Thursday, March 15, 2012

Concert: Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (with Ottavio Dantone and Marion Verbruggen)(11/17/2011)

Ottavio Dantone

11/17/2011

Ottavio Dantoneconductor and  harpsichord
Marion Verbruggen, recorder

CORELLI: Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 2 in F major
GREGORI: Concerto Grosso Op. 2, No. 2 in D minor
GEMINIANI: Concerto Grosso Op. 3, No. 4 in D minor
VIVALDI: Concerto for Alto Recorder in F major, RV 433 “La tempesta di mare”
SAMMARTINI: Concerto for Soprano Recorder in F major
A. SCARLATTI: Concerto Grosso No. 4 in G minor
VIVALDI: Concerto for Strings in D minor, RV 128
CORELLI: Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 4 in D major

幾個月前的音樂會,最近才比較有時間上來寫。其實這場音樂會是博士口試當天晚上,算是給自己的一個小獎勵。而老婆大人前一天專程從東岸飛過來,帶著她參加這場音樂會,心中顯得更有意義  ^_^  ~~~

這天的音樂會的客座指揮是Accademia Bizantina的當家指揮Ottavio Dantone。他們專攻義大利巴洛克的曲目,先前也在那張Alessandro Scarlatti大協奏曲專輯有介紹過他們。而Marion Verbruggen是荷蘭的直笛家,是古樂界的元老之一,之前和Musica Antiqua Koeln等知名的樂團合作過。

這一天的曲目清一色是義大利作曲家的協奏曲。除了Verbruggen吹的那兩首直笛協奏曲,剩下全是絃樂協奏曲,而且多為大協奏曲的重要的代表如Corelli,Geminiani,與A. Scarlatti。之前的部落格文也都有介紹其錄音。除了Gregori和Sammartini的協奏曲比較不熟,剩下的協奏曲在我腦中可是滾瓜爛熟。他們演奏的Geminiani的那首以及Corelli的作品六第四首協奏曲,甚至是我最喜歡的之一。基本上,這場的曲目實在太適合一般大眾了。就連受不了我對古樂熱愛的老婆大人,也都說這一晚上的音樂都還蠻好聽的。

換了指揮,PBO在Dantone的帶領下,散發出來不同的氣勢,是一種很奇妙的現象。平常在McGegan的領導下,PBO雖然有模有樣,但Dantone將給予樂團,是另一種活力。特別在Gregori還有Corelli的協奏曲裡,Dantone掌握機會,在空檔中大大即興了一番,更讓音樂增加了靈氣。事後有和伴奏群裡彈archlute的David Taylor聊,他甚至開玩笑說Gregori那段的即興長到樂團的成員都有點驚訝,不知道什麼時候才要回來。

Verbruggen上下半場各有獨角戲。Vivaldi的那首協奏曲原本是給長笛的,不過換成直笛也無不可。而Sammartini那首協奏曲,則是當今他最受歡迎的曲子之一,不過已經逼進早期古典曲風的協奏曲,未能在我心中留下特別深的印象。當然,手邊也沒有此曲的錄音,所以這也可能是較陌生的原因。

中場休息時間,終於讓我睹到大提琴手Phoebe Carrai。她可是古樂界中的大老,80年代許多Musica Antiqua Koeln的經典錄音中,她是固定的班底。她雖然後來離開了MAK,但繼續和其他世界知名的古樂團一塊兒演奏。我來聽那麼多PBO的音樂會了,一直沒有機會和她直接說到話。這次,可是將手邊一疊有她的CD拿給她簽~~

Verbruggen則是我第二次見到她本人。多年前她客串PBO的音樂會時,就和她打過一次招呼了。 最後,Dantone也相當友善;當我拿出他自己樂團錄的A. Scarlatti大協奏曲時,我們各笑了一下。不過,他自己沒料到的,是我手邊有早期Accademia Bizantina的Corelli大全集的錄音。那時,他應該才出道沒多久,而且當時樂團尚未完全使用古樂器演奏。對他來說,那應該是個遙遠的記憶吧~~


Phoebe Carrai and Marion Verbruggen

This night, we were treated to not only a guest conductor, but also another guest soloist.  First, there was Ottavio Dantone conducting from the harpsichord, and then there was Marion Verbruggen on the recorder.  Dantone has been with Italian Accademia Bizantina since the 80s and later took over the ensemble as its director, transforming it completely into a period ensemble.  Verbruggen, on the other hand, has been one of the leading recorder players of the early music, having studied with Frans Brüggen.  She has been playing with the top period ensembles, among many these include the award-winning set of Heinichen's Dresden concertos by MAK.

This was an all-Italian night, with an emphasis on the concerto grosso.  None of the composers here were really new to me, although Gregori I know better by name than by his music.  Historically, he was the first person to use the term "concerto grosso" in his publications, although they don't come anywhere close to Corelli or Torelli's pieces, which have explicitly directions to solo and tutti passages.  His op.2 concertos are generally short pieces and not very interesting.  However, where the music itself falls short, it's up to the musicians themselves to pick up the slack.  In particular, Dantone had an extensive improvisation on the harpsichord in the opening movement, to the point that archlute player David Taylor jokingly said afterward that the orchestra was even sure when to come back in.  To me, that's the epitome of making the most out of the music and having fun while doing it.

The remaining concerti grossi I practically know by heart.  Among these, Geminiani's D minor concerto is one of my favorites, with the second fugal Allegro movement following the opening Largo without a break.  The second Corelli concerto they played, the 4th concerto of the opus, is also a favorite of mine.  It also seems to be popular among period ensembles, as I have heard it played live more than once before.  The opening movement has, after the slow introduction, the concertino violins engage in a long lively passage.  Dantone also added his own embellishments from time to time, which provided a nice touch, especially to people like me who are familiar with the original music itself.  While some of the playing of the concertino violins were a occasionally a bit spotty, Dantone's directing gave PBO a kind of sparkle and drive not seen in McGegan's conducting.  It's interesting to witness how one man's vision can change the ensemble's sound that significantly.

Of course, with Verbruggen's appearance, there were also the two recorder concertos by Sammartini and Vivaldi.  The Vivaldi concerto is from his well-known op.10 flute concertos, played here with the alto recorder by Verbruggen.  The Sammartini concerto is one of his most popular concertos, but it's a piece that I'm not too familiar with.  It's in the late Baroque concerto idiom, with shades that hint toward the early Classical era. 

At intermission, I finally had a chance to talk to Ms. Phoebe Carrai, more like having her autograph my CDs.  She's really one of the pioneers and legends of the early music movement in the late 70s and 80s, especially with her stay at MAK.  Being a staunch MAK fan, I have encompassed quite a few of their recordings of the past few years.  To have the opportunity to see her in person as frequently as I do, I guess the experience can be a little unreal, especially for the dedicated early music follower.

After the concert, I also had the chance to speak to Ms. Verbruggen and Mr. Dantone.  Verbruggen had performed with PBO years back, whose concert I also attended (and had her autograph the Heinichen concertos, a production which Ms. Carrai was also part of).  Mr. Dantone was also a nice fellow.  Among the many CDs I had, there was the A. Scarlatti's concerti grossi, one which the PBO performed this night.  And I am sure was a distant memory to him, the complete works of Corelli, when Mr. Dantone was part of the older Accademia Bizantina under direction of Carlo Chiarappa. 

In all, a nice program suited for the average early music audience.  My wife flew in the night before, and it's been a long time since we both attended a PBO concert, back when she was still on the West Coast.  As someone who doesn't really appreciate classical music, she also found the music enjoyable :)

2 comments:

John Hendron said...

Wow...

Ergaster said...

真的是該來個wow...

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