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Archive for 2009 年 12 月

九天的旅程。第一天的黃昏,在城堡的瞭望台上,我們發現

照‧相‧機‧壞‧了。

美景當前,我們沮喪到了極點。

『噢~惱 !無照片放上Facebook,人家怎知我去過這兒那兒、吃過什麼好東西、幹了什麼奇事、跟老公有多痴纏;噢~惱!萬一將來我們忘掉了這些好時光怎麼辦;噢~惱!無照片向阿媽交差,佢又點知阿女並非昭君出塞吃盡咸苦;噢~惱!不能「趁青春留倩影」了, 我還特地多帶了不同顏色的替換衣裳添…』我當下想。

這些想法當然不能宣之於口,因為連我自己都覺得它們太膚淺無聊 ─ 特別是放上Facebook與「趁青春留倩影」個兩條,實在不好意思說出來;加上個衰佬已經非常灰心,稍為識趣也不會火上加油 (雖然旁邊的旅客不斷舉機向我們的傷口灑鹽)。

過了好一會,個衰佬依然未能『走出陰霾』,小妹遂盡其妻子之責,企圖『曉以大義』安慰個衰佬:

『我們去旅行是要看世界,學習別人的文化,能夠拍照留念固然好,但記念也有很多方法啊。再者,我們沮喪,很大程度是因為不能放上Facebook給別人看,這其實是一種炫耀啊。(下刪三百字)』一向深明大義兼思想深刻富內涵 (成功擦鞋!!) 的老公當堂被我的花言巧語迷惑到,說要反思旅行的意義云云。

搞定了遊伴,確保餘下的行程能夠(相對)愉快地進行,我開始治療自己的傷口,噢~無相影! 噢~惱! (我暗下決心,如果有史前年代的即棄照相機賣,即是那種內置27張底片,一旦沖曬了便連照相機本身也會報銷的物體,我一定會暪著個衰佬買番個 ,唔係,係兩個至真。個衰佬大義凛然的在反思旅行的意義,一定不會讓我做這蠢事…)

不過我也非常阿Q地想:無照相機也有好處。我可以盡情挑選明信片,個衰佬之前總是嫌我停下來挑明信片拖慢進度,而且一起寫明信片寄回家好浪漫啊!阿媽收到一定會好開心!加上我不用再擔心攝影技術差勁的問題 (在Facebook看到朋友的照片總是很專業的樣子,我有壓力呵!)。途中不用停下拍照也省了很多時間。

於是,我不停買postcard及貯起景點入場劵&介紹,又買了一本冊子想要做遊記。

後記:我最終也買了一個Kodak即棄照相機(老公在旁,不敢放肆,只好買一個),個衰佬也忍不住用手機拍了一些照片。遊記 ─ 努力中。

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網友五點的話: 『欣賞古典音樂並不需要任何高深學問,用心就可以。』我同意, 但有補充。

最近的兩次經驗令愚對藝術欣賞有新的體會。

(一) 唱Mahler 8 馬勒 第八

正如前文《聽馬勒‧第六》說過, 我不是古典樂迷, 古典音樂對我而言是眾多娛樂的一種, 你可以想像我對其認識大概就是一個學過彈鋼琴、樂理,唱過大中小學合唱團 + 對舒伯特輕度迷戀的人的程度。

聽/唱馬勒只是我為愛情作的其中一件傻事。(老公鍾意,無辦法)

練習唱之前試聽了一段,無感覺,只是懷疑那麼吵,究竟有無人聽到我的聲部。

開始獨自練習時,面對那100頁長的合唱譜 (總譜約是這個的2-3倍),常有想死的感覺,(要明白這種感覺,你可能需要聽一聽),沒興致的話, 辜且暫信我的話。我唱choir 1 的alto 1部份,大量odd intervals (難唱的音程, 例如半音)、怪異旋律、常常轉調,令我覺得自己唱歌好不難聽,加上第二樂章唱德文,老實說,你很難會覺得德文優美 (舒伯特的lieder另計), 有一次我聽個衰佬練base部份,簡直是殺豬一樣,又如一只小牛發出一堆跳來跳去的怪音。

奇怪的是:唱熟了一整首以後,開始覺得怪旋律其實也頗不錯,也有可勘玩味的地方。第一次聯同兩個合唱團練習,不得了, 竟然覺得很美,一種有重量的美。

演出前, 看了這曲的背景、內容簡介,也看了浮士德的背景及部分內容(第二樂章歌詞來自浮士德的第二部份終章),不禁佩服馬勒的心思 (但仍是不喜歡他,他沒有感動我)。

之後再聽此曲,感受完全不一樣,有沒有被感動是另一回事,但我對馬勒似乎多了一點點理解,跟感動不同,是一種思考的樂趣。如果沒有下那一番苦功,很難達到這境界。

(二) 到Ashmolean Museum*一遊

早兩天到Oxford聽四位法理學高手過招,路過Ashmolean Museum借廁所,時間尚早,進館看看。原來Ashmolean的館藏真不賴,有興趣者請看這頁

略過有關人類歷史的展品不談,看藝術展品時,我的感覺跟過往逛美術館有點不一樣。

記得年少時前遊羅浮宮、Musée d’Orsay、Munch Museum (Oslo)…之後又陸陸續續探訪了紐約倫敦等地的美術館…總是抱著『用心欣賞就可以』、『喜歡的多看兩眼』、『不明白不用勉強』的態度…但也嘗試記下各式介紹,當作吸收新知識 (小時候自圖書館借來的什麼西方美術史、百大名畫等, 就是看不入腦),喜歡的再多加兩錢肉緊去想去記去觀察。

這次逛Ashmolean,由18世紀一路看來,竟然有種融會貫通的感覺,似乎過去看過的在腦袋裡自動編成一套系統,一邊看一邊腦裡比較同時期或不同時期的作品,過癮。

如果你要問我什麼年份是什麼派別什麼政治背景, 我多半會答錯。

那麼我還在這兒談什麼鬼話呢?

只是想說:做一點功課、知多一點點, 在藝術欣賞的過程中可以有另一番樂趣,當然,如果只顧在背景知識上大造文章又是另一種煞風景。

*Ashmolean Museum 的鎮館之寶Raphael要預約才可看。

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多謝各方友好的鼓勵, 現在已經曲終人散(好似唔係幾好意頭, 係咪應該話完滿結束至啱呢?) , 我們的演出無錄音, 有興趣的朋友可聽聽這個.

又, 第一次有樂評人評小妹有份參與的演出 (很可能是最後一次, 大家俾個面, 頂唔順都頂一頂):

Cambridge Music Festival 2009 – Mahler Eight: Soloists, Cambridge University Musical Society Chorus, The Choirs of Christ’s, Emmanuel and Wolfson Colleges and King’s Voices, Sawston Village College Choir, Cambridge University Musical Society Orchestra, Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra, Stephen Cleobury (conductor). Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire 28.11.2009 (JPr)

Naomi Harvey (soprano 1), Linda Richardson (soprano 2), Raphaela Papadakis (Mater Gloriosa), Jean Rigby (alto 1), Louise Crane (alto 2), Justin Lavender (tenor), Paul Carey Jones (baritone) and Roderick Earle (bass).

Cambridge Music Festival celebrated the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species and the 800th anniversary of Cambridge University by giving their festival events the theme of ‘Music and Evolution’.

As Dr John van Wyhe, director of Darwin Online, explained in his essay in the Festival programme book, undoubtedly the young Darwin would have heard music ‘at home, visiting friends and relatives, and at church’ though little is known of his musical interests as a child. It seems that he developed an appreciation for classical music when he was a student at Christ’s College from 1828-31 and in his Autobiography he wrote: ‘I acquired a strong taste for music & used very often to time my walks so as to hear on week days the anthem in King’s College Chapel’. Despite a clear fondness for music Darwin was tone deaf, and it seem he had a very difficult time recalling a tune he just heard the day before. ‘My musical friends soon perceived my state, & sometimes amused themselves by making me pass an examination, which consisted of ascertaining how many tunes I could recognise, when they were played rather more quickly or slowly than usual. ‘God save the King’ when thus played was a sore puzzle’. It seems he enjoyed most the symphonies and overtures of Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven. Emma, his wife, was a talented pianist (she studied with Frédéric Chopin) and would play the piano for him at their home, Down House in Kent, as he reclined on a nearby sofa.

If Origin of Species is Darwin’s greatest achievement then there is an argument to say that the Eighth Symphony is possibly Mahler’s. It was dubbed ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ by the composer’s agent in 1910 : Mahler disapproved of this, yet this title has stuck to it ever since. He composed it in two parts; the shorter first part, to the text of the ninth-century Christian hymn (attributed to Rabanus Maurus, Archbishop of Mainz) ‘Veni, creator spiritus’, which paves the way for Part II, the final scene from Goethe’s Faust. To devotees of Goethe, mythology and Christianity, this marriage of text and music undoubtedly holds many levels of meaning; yet this juxtaposition of sacred and secular texts in this symphony remains its least discussed aspect despite its obvious significance. Mahler was clearly rather ambivalent about religion though this symphony is an abiding testament to his deep and abiding spirituality; here we have both God and Goethe, eternal life versus eternal love. Mahler’s wife Alma reports that the music of the opening ‘Veni, creator spiritus’ (‘Come, creator spirit’) came to him in a burst of inspiration and this actually ‘inspires’ the thought that for the composer himself it might have resonated more as ‘come, creative spirit’.

The greater catalyst for the symphony’s composition seems to have been the ‘ideal’ that Goethe expressed, as Mahler explained to his wife in June 1906: ‘That which draws us by its mystic force, what every created thing, perhaps even the very stones, feels with absolute certainty as the centre of its being, what Goethe here – again employing an image – calls the Eternal Feminine – that is to say, the resting-place, the goal, in opposition to the striving and struggling towards the goal (the Eternal Masculine) – you are quite right in calling the force of love. Goethe … expresses it with a growing clearness and certainty right on to the Mater Gloriosa – the personification of the Eternal Feminine!’

Every performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is special because of the need for a huge venue capable of showcasing the very full orchestra, eight big-voiced soloists, and hundreds of choristers. In the last three years I have seen this work performed in three cathedral venues, 2007 in Gloucester, 2008 at St Paul’s and now at Ely Cathedral and none has done full justice to Mahler’s creativity. The fault has never been in the efforts of the singers, choirs and orchestras involved but simply because the massive sound they make is compromised by the Romanesque, Gothic or Baroque architecture in which they are performing. Here, the choirs were not banked up high enough at the end of the Nave and often their sound, as well as that from the orchestra and soloists, went straight up into Ely Cathedral’s famous Octagon ‘Lantern Tower’ and either dissipated or, if rather loud, reverberated excessively especially during Part I.

Stephen Cleobury, director of music at King’s College, Cambridge, is a vastly experienced conductor and he launched into the hymn with vigour. As the symphony went on, his account managed to convey the piece as a cogent entity and the sudden emotional shifts of the music came through clearly as did the compelling narrative arc of Part II. If the tumultuous blaring outbursts never worked as well as they should have, the passages of ruminative quiet were better and, most importantly, the enthusiasm of his young musicians – and the commitment of his choirs – never flagged throughout a strongly driven performance that gave little opportunity for interpretative nuance. The guest leader, Charles Mutter, deserved special mention as his violin tone shone out in his individual contributions.

The soloists tried very hard throughout not to get lost in the blend. Paul Carey Jones’s light-grained baritone contrasted with Roderick Earle’s dark bass intonations as did Jean Rigby’s effulgent mezzo richness with Louise Crane, her softer voiced colleague. As the Mater Gloriosa, Raphaela Papadakis, singing from right at the top of the choirs, emerged briefly from the ‘higher spheres’ of which she sang, to deliver her two lines with the clarity and incisiveness other lacked because of the Cathedral’s acoustics. Justin Lavender rose well to the challenge this symphony presents for the tenor and his ardent lyricism was heard to best advantage at ‘Jungfrau, Mutter, Königin’ just before the Chorus Mysticus in which the always focused sopranos, Naomi Harvey and Linda Richardson, finally managed to soar above everything else to bring us closer to heaven. Then finally, when everyone joined together for ‘das Unbeschreibliche’ (‘the indescribable), at last the incandescent grandeur of Mahler’s vision became more apparent.

Jim Pritchard
(Source: SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL
MusicWeb International’s Worldwide Concert and Opera Reviews
http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2009/Jul-Dec09/mahler2811.htm)

相關文章:
走後門
I am going to sing Mahler 8! (馬勒 第八)

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『我本將心向明月…

點知見到許多星,

明月雖好星更妙,

即刻轉軚摘星星。』

不知多少次向著一個目標進發 ,半路才發現明月雖好,星星卻與我更合襯,有勇無謀的我,總會找到藉口 (我還年輕、我輸得起、不要來日後悔等等等等諸如此類) ,半途轉軚,希望我真的不會後悔兼輸得起。

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