Saturday, November 24, 2012

Heinichen: Dresden Concerti (Musica Antiqua Koeln / Reinhard Goebel)

因為最近忙著寫音樂會心得,很久沒有討論CD錄音了。但近來發現居然有個朋友會定期來光顧瀏覽我的部落格,讓我有點受驚若寵。為此,原先想要介紹的專輯就先擱著,並特地寫這篇,回饋一下這位(曾吹過法國號的)讀者吧~~

德國晚期巴洛克作曲家Johann David Heinichen (1683–1729)在古樂界裡,應該也還算是個相對陌生的名字。看到他的名字,有些人說不定會很蠢地想起「海尼根」啤酒吧~~  總之,我們的Heinichen,是在萊比錫(Leipzig)附近的小鎮Crössuln出生的。他遵循父親的路,十三歲時進了萊比錫的Thomasschule學校。因為和Thomaskirche(巴哈之後任cantor一職的教堂)之間的密切合作關係,Thomasschule對於音樂教育非常重視。Heinichen除了和當時的cantor Johann Schelle學習之外,另外私底下也和Schelle後來的接班人Kuhnau學習鍵盤樂器(之前有介紹過Kuhnau大師的生平,請參照此)。

Heinichen,如同他老師Kuhnau以及名氣更響亮的同輩Telemann,接下來進了萊比錫大學就讀法律。要知道,當時的大學體制裡,音樂並不是其中的專科,而只是通材教育中的一部份。念法律,除了是專科之一,也提供了一技之長。萊比錫當時的新歌劇院吸引了不少大學生參與歌劇的演出,也讓Heinichen好好地開了眼界。

Heinichen畢業後,起初也是乖乖地回到家鄉附近的Weissenfels當起了律師。只不過,當地宮廷的音樂文化盛行,總監為留義大利的Johann Philipp Krieger。Krieger對於Heinichen所寫的音樂還算喜歡,並為他的一首清唱劇舉行公演。幾年之後,他又受邀回到萊比錫為當地的歌劇季創作曲子。音樂之門為Heinichen打開之後,他便再也沒有回過頭了。

Heinichen在最終的Dresden(德勒斯登)宮廷定下來前,曾在其他的德國宮廷待過。不過影響他最深的,是他在1710年左右決定到義大利去深造,而且一去就是了七年。在威尼斯,他接觸到了最新的音樂,特別是義大利更俱戲劇性的風格。而當薩克森(Saxony)未來選舉候Augustus的歐洲行(Grand Tour)來到威尼斯時,Heinichen抓到了機會為Augustus的生日寫了一首清唱劇。Augustus立刻決定將Heinichen聘為Dresden宮廷的音樂總監,因此賞識的程度可想而知。

十八世紀初,Dresden宮廷裡的音樂家素質是當時歐洲公認最強的之一。旗下的音樂家各個是自己樂器中的佼佼者,例如小提琴家Veracini和Pisendel,長笛家Buffardin和Quantz,魯特琴家Weiss,以及低音提琴Zelenka等。因此,Dresden宮廷的作曲家們在寫作時,完全不用擔心演奏家程度的問題,可盡情地發揮。正因為在這兒眾星雲集,所以從義大利傳過來的獨奏協奏曲,到了Dresden,發展出「給多樂器」(per molti strumenti)的特有品種。先前有介紹過韋瓦第的多樂器協奏曲專輯,在義大利是個特例,不過在Dresden可是常態。

Heinichen的多樂器協奏曲大部份雖以 快–慢–快 的三樂章形式為主,不過有的有到四,五,甚至六個樂章。協奏曲的獨奏樂器群沒有固定的編制,但會有小提琴,長笛,直笛,雙簧管,自然號(natural horn),大提琴,低音管,甚至有時還有theorbo。其實,不難推測出,Heinichen在寫這些協奏曲時,獨奏樂器的片段,極有可能是他厲害的同僚們在演奏的。以theorbo為例,九成九是給Weiss彈奏的。這張2CD專輯收錄的許多協奏曲裡,都有horn的編制。這種容易和狩獵做出聯想的樂器那麼常出現,很有可能是因為這些曲子表演的地方是Augustus位於Dresden郊區,在Moritzburg的打獵「小屋」。當時歐洲皇室外出的時候,音樂家們一起隨行是普遍的。在我印象中,我還不記得手邊哪個巴洛克專輯有那麼多horn的音樂呢。(可能Zelenka的音樂勉強可與之匹敵吧。)

整體言Heinichen的這些協奏曲的個性都相當開朗奔放,每一首協奏曲都是大調。從義大利回到德國的Heinichen很自豪地表示過他的創作風格是屬於前衛的,並對許多德國作曲家執著於舊式的對位手法感到過時而且不以為然。他承認他曾經一度也是嚴謹對位寫作的守護者,但他後來更體認到音樂在譜上「好看」(指對位性質的音樂)之外,倒不如「好聽」(有優美的旋律,動感的節奏)。和巴哈的音樂相比,自然是少了那種深度和認真的元素,不過Heinichen也是經過認真思考後做出的選擇。


這張專輯的樂團MAK(科隆古樂團)已經不需要多做任何介紹。其實,今天Heinichen的音樂會受到任何古樂音樂家的注意,可能都需要感謝MAK。在1990年初期,當MAK錄的泰雷曼「餐桌音樂」得了獎之後,他們轉向這位當時幾乎不為人知的Heinichen。這張專輯在1993出來之後,受到各方的肯定,並一次奪得了五個重要的唱片大獎,包括德國的Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik以及英國的Gramophone Award。也因為這樣,大家開始認識到Heinichen是誰了。

其實也不用聽很多,只需聽聽幾個樂章,就可以瞭解他們當初得獎並不是偶然。MAK的演奏有他們一向的強勁、犀利、精準,以及活力。因為這些Dresden協奏曲有許多管樂器,因此這也是MAK陣容最龐大的一次吧。而這些吹奏管樂的成員,能夠和絃樂家們抗衡,充份展現出他們自己的精湛,特別是吹奏自然號的音樂家們,因為沒有日後法國號上的轉閥,所以有些音特別難吹,而且音色也比較沒那麼好聽。

如同MAK許多其他的錄音,讓我最驚訝的是,這個將近20年前的專輯,除了有時錄音有種單薄感之外,剩下幾乎聽不太出來歲月的痕跡。以今天古樂的演奏標準去檢視這些Heinichen協奏曲,仍然是活力四射,和年輕的古樂團比起來,可是絲毫不遜色。那麼出色的錄音,近年來更是被DG的Archiv重新發行。寫了那麼多,應該料得到這絕對是我會不假思索下推薦的錄音!

Kind of got around to writing about this recording because I'm returning this favor to a certain friend, who I just found out actually reads my blog...  I found out that she used to play the French horn, so I can only do justice if I review music that includes the horn.  To my knowledge, I cannot think of another early music recording of mine that feature the horns as prominently as this MAK Heinichen Dresden Concerti album.  The CPO recording of Zelenka's orchestral works was a close second.

MAK made this recording in 1993, a few years after they recorded their award-winning Telemann's Tafelmusik.  This time, they managed to top that by winning five prizes, including the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Gramophone Award.  More importantly, their decision to record a virtually forgotten composer probably brought awareness among other period musicians but ultimately gave the public an opportunity to know him and hear his music for the first time in centuries.   

So what do know today about this Heinichen, whose name most resembles a certain name brand beer?  Heinichen was born in 1683 in the small town of Crössuln, next to Weissenfels, which is close to Leipzig.  Like his father, he entered Leipzig's Thomasschule at thirteen.  Because of the school's connections with the Thomaskirche, the students were sure to receive solid musical training.  In addition to the instruction of the then-cantor Johann Schelle, he took keyboard lessons with Kuhnau, who would become the next cantor (and the predecessor of J.S. Bach). 

Like his mentor Kuhnau and Telemann, Heinichen went to the University of Leipzig and studied law, which apparently was a common route for many musicians.  The newly-built Leipzig opera house would attract many of the university students (Heinichen included) to participate in the opera productions.   It was at this time that Heinichen was introduced to this theatrical music style.

Upon graduation, Heinichen moved to Weissenfels to practice law.  However, that did not last for very long.  The Weissenfels court was musically cultured, as the Kapellmeister Johann Philip Krieger was highly revered, having studied in Italy.  Krieger apparently was fond of Heinichen's compositions enough that he gave a performance of one of young Heinichen's cantatas.  A few years later, he was asked to compose music for the Leipzig opera season.  He never looked back at a possible career as a lawyer. 

Before his position at the Dresden court, Heinichen found employment at various German courts.  However, the most profound influence on him was the seven years he spent in Venice.  There, by meeting Gasparini and Lotti, and most likely Vivaldi, he learned the latest musical styles, the more dramatic Italian style.  When the crown prince Augustus of Saxony stopped by Venice in 1716 during his Grand Tour, Heinichen was given the opportunity to compose a cantata for Augustus's birthday.  The crown prince was very impressed and immediately tried to appoint Heinichen as the Kapellmeister to the court of Dresden.  Heinichen would wait for another year to come aboard.  When he did, he remained there until his death in 1729.

In the late 17th century and early 18th century, the Dresden court had arguably the most talented and virtuosic group of musicians.  Each musician was one of the best, if not the best, on his own instrument.  These include Pisendel and Veracini on the violin, Buffardin and Quantz on the flute, Zelenka on the violone, Weiss on the lute, just to name a few.  The luxury of having such a gathering of musical talent meant that the composers did not need to hold back when writing their music.  Instead, they could allow their imaginations run wild, knowing their peers were more than capable of playing the part.  

The other interesting phenomenon that arose out of this talented crowd was that the Italian concerto took on a new distinct flavor when assimilated into the Dresden court.  Instead of featuring just one soloist, the Dresden concertos featured multiple soloists (per molti strumenti).  I reviewed a CD of Vivaldi's concerto for multiple instruments a while back, and I commented that concertos of these kinds were rarities in Italy.  Here in Dresden though, that was considered the norm.

There is no fixed group of soloists for the concertos, but you expect to hear combinations of flutes, recorders, violins, oboes, horns, bassoons, cellos, and even one with theorbo.  As I commented, this recording features the natural horns a lot.  It is suggested that many of these concerts probably took place at Augustus's hunting lodge, where the horn rightfully evokes themes of hunting.  It was also not uncommon for the musicians to travel with their royal employers on their various trips.  Yeah, why not bring the whole orchestra to your hunting trip?  This is before the age of walkmans and iPods.

While the majority of the concertos are in three movements, you can find ones with 4, 5, or even 6.     The concertos recorded here are all very uplifting.  All of them are written in the major key, and the music is highly extrovert and outgoing in nature.  Heinichen was known to regard his music as highly fashionable among the other more out-dated Germans.  He found that German music which stressed the importance of counterpoint was old-fashioned in that it was good "eye-music" that looked great on the score.  However, he felt that music of "good taste" should be good "ear-music" that caught and pleased the ear upon first listening.  Heinichen said he was speaking from experience, since he used to advocate and defend the highly contrapuntal style.  Therefore, you won't find, as my friend biberfan puts it, the "gravitas or profundity of Bach".  As a great theorist Heinichen was known to be, it is safe to say that this was a highly conscientious choice of Heinichen.  

There's not much more that needs to be said about MAK.  Besides introducing Heinichen's to the world, something invaluable itself, MAK puts the icing on the cake by bringing their trademark playing style: brisk, powerful, yet amazingly precise.  While this is expected of their string players, the wind players manage to hold their own in this highly-charged playing, especially the horn players, who are dealing with a totally different beast.  With the interesting choice of instrumentation, this is also one of the largest MAK casts you will see, and one of the greatest early music talent assembled on record.    

Made nearly 20 years ago, this recording has aged extremely, and I do mean extremely, well.  While occasionally there's a feeling of a thin background sound, most likely to recording engineering choice, otherwise this could easily have been passed off as a recent recording by today's early music standards.  This set has been re-released in 2007, which is a testament to how monumental this recording was.  More than 2 hours of sheer excitement and joy, and no hesitation in recommending this one!











2 comments:

pollini said...

真巧,我昨天才從唱片行帶回來DG重發版的唱片,就看到Deadlockcp兄這篇近期的大作,之後聽音樂想必更有感覺了!

Deadlockcp said...

哈哈,「真巧」二字說得真是貼切。可保證這專輯是不會讓你失望的。

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