Friday, September 14, 2012

Marionas: The Guitar Music of Francisco Guerau (Gordon Ferries / Baroque guitar)

很久沒寫東西了。一方面沒時間,一方面沒心情。但想想,能寫些東西應該也是調劑心情的方式之一。因為慢慢開始踏入了撥絃的古樂世界,所以就當這篇是第一次野人獻曝吧~~

Francisco Guerau (1649–1722) 是西班牙巴洛克時期的音樂家,作曲家,以及牧師。這和大約一世紀後出生的Antonio Soler有幾分相似之處,不過Guerau並不像Soler年紀輕輕就進修道院,工作繁忙。倒是Guerau在西班牙國王Charles二世的宮廷中服務了三十多年,整體上生活過得相當舒適。


Guerau出生於Majorca島上,不過在十歲的時候即進入了馬德里的皇家禮拜堂,成為合唱團的一員。除了聲樂之外,Guerau還學會演奏小提琴以及吉他。在宮廷裡,Guerau的地位看起來是扶搖直上,從小小的聲樂家最後升到了宮廷大作曲家一職。

1694年Guerau出版的Poema Harmonico「和諧的詩篇」,是西班牙十七世紀最後的重要吉他作品集。這套獻給Charles二世的作品,總共有四十多首曲子。除了數量眾多之外,每一首曲子的規模都很可觀,使得這部Poema Harmonico整體而言相當龐大。如同大部份同時期的撥絃樂器音樂,Guerau這些吉他曲子用的是tablature古記譜法,直接標示彈奏指法而不是今天常見的音符本身。

不同於名氣更響亮的Gaspar Sanz,Guerau這套Poema Harmonico直接開宗名義地道出說這些曲子不是給初學者彈的。Guerau也不多花時間寫小品(反觀Sanz有一頁塞下十一首小品),直接朝大曲子出發。另外,Guerau的曲子都不用熟悉的rasguedo(strumming手法,一次撥多根絃)彈奏法,而是指定要用更進階的punteado(一次只撥一條絃)手法。

Poema Harmonico四十首曲子中,有三十首是passacalles曲式,也就是passacaglia舞曲,是原本就源自十七世紀的西班牙。而其餘十首,許多也都是西班牙風味的舞曲,如villanos,jacaras,marionas,以及最有名的folias。有些舞曲,因為性暗示過於強烈,早期被西班牙的天主教認為是極低俗的東西,在公共場合跳,甚至可被判刑的。時間久了,雖然教會對於舞本身還是持保留態度,但對於伴舞的音樂倒大方地接受起來。不管是熱鬧的宗教節慶,或是嚴肅的場合,作曲家們紛紛對舞曲們填上宗教經文。這種為了推廣宗教而迎合世俗音樂口味的現象,美國的Christian Rock,不正好是二十世紀的翻版?Guerau身為神職人員,很清楚這些舞曲背後真正的歷史,世人常有「不當」的聯想與用途。為此,在Poema Harmonico序言當中,Guerau特別聲名,他的音樂可是保持「道德中立」的態度。

最後,Guerau對於裝飾音有特別注視。他寫道,「最美麗的,莫過於一系列的trills,mordents,slurs,和arpeggio」,是「音樂的靈魂」。不過,Guerau也跟演奏者說,如果沒辦法照他指示成功地彈出每個裝飾音,也不要就此氣餒:這並不是天殺的錯誤,只是會有遺憾,不能奏出更漂亮的音樂。對於動感節奏很強的舞曲,裝飾音的效果可能不彰,不過那些感性的passacalles,有無裝飾音則是有天壤之別。

這張CD收錄了眾多passacalles中的兩首,其餘是上述,比較「煽情」的西班牙舞曲。演奏家Gordon Ferries彈的巴洛克吉他,有五根絃。其實更正確地說,他彈的琴,較低的四根絃其實是雙絃(coursed),而最高的是單絃。雖然Guerau的譜是沒有rasguedo的指示,不過Ferries根據同時期作曲家的建議,輕易地將部份改成rasguedo的彈奏方法。這些改編,在有生命力的舞曲中,真會讓人不由地跟著手足舞蹈。而較慢較細緻的曲子中,Ferries的裝飾音處理俐落,音符彈奏也是乾淨有力,音樂的表現在彈性中亦不失明確的動向。

如果您是聽Rodrigo的「貴紳幻想曲」長大的,那他參考的Sanz的音樂,應當是非常熟悉。在Gordon Ferries這張專輯中,您則會有那似曾相似的感覺。不論是旋律,和聲,或節奏上,和Sanz同名的舞曲(如villanos和canarios),Guerau是開出了另一片天。

Have been neglecting this blog for a while.  Decided to come back to it before it gets to the point beyond repair.  The recording of interest here is an album titled Marionas, a collection of guitar music by Spanish Baroque composer Francisco Guerau, played by Scottish guitarist/lutenist Gordon Ferries.  The album title refers to a Spanish dance, which is also the first track of the CD.  

Guerau was born in 1649 on the island of Majorca, today known for being a popular tourist attraction and home to one of my favorite tennis players, Rafael Nadal.  At the young age of 10, he became a member of king Charles II's royal Chapel.  He also learned to play the violin and of course, the guitar.  In his thirty-some years of service in the court, he eventually made it to the position of "composer to royal Chapel".  In addition, he became a priest and a writer on theology.  Unlike Soler, who seemed to be super busy with 20-hour ministerial duties everyday, Guerau seemed to live a comfortable life.

Guerau's most important surviving publication is the Poema Harmonico (Harmonic poems), published in 1694.  It is an impressive collection of 40 pieces, the first 30 which are passacalles (Spanish equivalent of the passcaglia).   The remaining 10 pieces are other well-known Spanish dances of the time, such as villanosjacarasmarionas,and the famous folias.  True to the earlier style of musical notation, these pieces are written in tablature notation. 

The most striking differences between Guerau's publication and his more famous compatriot Sanz are that, not only are the pieces substantially grander and more extensive, Guerau made it clear in his foreword that these pieces are not for the amateur beginner.  He avoids using the rasguedo (strumming) technique, instead calls for the more advanced punteado (completely plucked) technique. 

Being a devoutly Catholic nation, the evolution and development of the dances in Spain is indeed an interesting one.  Dances such as the chaconne and sarabande have origins from the Americas, and their erotic and provocative nature was such that the Church banned it publicly in Spain.  Another example stated here is that the marizapalos and marionas are sensual dances associated with a ballade that describe a beautiful young girl Marizapalos.  As time evolved, the Church still frowned upon the nature of the dance, but it relented in terms of the music.  It slowly made it into mainstream music, when composers would use the lively dances for festivities and the set sacred texts to the slow dances to give it a solemn mood.  I liken this turn of events to the development and acceptance of Christian rock.  Things really do have a tendency of repeating itself.  

The liner notes points out that Guerau being a member of the Church, must have had paradoxical feelings when it came to his publication of pieces.  Guerau pointed out that he was aware of the "inappropriateness" of providing "example and cause of virtue."  Nonetheless, he also firmly stated that his music was "morally neutral" unless put to "bad use." 


Being a very competent guitarist, Guerau tells the performer to pay extra attention to the ornaments.  He writes "The most beautiful thing of all is a continuous series of trills, mordents, slurs, and arpeggios......   if you use these ornaments which are the soul of music, you will see the difference between the one and the other."  For those who aren't quite there technically, though, Guerau offers some words of encouragement in that they "should not despair, nor be discouraged: he should play the figures even without the ornaments, for they are not an inviolable law; I am only pointing out the best way to anyone who wishes to play this music."  While the animated dances do not suffer as much with the omission of said ornaments, for the slower, more idiomatic pieces, it is arguably an inseparable component of the music itself, much like French harpsichord music.

Of the 9 pieces on this disc, Gordon Ferries selects 2 of the 30 passacalles, while the rest are the more colorful Spanish dances, noted for their lively rhythms.  The baroque guitar Ferries plays on has five strings, with the lower four strings coursed (meaning, strings were doubled either in unison or octave).  While Guerau does not call for rasguedo playing, but Ferries makes modifications based on similar works of Guerau's contemporaries.  While purists may not be read to approve, the strummed versions can't help but get you moving!  Whereas for the slower pieces, Ferries's ornaments are crisp, and his intonations of each note is clear.  In Ferries's process for personal expression and contemplative playing, the sense of musical line and direction remains clear.

Those who grew up listening to Rodrigo's Fantasia para un gentilhombre (as I was) will find a feeling of déjà vu in these pieces.  Rodrigo drew inspiration from music written by Sanz, based on the famous Spanish dances of the time.  Rather than revisiting those pieces over and over again, here is music by Guerau, which are similar (sometimes identical) in melody, harmony, and rhythm, but offer other possibilities of musical creation that are no less fresh and enchanting.  

1 comment:

Mingus said...

像所有的古樂一樣,撥弦曲目絕不乏mediocre之作。感謝介紹這樣優質的曲目。又是古吉他,又是西班牙較奔放曲風。

趕快找到一張來聽。

最近的新架,多出一個吉他/魯特琴/巴洛克吉他的小角落。

在某些心情中,這樣氣質音樂再貼緊心的波動不過了。

Post a Comment