Monday, November 19, 2012

Concert: Stanford Friends of Music Early Music Faculty Showcase (10/24/2012)

10/24/2012    Memorial Church, Stanford, CA

Telemann: Trio No. 5 from Essercizii Musici
A. Scarlatti: Excerpts from La santa Genuinda
Abel
: Prelude for viola da gamba
Byrd: My Ladye Nevell's Ground
Biber: Passacaglia for solo violin
Purcell: Fantasias in Three Parts No.1 and No.3
              Magnificat and Nunc dimittis 

Stanford University Early Music Faculty and The Early Music Singers

這場是在學校的免費音樂會,由教古樂的老師們組成的一個成果發表會,或者說可能是為了召募對古樂有興趣的新生。這不算是個真的那麼正式的音樂會,所以時間上來講也較短。

除了Scarlatti和Purcell的聲樂曲我本來就不熟悉以外,剩下只有Abel的無伴奏古中提琴是沒聽過的。其餘Telemann的三重奏鳴曲,Byrd的大鍵琴曲,Biber的無伴奏小提琴,以及Purcell的Fantasias都聽過數次。

最巧的是,這首Telemann奏鳴曲,我最近有空的時候正好和兩位朋友在練。(雖然原本是給直笛的,不過同樣的聲部給長笛也是行得通的)。雖然曲子不長,但卻是個很動聽的小品。仔細想想,Telemann在我印象中沒有寫過一首很低劣的曲子。吹直笛的Herb和拉小提琴的Anthony的表演很實在,而反覆的地方也會略加一些自己的裝飾音。

Scarlatti的聲樂曲是由研究Scarlatti的專家Marie Louise Catsalis老師在大鍵琴上指揮。這齣歌劇La Santa Genuinda似乎還沒有校訂出的正式現代版,很有可能是Marie Louise目前手上的計劃之一吧。在Memorial Church旁邊的小禮拜堂表演,其聲效為二女聲樂及器樂老師們的聲音取得很好的平衡。

熱鬧的Scarlatti之後,接下來的三首是老師們的獨奏。首先是John Dornenburg在古中提琴上演奏Abel的前奏曲。這是我印象中第一次聽他的現場獨奏吧。John是Kuijken大師的學生,也在歐洲待過多年,所以說他是世界級是完全不誇大的。Dornenburg的表演,將動與靜之間掌握得很漂亮,完全抓到古中提琴音樂的精神。雖然手邊John的CD上有這首,不過在現場的感覺是無法取代的。

Elaine彈的Byrd,我已經聽過她現場彈奏無數次了,而且手上也有她的錄音。自己老師的演奏風格,再清楚不過。這首Byrd我其實並不是特別喜歡,但Elaine的表演卻是可圈可點。

Anthony Martin選擇拉Biber的Passacaglia,剛好是一週前Holloway才拉過的。和Holloway相比,Martin的音色可能沒有像Holloway那麼均勻,但Martin對於樂句的處理卻比Holloway更講究些。Martin甚至突如其來,在曲子快要結束時,加了一段自己的即興。對這首熟到不能再熟的我來說,如此的效果實在是更顯著。事後跟他聊到這段,他也很自豪地說:「something for the connoisseurs」

最後的節目剛好都是Purcell。他的Fantasias算是寫該曲式的英國末代作曲家。理論上應該用viol家族,不過Herb和Anthony用小提琴和中提琴取代,可算勉強通過。Purcell的Fantasia是典型的英國複音音樂,有股很重的不和諧感。John在表演前和聽眾有說這首曲子會有詭異感,是一點也不錯。

最後的合唱曲,則比較容易接受些。雖然還是有種感傷,但合唱的編制,音樂會有另一種力量。也有可能是因為這兩首曲子多是早期的homophony,四聲部的旋律相同移動,製造出莊嚴的氣氛。雖偶爾有簡單的幾小節的卡農,但九成不離homophony的性質。另外,這兩首也都沒有風琴伴奏,是給合唱團的清唱曲。

一言以蔽之,在Stanford教堂聽老師們表演平時鮮少聽到的古樂曲目很難得,又是個令人滿意的經驗。

This was a free concert given by the Stanford early music faculty, which naturally included my harpsichord teacher Elaine.  It's part of the Friends of Music showcase, which gives out musical scholarships (subsidies) to Stanford students taking music lessons, something I've benefited from during my many years taking lessons there. 

I did not know what the program was going in, so I was genuinely surprised to see what was being played.  First, the Telemann trio sonata from the Essercizii Musici, was the same piece as the one I am currently casually playing through with my friends.  I know this piece note by note, literally, and I couldn't be more happy to hear a live interpretation of the sonata.  It was a solid performance, with Herb and Anthony bringing a little ornaments here and there.   

I'm a bit out of my familiarity zone when it comes to A. Scarlatti and vocal music.  The second piece featured selections from a Scarlatti opera, directed by Marie Louise Catsalis on the harpsichord.  Marie Louise is supposedly a Scarlatti expert/scholar, compiling a few modern editions of his works.  This opera La santa Genuinda, does not seem to have a modern recording or score even, and it might even be one of Marie Louise's current projects.  In general, the sound of the two vocalists and the instrumentalists blended well in the side chapel.      

The next three pieces were solo pieces on the gamba, harpsichord, and the violin.  The Abel gamba piece played by John Dornenburg was pretty amazing.  I have his recording on Centaur, but nothing beats seeing and hearing him play it live.  He really is one of the finest gamba players out there.  Moving on to Elaine, I've heard her play this piece many times.  It's not my favorite Byrd piece, but you can always expect Elaine to give a fine musically-shaped performance.  And then Anthony Martin playing the Biber Passcaglia.  It's funny this was played just a week ago by John Holloway.  Compared to Holloway, Martin doesn't have the fine intonation of Holloway, but I think Martin's merit is in showing more variety in the shaping of phrases.  Near the end, he even throws in an extended improvisation of his own.  When I talked to him after the concert about this, he seemed to pleased with it, "a little extra something for the connoisseurs...."

The short concert ended with Purcell.  First, two fantasias played by John, Anthony, and Herb.  Although it calls for viol scoring, the violin and viola is passable as alternative scoring.  John commented to the audience that Purcell's music would be "cranking the knob" a bit, something which I fully expected - his melancholy overtone and abundance of dissonance.  It's not something I'd like to listen on a regular basis, but I appreciate that fact that I had the opportunity to hear this live.

The last item of the concert featured the Stanford Early Music Singers in two short Purcell choral pieces, a capella, without the organ.  The English / Purcellian style is still somewhat evident, but less "harsh" compared to the previous instrumental fantasias.  There's also something powerful in the music when in a choral setting.  I might also attribute this to the homophonic writing, which gives it a solemn feel.  There are occasional bars where the parts go into simple canons, but overall, it's homophony at its core.  

In short, good to hear a nice variety of lesser known early music pieces being showcased by the Stanford music faculty.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

上個周末去舊金山參加研討會,停留時間太短,否則想和你碰個面聚一聚. 不知道你還會在灣區待多久?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Suzy

Deadlockcp said...

what a pleasant surprise ! 目前還不確定,是希望能繼續留在灣區啦 :) how've you been? 祝妳也感恩節快樂啦。

Anonymous said...

我們每幾年就有可能到灣區開會,希望下次可以從容點.

I am doing fine. Have left MN and moved to MI for 2 years, about the time when I stopped writing blog XD 其實只是懶啦!現在都只在FB寫兩句自己的想法記錄一下而以.如果你也用FB, 可以來送friend request...

Suzy

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