「Copland on Musicを読む」第5回の2(1)ベルリオーズは今







3章 4の巨匠 



Berlioz Today 



BERLIOZ IS THE ARCHETYPE of artist who needs periodic reappraisal by each epoch. His own period couldn't possibly have seen him as we do. To his own time Berlioz was an intransigent radical; to us he seems, at times, almost quaint. Wystan Auden once wrote: “Whoever wants to know the nineteeth century must know Berlioz.” True enough, he was an embodiment of his time, and because of that I can't think of another composer of the past century I should have more wanted to meet. And yet, enmeshed in his personality are stylistic throwbacks to an earlier time; these tend to temper and equivocate the impression he makes of the typical nineteenth-century artist. 



His biographer, Jaque Barzon, claims that one rarely finds a discussion of Berlioz “which does not very quickly lose itself in biographical detail.” Berlioz is himself partly responsible for this because he wrote so engagingly about his life. Moreover, there is the fabulous life itself: the tireless activity as composer, critic, and conductor; the success story of the country doctor's son who arrives unknown in the big city (Paris) to study music and ends up, after several tries, with the Prix de Rome; the distracted and distracting love affairs; the indebtedness due to the hiring of large orchestras to introduce his works; the fights, the friends (Chopin, Liszt, De Vigny, Hugo), the triumphal trips abroad, the articles in the Journal du Debat, the Memoires, and the bitter experiences of his last years. No wonder that in the midst of all this the music itself is sometimes lost sight of. 

彼の伝記を手掛けたジャック・バーザンによると、ベルリオーズの生涯について細かく語りだすと、大概あっという間に白熱した議論になるという。これはベルリオーズ自身が、自分の人生について、とにかく細かく書き残していたことも、その原因のひとつなのだ。なにしろ彼の人生は波乱万丈だ。作曲家、批評家、そして指揮者としての精力的な活動、田舎の医師の子が無名で乗り込んだ花の都(パリ)での音楽修業の後、幾多の挑戦の末勝ち取ったローマ大賞というサクセスストーリー、自他ともに苦しみ苦しませんた恋愛沙汰、作品上演に際し大編成のオーケストラに委託したことによる負債、争い、友人達(ショパン、リスト、アルフレッド・ド・ヴィニー、ヴィクトル・ユーゴー)、大成功を収めた海外公演、全国紙への寄稿(Journal du Debat, the Memoires) そして不遇の晩年。そんな状況の中では、彼の音楽自体が霞んでしまうのも、無理のない話だ。 


Admirers and detractors alike recognize that we are living in a period of Berlioz revival. Formerly his reputation rested upon a few works that remained in the orchestral repertoire: principally the Symphonie Fantastique and some of the overtures. Then came repeated hearings of Harold in Italy, Romeo and Juliet, and the Damnation of Faust. Recordings have made L'Enfance du Christ and The Trojans familiar; even the Nuits d'Ete are now sung. Perhaps before long we may hope to hear unknown works like the Song of the Railroads (1846) or Sara the Bather (1834). 



What explains this recent concern with the Berlioz oeuvre?  My own theory is that something about his music strikes us as curiously right for our own time. There is something about the quality of emotion in his music ー the feeling of romanticism classically controlled ー that reflects one aspect of present-day sensibility. This is allied with another startling quality: his ability to appear at one and the same time both remote in time and then suddenly amazingly contemporary. Berlioz possessed a Stendhalian capacity for projecting himself into the future, as if he had premonitions of the path music was to take. By comparison, Wagner, in spite of all the hoopla surrounding his “music of the future,”, was really occupied with the task of creating the music of his own period. And yet, by the irony of musical history, Berlioz must have seemed old-fashioned to Wagner by the 1860's. 



By the end of the century, however, it was clear that the French composer had left a strong imprint on the composers who followed after him. A study of Harold in Italy will uncover reminders of the work of at least a dozen late-nineteenth-century composers ー Strauss, Mahler, Moussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Grieg, Smetana, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Franck, Faure. (Nor should we forget the impact he had on his own contemporaries, Liszt and Wagner.) How original it was in 1834 to give the role of protagonist to a solo instrument ー in this case a viola ー and create, not a concerto for the instrument, but a kind of obbligato role for which I can think of no precedent. The line from Harold to Don Quixote as Strauss drew him is unmistakable. The second movement of Harold in Italy has striking similarities to the monastic cell music in Boris Godounoff, with all Moussorgsky's power of suggestibility. Indeed, the history of nineteenth-century Russian music is unthinkable without Berlioz. Stravinsky says that he was brought up on his music, that it was played in the St. Petersburg of his student years as much as it has ever been played anywhere. Even the Berlioz songs, now comparatively neglected, were models for Massenet and Faure to emulate. Nor is it fanciful to imagine a suggestion of the later Schonberg in the eight-note chromatic theme that introduces the “Evocation” scene from the Damnation of Faust. 



When I was a student, Berlioz was spoken of as if he were a kind of Beethoven manque. This attempted analogy missed the point: Beethoven's nature was profoundly dramatic, of course, but the essence of Berlioz is that of the theatrical personality. I once tried to define this difference in relation to Mahler ー who, by the way, bears a distinct resemblance to Berlioz in more than one respect ー by saying that “the difference between Beethoven and Mahler is the difference between watching a great man walk down the street and watching a great actor act the part of a great man walking down the street.” Berlioz himself touched on this difference in a letter to Wagner when he wrote: “I can only paint the moon when I see her image reflected at the bottom of a well.” Robert Schumann must have had a similar idea when he said: “Berlioz, although he often ... conducts himself as madly as an Indian fakir, is quite as sincere as Haydn, when, with his modest air, he offers us a cherry blossom.” This inborn theatricality is a matter of temperament, not a matter of insincerity. It is allied with a love for the grand gesture, the naive-heroic, the theatric-religious. (In recent times Honegger and Messiaen have continued this tradition in French music.) With Berlioz we seem to be watching the artist watching himself create rather than the creator in the act, pure and simple. This is different in kind from the picturesqueness of Beethoven's Storm in the Pastoral Symphony. Berlioz was undoubtedly influenced by Beethoven's evocation of nature, but his special genius led to the introduction of what amounted to a new genre ー the theatric-symphonic, and there was nothing tentative about the introduction. 



The fact that Berlioz was French rather than German makes much of difference. Debussy said that Berlioz had no luck, that he was beyond the musical intelligence of his contemporaries and beyond the technical capacities of the performing musicians of his time. But think of the colossal bad luck to have been born in a century when music itself belonged to, so to speak, to the Germans. There was something inherently tragic in his situation ー the solitariness and the uniqueness of his appearance in France. Even the French themselves, as Robert Collet makes clear, had considerable trouble in fitting Berlioz into their ideas of what a French composer should be. In a sense he belonged everywhere and nowhere, which may or may not explain the universality of his appeal. In spite of Berlioz's passionate regard for the music of Beethoven and Weber and Gluck, it is the non-German concept of his music that gives it much of its originality.