薩洛的法國電影專輯 Alexandre Tharaud’s Cinema Album, a la française

Alexandre Tharaud: Cinema
Antonio Pappano / Santa Cecilia Orchestra (Erato)

(scroll down for English review)
總算聽完薩洛的電影專輯,滿滿的雙CD,有51軌,碟一是鋼琴及管弦樂團(更是帕帕諾指揮羅馬聖契利亞管弦樂團),碟二是鋼琴獨奏但有幾首有和樂器及人聲合作。簡單來說,想聽浪漫情感,碟一會直接得多,碟二就有點像爵士鋼琴(例如Bill Evans),以獨奏鋼琴建構出完整的音樂質感。

如我之前所說,選曲真是一流,因為法國電影作曲家如Philippe Sarde、Georges Delerue、Vladimir Kosma素來被英語世界,或者只靠英語去認識世界的聽眾忽略(Michel Legrand則打進了荷里活),而他們的寫法也比較倚重鋼琴,而不是荷里活(至少是幾十年前)的交響樂主導,所以不管薩洛是不是法國人,從那個領域去選曲非常適合。

不過我最大的保留,是薩洛太着力避免流行鋼琴的彈法、發音,不想把旋律敲得太響。流行鋼琴有那種聲音,既是符合觀眾口味,也和使用的樂器有關。古典鋼琴以史坦威為尊,但又未必適合流行口味,比方說,在流行音樂史中最有名的一部鋼琴,是倫敦Trident Studio的一部Bechstein,在Beatles、Elton John、David Bowie的名曲用過。

從軌一的MV所見,薩洛更用了聲音還要柔和一點的Fabbrini型號。我說得難聽一點,他似乎想用一個更有品味的方法,去做Richard Clayderman的拿手好戲。這張碟的選曲我毫無保留推介,而我自己的聆聽過程中,用最low fi、最不專心的形式去聽是聽得最自然的。

Alexandre Tharaud’s new cinema album is certainly not your usual “hommage to cinema” by classical musicians. A double album with a whopping selection of 51 tracks, its repertoire eludes not just the typical classical listener but movie soundtrack aficionados as well. There are a handful of Williams and Morricone, but French movie composers such as Sarde, Delerue, Legrand or Kosma took the lion’s share. Those melodies aren’t just memorable but their original configurations were already leaning towards piano-and-orchestra, instead of the symphonic mould of Hollywood.

I absoultely recommend this album on the strength of the repertoire but I have reservations towards Tharaud’s approach. I think he tried too hard to avoid the hard-hitting tones of the pop piano, even using a Fabbrini piano that’s mellower than the typical Steinway. This is most prominent on disc one, the piano-and-orchestra portion with the extravagant support of Antonio Pappano and his Santa Cecilia Orchestra. In other words, Tharaud seemed to be crafting a posh version of Richard Clayderman.

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