌劇襲捲英國,掀起了義式歌劇熱,使許多義大利歌劇作曲家也紛紛到英國來發展。到1730年左右,因為有更多的歌劇團打對台,讓韓德爾的聲勢一度下滑,陷入一點財務危機。

另一位要登場的人物是倫敦的大出版商John Walsh。他和父親John一世都是樂譜出版商,成功地壟斷倫敦印刷界。他們用最新,最廉價的技術,使許多音樂家都和他們合作。可是,Walsh也是為了謀利不擇手段的商人,時常盜版其他的樂譜,使他在歐洲同行裡也常糟唾棄。甚至為了衝銷售量,有些音樂還會假藉其他作曲家之名,或是加上假作品編號。這樣的行為,讓日後音樂學家要追縱編輯作品時,可是惹了不少麻煩。

韓德爾其實很早就認識Walsh,也和他合作過,出版他上演成功的歌劇。1730年左右經濟開始有點拮据的韓德爾,需要另一條金錢來源。Walsh看到有利可圖,當然也不放棄這個搖錢樹。他先後以作品一,作品二的編號,出版了韓德爾的室內樂集。(其中作品一版本問題和錯誤一堆,曲子的編號是令今天演奏家頭疼的問題之一)。但Walsh後來在未經韓德爾完全許可之下,又以作品三的名義出版了六首協奏曲。韓德爾後來立刻和Walsh做出了許多修改,發行了第二版。其中,將一首疑似他人所寫的第四號協奏曲整個換掉,而第五號協奏曲又加了三個樂章。

會說「未經完全許可」,是因為這些協奏曲,不是韓德爾有專門目的為出版一套協奏曲而寫。這些音樂大部份是在別的場合就已演奏過,或則是零散改編的音樂,已握在Walsh的手上。Walsh只不過看到時機成熟,就東拿一些,西補一點,終於拼湊出六首協奏曲就這樣拿來出版了。以韓德爾和Walsh的交情,Walsh此舉似乎沒有令兩人關係交惡,因為日後偉大的作品六,也是經由Walsh出版。這套作品三,儘管出版過程有點詭異,但相信雙方也都很清楚是一種互利的合作關係。

因為這套作品三基本上是個大拼盤,所以根本不能說是符合Corelli那種形式的大協奏曲。第一號協奏曲只有三樂章(快 - 慢 - 快),比較像是韋瓦第式的協奏曲。第二首到第五首協奏曲,雖然是多樂章,但每一首性質也都不同,而第四號協奏曲(新版的)的第一樂章甚至是一個法國序曲。最後一首第六首協奏曲則是少到只有兩個樂章,第二樂章還是個風琴協奏曲。先前說過這些音樂並不是原創,而是來自先前寫好的歌劇,神劇,宗教音樂,或是鍵盤曲和室內樂。知道這個由來,不免讓我問:這種行為和今天流行樂歌手翻唱他人的歌,或是出個精選集,其實也沒啥兩樣咩。能不能撈錢才是王道~~~ 

或許您會問,這套作品弄得如此亂七八糟,那真的有可聽性嗎?在這兒可以直接回答:正因為這樣的形形色色,所以有它的豐富色彩。另外,在樂器編制上,也可以說是花樣很多,有的樂章有雙簧管,有的有直笛,而第六號還有風琴。比起作品六的不成熟,這種不規則感也是一種賣點。而且,我覺得韓德爾勝過巴哈之處,一直在他對旋律的駕馭能力。就連理應複雜理性的賦格對位音樂,都起來那麼美麗。這和聽巴哈時立刻會感受到的嚴肅,是截然不同的。

另外,我本身和作品三有種特別的因緣。當初國中時就擁有第一張錄音,但沒特別喜愛。上了研究所,接觸了大鍵琴,也學了一些韓德爾的鍵盤樂。其中,有一首組曲最後的樂章,就是後來被他拿來當第六首的第二樂章,只是主角變成風琴。另外,我還彈了一首他的鍵盤賦格,也被改編成第三首協奏曲的末樂章。其實當時會想練這幾首,也是因為有印象。而經歷過這些事之後,這些協奏曲反而對我有一種親切感了。

這張CD版本是我最後入手,但也是我最喜歡的版本。Marc Minkowski領軍的羅浮宮合奏團(Les Musiciens du Loure),在之前Mondonville的專輯就接觸過了。那時對他們的演奏就有很正面的評價了,而這張錄音更增加我對他們的賞識。之前看到偏保守的愛樂者提到對Minkowski許多巴洛克歌劇搖滾化的諸多不能接受。由於在下不是聲樂的行家,所以那方面我不予置評。專就純器樂曲,他們演奏生氣勃勃,簡捷有力,戲劇效果十足,聽了非常過癮;這和一些樂團過於按部就班的風格大有不同。而且他們在許多地方做的即興,更是演奏巴洛克音樂精髓之一。尤其是第六首協奏曲第二樂章,風琴家Aline Zylberajch的表現真的是讓人嘆為觀止。好的廚師能料理出食物的美味,同樣的,好的樂團能奏出音樂的清新感和活力。這張錄音,正是如此~~

Among Handel's great instrumental works, his Op.6 Concerti Grossi is certain top on the list.  However, six years prior his publication of these grand concertos as he called them, an opus 3 was published by English publisher John Walsh.  This set of concertos have been a source of puzzlement to many scholars and musicians alike, because they literally have "peculiar" written all over them.

First of all, John Walsh was an unscrupulous publisher.  Although the most well-known and successful in London, he would turn out many pirated editions of certain works, sometimes publishing works attributed to other composers, other times adding false opus number, all to just boost sales and increase revenue.  Anyways, tracking the authenticity of some works has kept musical scholars busy.

Handel and Walsh had a pretty good working relationship, and so when Handel's musical dominance was briefly threatened in the 1730s, he immediately agreed to publishing of some of his instrumental works.  This resulted in his op.1 and op.2 chamber music (where tracking his op.1 sonatas and editions has been a complete mess and confusion even til this day).  Walsh subsequently published this set of Op.3 concertos, I'm assuming, without Handel's full consent.  Some revisions followed, where a second edition was published.   Major changes included a new 4th concerto and 3 new movements at the end of the 5th concerto.  Handel apparently was not offended, as their partnership continued until Handel's death.

The material for Opus 3 all come from previously composed music.  Walsh probably already had a handful of Handel's scores, and he just saw the opportune moment to capitalize on it.  This explains why this set looks more like a smorgasbord of assorted pieces rather a coherent set of concertos.  Concerto No.1 is more Venetian in character, adopting fast-slow-fast form.  Concertos Nos. 2-5 are multi-movement, but even that doesn't mean they exactly fit the Roman concerto grosso mold.  Concerto No.4 even opens with a French overture, evidence that he used a lot of material from his operatic works.  Concerto No.6 has only two movements, the 2nd movement which features the organ solo. 

What Opus 3 lacks in polish compared to its Opus 6 counterpart, it makes up in variety.  While inconsistent in overall form and structure, the oddities can be somewhat of an amusement.  Also, the instrumentation is colorful, adopting woodwind instruments which include certain significant passages. By comparison, op.6 is played with an all-strings ensemble most of the time I believe.  And lastly, which applies to Handel in general, is his grasp for a tuneful melody, even in the fugues.  In my opinion, Handel wrote some of the prettiest orchestral fugues, striking great balance between contrapuntal complexity and lyricism.  It doesn't have the pedantry of Bach that sometimes you would like to forget that it's a fugue.     

My first experience with the Opus 3 concertos is not a memorable one.  It was good listening but that was about it.  I also think it was during one of my anti-Handel phases.  Many years later, I started playing the harpsichord and studied Handel.  Some of the pieces I eventually learned to play were later arranged by him in this set of concertos.  These include the 2nd movement of the 6th concerto and the final fugue from the 3rd concerto.  That's when I felt a closer affinity to these concertos.    

This recording by Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre is my latest version and also my favorite.  Minkowski's rock-n-roll Baroque approach has garnered praise and detractors, but here he gets my vote of approval.  Their playing is brisk, fluid, dramatic, and fresh.  They never for once seem to be bogged down, and the playing is so lively, even for the fugal movements, that I simply can't get enough of them.  In fact, I never thought Handel's op.3 could sound this way that it was quite a revelation to me.  As another testament to the Baroque spirit,  fermatas are met with an improvisation, and how can you not notice the 2nd movement of the 6th concerto with Aline Zylberajch's dazzling performance on the organ (with a lot of ornamentation) ?




9 comments:

Mingus said...

感謝你的推薦。Minkowski 這張我沒聽過,應該還可以找到重發版。

看到Warner Handel Edition 盒裝裏有這張,不知其他人的片子如何。Gardiner 與 Harnoncourt、還有最讓我害怕的Jean-Francois Paillard...

如果可買到低價單張的,好像比較保險。

Deadlockcp said...

呵。的確。Harnoncourt的Op.6,應該是早期的錄音吧。

我有他60年代末期Harnoncourt錄的一套Telemann Darmstadt Overtures... 只能說是有年代的錄音。他們錄的Tafelmusik我可能也不會考慮了~~~

剛剛發現我po的youtube連結出了點小問題,放的兩首協奏曲是重覆的。已修正。

Mingus said...

「我覺得韓德爾勝過巴哈之處,一直在他對旋律的駕馭能力。就連理應複雜理性的賦格對位音樂,都起來那麼美麗。」

這真是Handel 最大的魅力,但也是在19-20 世紀德奧音樂史學常用來誤解他的批評(旋律=膚淺),殊不知旋律的型構,要配上曼妙的和聲結構、曲式設計,不是那麼簡單的事。

如同你知道的,他的鍵盤組曲、歌劇、乃至神劇也有同樣的傾向,只要演奏不單調呆滯,so easy on the ear, yet so uplifting!

若有天Deadlock 兄開始聽vocal 曲,建議可從他的歌劇與義大利清唱劇開始,與Bach 的清唱劇完全是worlds apart。

兩人都喜歡的我,有幸活在對Handel 偏見已經大部消除的當下。

Deadlockcp said...

嗯,我也一直覺得,如果要聽聲樂曲,Handel是很好的切入點。

手邊有幾套他的神劇,像是一定要有的Messiah,Solomon, Israel in Egypt 等。有些是古樂版,但有的是現代樂器版,失去了一點吸引力。以前都沒有好好認真聽過。

難道這是開啟另一條拜金之路嗎? :)

Anonymous said...

多謝推薦! 我們這一季以來聽了不只一場巴洛克音樂. 今天的音樂會曲目是:
Handel : Concerto grosso in B-flat Major, Op. 6, No. 7 “Hornpipe”, HWV 325
· Telemann : Suite in a minor for Alto Recorder, Strings and Basso Continuo, TWV 55: a2
· Sammartini : Concerto in F Major for Soprano Recorder and Strings
· Geminiani : Concerto grosso in d minor “La Follia” (after Arcangelo Corelli)
· Geminiani : Concerto in F Major for Flute, No. 10

個人最喜歡Geminiani的Concerto grosso in D minor,而且讓我又燃起想看電影"日出時讓悲傷終結"之心.

last but not least,happy new year and congrats!

ggsadventure

Deadlockcp said...

嗯,「谷歌」了一下,應該是 Maurice Steger 與 Les Violons du Roy的表演。

能聽到Maurice演出,還真是羨慕,應該聽到一堆炫技吧~~~

Les Violons du Roy 前幾個月有要來我們這兒表演,但可惜我不喜歡他們整體的感覺。其一是樂器(巴洛克弓+現代樂器的奇怪組合),第二是本身的演奏風格。不過說句公道話,他們的演奏是四平八穩就是了。

Anonymous said...

你說得沒錯,其實樂團本身普通(我家老爺覺得上次彎區來的apollo's fire還更強些).不過Steger實在是太強了.我們會去這一場,大部分是衝著Steger而去的

今天下午則是會去Messiaen 的.又是一個新嘗試. 說實話,我還沒接觸過此人作品呢~ 雖然見你和Val討論過...

ggsadventure

Deadlockcp said...

呵,多打了一個字。「前幾個月有來我們這兒表演」,不是「有"要"來」。

Messiaen那種作曲家,我應該沒有勇氣去聽現場的音樂會才是 XD

Anonymous said...

>>我應該沒有勇氣去聽現場的音樂會才是

我們也是抱著純嘗試的心態.不過........應該不要如此勇敢的才是XD

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