Friday, January 20, 2012

Roman: Drottningholmsmusiken (Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble / Nils-Erik Sparf)

2011年發生了不少事。動了幾個手術,回台灣和幾位網友正式見了面,去了巴黎,不過最重要的,是正式(法律上)告別單身生活。當時事情太多忙不過來,未能記載,或許改天能一一補上。新的一年,先用Johan Helmich Roman (1694 – 1758)的這張專輯上的音樂來代表這一年經歷對我最有意義的事情了。

Roman是瑞典的晚期巴洛克/早期古典作曲家,時常被譽為是「瑞典音樂之父」。雖然他媽媽的家人是德國裔,而他父親那邊其實是從芬蘭遷過來的,Roman可是道道地地的瑞典人。他父親是皇家禮拜堂的音樂家,而Roman在年紀輕輕十七歲的時候,也和老爸一樣被入選為其中的成員,善長的樂器是小提琴和雙簧管。

他得到國王的賞識,有機會到英國去深造六年。倫敦的期間,他認識當時最重要的義大利作曲家(如Bonocini,Geminiani,以及Veracini)讓他大量吸收了最新的音樂風格。其中,當時倫敦的音樂教父-韓德爾-自然是影響他最深遠,也是他一直仰慕崇拜的對象。他後來寫的音樂,除了借用韓德爾的旋律,還有其他的是當作藍圖。

Roman回到瑞典之後,立刻被重用,擔任大職。他從1721年起,成為宮廷樂團的代理指揮,1727年升為總指揮,將樂團從一個慘不忍睹的狀態,訓練得有模有樣。1731年,他甚至籌劃瑞典史上第一次的公眾音樂會,開放給一般人民,而不再限制於王宮貴族和神職人員,對於瑞典的音樂文化發展相當重要。公眾音樂會當時在歐洲還不是主流,只有巴黎(如「聖靈音樂會」(Concert Spirituel))及倫敦才有相同的例子,可看出Roman的遠見與國際觀。

Roman在1735起,展開了人生第二次音樂的深造,為時兩年。這次,他不但回到之前拜訪過的英國,也到了法國,義大利,以及德國,吸收了當時最新的音樂風格,並引進大量的音樂進瑞典。Roman自己也寫了不少音樂,反映了當時歐洲音樂的曲式,如交響曲,協奏曲,三重奏鳴曲,管絃樂序曲,清唱劇等。又,因為他致力於寫歌詞為瑞典文的宗教音樂,甚至入選瑞典的皇家科學院。

1741年是Roman人生的一大轉折。以往大力贊助的王妃Ulrika Eleonora過逝,而從王儲Adolf Fredrik與王妃儲Lovisa Ulrika是從德國過來的(Ulrika Elenora無子嗣)。二人愛好音樂,前者拉大提琴,而後者是出色的大鍵琴家,更是Frederick the Great(腓特烈大帝)的妹妹,對其兄宮廷盛行的音樂文化當然不陌生。這樣的未來統治者,理應讓Roman的更加順遂才是。可是,他們從德國帶來了自己的音樂家,在許多場合下打起對台。再加上Roman於1744第二次喪妻,而且重聽的情況更加嚴重,使得他於1745之後就開始淡出音樂圈了。不過,1751年,他再度被請為先王Fredrik寫下葬以及Adolf Frerik的加冕音樂。

今天Roman最為人知,也是最常被演奏的音樂,莫過於他1744年為王儲Adolf Fredrik與妻子所寫的隆重婚禮音樂Drottningholm Music。Drottingholm是皇宮的名稱,是二人婚禮舉辦的地方,全部儀式花了四天才落幕,對於演奏的音樂家,可是真的忙翻了。而且,Roman當時在兩月前才剛失去親愛的妻子,要強忍悲痛寫出如此歡樂的音樂,可想像是一種情緒上的一大挑戰。

 Drottningholm Palace

好在,Roman並不是第一次為這種場合作曲。多年前,為了慶祝俄國沙皇彼得二世的登基,Roman已寫過一套類似的音樂。十六年後,Roman的音樂風格更加成熟,已經是經驗豐富的作曲家了。Drottningholm Music共分二十四個樂章,算是個大組曲,不論編制,情境,曲風上,都有相當的變化。歡天喜慶的音樂,有小號,號角,以及定音鼓壯大聲勢,輕快的舞曲,可配上個長笛或直笛,而寧靜的曲子,可經由雙簧管營造氣氛,甚至可完全簡化至只剩絃樂。這二十四樂章,不大可能從頭到尾按照順序演奏,而是根據場合而節選部份。當時這些曲子Roman是怎麼安排的,沒有紀錄下來,所以後人只能去揣測了。

耳朵敏銳的人,會發現有幾個樂章(如第20,21首)像極了韓德爾有名的水上音樂。先前就提過,Roman受韓德爾的影響甚深,在這種管絃樂組曲類型的音樂,Roman也不忘向大師致敬。本人在文章最後面放在youtube上的精選裡第二段應該可以很明顯地聽出來。

這張CD最後還錄了一首大協奏曲,因為編制和曲風特別,專家最後判定應該不大可能是Roman的曲子。雖名為「大協奏曲」,但快的第二及第四樂章有 大鍵琴的獨奏片段,第三樂章也是大鍵琴主導的,所以感覺更像是鍵盤協奏曲。大鍵琴的獨奏部份,又讓我不經意聯想到韓德爾的風琴協奏曲的風琴獨奏呢~

由小提琴Nils-Erik Sparf領軍的Drottningholms Barockensemble是於1971年成立的瑞典古樂團,至今也出了幾十張唱片,曲目包涵了基本的巴洛克與早期古典的曲目。而Musica Sveciae這個音樂廠牌,則是專門為了錄瑞典的古典樂而成立的,其中還不少專輯是收錄Johan Roman的音樂。

這張1994年的Drottningholms Barockensemble錄音,演奏風格屬上個世代的,和Pinnock的English Concert和Hogwood的Academy of Ancient Music相似,速度算是輕快的,樂句和音符也是標準的古樂演奏處理方式。但,他們節奏和音樂中其他元素中的對比上算打安全牌的,都在意料之中。不過話說回來,和手邊上以及市面上現代樂團的錄音相比,這張已經算讓我足夠滿意的了。

自己完成了人生重要的大事之一,雖不是皇室的等級,但聽到Roman的Drottningholm Music,心中雀躍的感覺也絲毫不減。希望2012年對我,以及各位網友們,也都是個好年~~~

Johan Helmich Roman is often called the "father of Swedish music," despite his mom being of German descent, and his dad's family originally from Finland.  Roman was born in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, and probably had his first music lessons from his dad, who was a musician at the royal chapel.  At the age of 17, Roman played alongside his father at the royal chapel, the violin and oboe being the two instruments he specialized in.

In 1715, the king granted Roman permission to study abroad, where he spent six years in London, which brought him in contact with the Italian composers working there at the time, most notably Bonocini, Geminiani, and Veracini.  Of course, the greatest musical figure at the time was no doubt Handel, whom Roman greatly admired and whose music largely influenced Roman.  Upon returning to Sweden in 1721, Roman became the deputy master of the royal chapel, and later 1727 the principal master of the court orchestra.  Under his leadership, the orchestra transformed from a wretched state into a disciplined modern ensemble.  In 1731, he even scheduled the first public concerts in Sweden, in which music was no longer limited to the royalty and clergy.  This was at the time almost unprecedented in Europe, as the only other two cities that had known public concerts were Paris and London.  His move would forever change the Swedish musical culture, in the progressive-looking manner. 

He would make another extended musical journey in 1735, this time visiting France, Italy, and Germany, in addition to returning to England, this time soaking up even more of the latest musical styles, which were along the lines of the late Baroque and galant style.   As a composer, Roman wrote works that reflected the styles popular at the time, like symphonies, overtures, concertos, trio sonatas, cantatas, etc.  Interestingly, for demonstrating the "suitability of the Swedish language to church music," Roman was elected a member of the (Swedish) Royal Academy of Science.

1741 marked a turning point in Roman's career. His long time patroness Queen Ulrika Eleonora died, and because she was childless and Sweden's humiliating defeat of the Hats' Russian War, meant that the heir of the Swedish throne was demanded by Empress Elizabeth of Russia as Adolf Fredrik of Holstein-Gottorp.

Both Adolf Fredrik and his wife Lovisa Ulrika were talented amateur musicians.  Adolf Fredrik played the cello, and Lovisa Ulrika was an accomplished harpsichordist herself.  In fact, Lovisa Ulrika was the younger sister of Frederick the Great, and she certainly was familiar and immersed in the blossoming music culture of his brother's court.  This should have been the ideal scenario for Roman, if it weren't the case that the crown prince and princess brought their own musicians from Germany, setting up competing venues and events to the already established Swedish court orchestra.   To make matters worse, Roman became a widower a second time in 1744, and his increasingly worsened hearing made him resign from his position in 1745.  His retirement wasn't exactly clean, so to speak, as he was summoned back in 1751 to write the funeral music of King Fredrik I and the coronation (finally) of Adolf Fredik. 

Aside for Swedish classical music connoisseurs, most of Roman's music remains unheard of outside of Sweden.  His most famous and most performed music, is his Drottningholm Music, or Music for a Royal Wedding, written for the grand wedding of Adolf Fredrik and his wife in Lovisa Ulrika in 1744.  The entire ceremony and festivities lasted for 4 days, so I can imagine Roman and his musicians having their hands full.  For Roman, it must have been difficult, having lost his wife just 2 months before.

In total, the music is comprised of 24 movements, which in a way is a large orchestral suite by itself.  However, it was not meant to be played sequentially in its entirety.  Depending on the setting and nature of the ceremony, different selections were chosen.  There is no record of exactly which movements were played when and where, so much has been left to scholarly speculation.    

The 24 pieces show a great variation in orchestration, mood, and form, something which is almost a must given the purpose the music was written for.  Festive music won't be complete without flaring trumpets and horns and the percussive timpani, upbeat and brisk dance music is accompanied by the flute or recorder, and serene passages are aided by the oboe or often completely reduced to just the strings and continuo.    

Remember how much Roman revered Handel?  Well, in Drottningholm Music, you get to hear that first-hand, in movements No. 20 and No. 21, which the keen listener cannot miss the uncanny similarity to Handel's Water Music.  I've posted them in the second video of the samples down below, which the avid listener is welcome to judge for yourself.     

There is an additional work on the CD, titled a Concerto Grosso in B flat.  It is a peculiar work, which scholars have now dismissed as an authentic work by Roman.  It is odd because of its scoring calls for a concertino group of two violins and harpsichord, but in essence, it's more like a harpsichord solo concerto, with the harpsichord dominating in pretty much all the movements.  The extended solo harpsichord passage also reminds me of Handel's organ concertos. 

The Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble, led by Nils-Erik Sparfled, is a Swedish period ensemble founded in 1971, who have a few dozen recordings on their resume, ranging from the typical Baroque repertoire to the early classical.  They've had a few recordings on the label Musica Sveciae, which was created to record Swedish classical music, from early music to 20th century.  Many Musica Sveciae are devoted to Johan Roman, showcasing his versatility.     

In this 1994 recording, Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble has a style that is reminiscent of Pinnock's English Concert and Hogwood's AAM.  Their size is typical of an early music ensemble, with brisker speeds, and general phrasing and sound what you expect from period practices.  Yet, their tempos are a tad rigid and other aspects of their music playing are rather safe, viewed of course in today's hindsight.  Yet, compared to other recordings which use modern orchestras, incidentally which I own one myself, Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble's playing is still a few leagues ahead in terms of a gratifying early music listening experience.    

2011 also marks the year where, at least on official document, I've said farewell to the "single" status.  I'm not royalty, but listening to Roman's Drottningholm Music nonetheless makes me feel completely deserving of wedding my wife.   Those who are reading, hopefully 2012 is a good year for you too !







3 comments:

Mingus said...

選出這套歡樂喜氣中,夾帶入神沉思的巴洛克音樂,作為自己新的人生的開端,品味獨到!

正在聽 Manze 指揮的BIS 版。很巧,我的音響架上那堆cds,有張 MAK 成員的 Roman 長笛奏鳴曲(Naxos)。

Deadlockcp said...

嗯,Fischer那套Roman的奏鳴曲,我手邊也有。不知道為什麼,聽過很多次,但就沒什麼太大的感覺。不是演奏者的問題(因為Telemann和Quantz的錄音都很欣賞),所以我歸類為音樂的問題。

Manze指揮的,以前聽過selections。我記得是現代樂團,所以儘管musical idea算是發揮得好,但最近偏好「古樂」演奏方式中毒已深,欣賞的程度有所下降 :(

手邊另一個現代錄音是Naxos版,今天也頂多只是拿出來做個reference而已。

Mingus said...

對啊,我也注意,同是MAK 成員組合,Roman 這套的魅力少了許多。這套一直在架上,是希望給個機會,想說會不會心情對了,音樂感受也會有所不同。

有次這麼作:從 Roman 直接換到 Quantz,整個音樂的畫面與吸引力,簡直判若兩團!

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