「Copland on Musicを読む」第11回の1 南アメリカの作曲家達 1941年


第3章 南アメリカの作曲家達 


ONE AFTERNOON IN 1923 I was introduced to a short and dynamic individual at the Paris apartment of my composition teacher, Nadia Boulanger. Someone told me that this gentleman with dark complexion and the fiery eyes was a composer from Brazil by the name of Heitor Villa-Lobos. This was the first inkling I had that there might be such a thing as Latin American music. Up to that time we all naturally assumed that the exciting new music would come from Europe. A few daring spirits had the temerity to hope that the United States might someday contribute to the stream of world composition. But practically nobody had given a thought to South America as a possible source for fresh musical experience. 



My second contact with Latin American composition was made in Greenwich Village. In a tiny one-room apartment where he lived around 1927, Carlos Chavez played for me his Mexican ballet The Four Suns. I was enthusiastic about what I heard, and this time the concept of Latin American music really stuck. 



The idea has since been gaining hold everywhere. Recently world conditions (and political expediency) have provided an unexpected impetus to our musical relations with neighboring American countries. By now, of course, both Villa-Lobos and Chavez are familiar figures in the musical world. And my own interest boradend considerably, after a first, tentative visit to Mexico in 1932, and in 1941 a musical tour through nine different countries of the Southern Hemisphere. 



I doubt whether anyone in Peru or Ecuador had ever before seen an American symphonic composer in the flesh. To get quite so far afield, you have to be possessed, as I am, of a kind of musical wanderlust. Too many people, when it comes to music, are inveterate stay-at-homes. They apparently feel uncomfortable except when they are in the presence of accredited genius. They prefer to wander down well-worn paths, clearly marked: “This Way to a Masterpiece.” But it has been my experience that those who really love music have a consuming passion to become familiar with its every manifestation. Without doubt, one of the newest of those manifestations is Latin American music, and, fortunately for music listeners, they have had in recent years many more opportunities to get acquainted with it. 



Most musical people want to know whether there are any interesting composers in the southern part of our hemisphere. They are willing to take yes or no for an answer and let it go at that. For the musician who has been visiting the composers in South America, as I have been, the answer is not so simple. I examined the work of about sixty-five composers and didn't find a Bach or Beethoven among them. But I did find an increasing body of music, many well-trained composers, a few real personalities, and great promise for the future. Enough to make apparent the value for both North and South America of closer, more permanent musical ties, beyond any question of political expediency. 



To see the field of composition as it actually is down there, we should of course stop thinking in terms of “The South American Composer.” No such person exists. South America, as we are often told but never seem fully to comprehend, is a collection of separate countries, each with independent traditions. Their musical developments are various and there is little or no musical contact between them. Brazilian, Colombian, Peruvian composers are just as different from each other as are Dutch, Hungarian, or Yugoslav composers. European music covers a lot of territory, and so also does South American. 



Certain generalizations are possible, however. The countries that have developed most quickly are those with the richest folklore. But whether folklorism is strong or not, the influence of the modern French school is predominant everywhere in South America. This is true of all the arts, but particularly of music. A few of the more sophisticated composers are thoroughly familiar with early Stravinsky and are at times influenced by what they know. As for Schonberg or Hindemith, their names are known and their music admired, but they have as yet left very few traces (These statements are no longer true in 1960. The Schonberg school has had considerable influence, and the Debussy-Ravel aesthetic has been replaced by a strong interest in United States composers of various tendencies). The Latin strain in South American art is a strong one, and it will undoubtedly continue to be so. 



All contemporary composers in South America produce works under serious handicaps. Only five or six first-rate orchestras function on the entire continent. Comparatively few performances of new works are given by these orchestras, and the same holds true for the local radio stations. Shorter pieces have been published from time to time, but publishers are entirely lacking for long and serious works. Many composers labor in isolation, with little hope of reaching any live audience. The wonder is that, despite these conditions, so many new works are written each year. 



The degree of musical progress differs in each country. In some the composes are more personalized, in others musical organization is better, in still others it is the concert activity that is richest. In general, the countries with the deepest Indian strain seem to promise most for the future. The best way to look at South American composition is to approach it, country by country, starting with those known as the ABC group, where most musical activity is centered. 






There has been a tendency, it seems to me, to underestimate the music written by Argentina's composers. As yet one cannot honestly speak of an Argentine school, since a strikingly indigenous profile is lacking. Nevertheless, as a whole, composers of Argentina are more cultivated and more professionally prepared than any similar group to be found in Latin America. Moreover, musical life in Buenos Aires is really cosmopolitan in scope ― all the finest artists are heard and a considerable amount of unfamiliar music is performed each season. 



Contemporary musical effort suffers considerably because of a small group of conservative musicians who completely control government musical policy. That is very serious in a country where so much activity is subsidized through official channels. Much harm has also been done by a superstition current in polite musical circles that only composition inspired by Argentine folklore can possibly be any good. The composer who dares to ignore that unwritten fiat is likely to see his works go unperformed. 



Most of the new music heard in Buenos Aires is presented in concerts of the Grupo Renovacion or La Nueva Musica, two modern-music societies comparable to our own League of Composers. The older is the Grupo Renovacion, whose principal composer members are Jacobo Ficher, Honorio Siccardi, Luis Gianneo, and Jose Maria Castro. Of these Castro seems to me to possess the strongest creative instinct (It should be explained that Jose Maria is the eldest of four brothers, all musicians, of whom Juan Jose is the well-known composer-conductor recently active in this country.) Jose Maria's music, practically unknown here, fits easily into one of two categories: it is either neoclassic of the bright and happy kind ― a rare phenomenon in South America  ― or it is neoromantic with a bitter-sweet flavor entirely personal to the composer. In either case the music he writes is entirely without affectation ― refreshingly simple and direct, reflecting the impression he makes as a human being. Castro ought to be much better known, not only in the United States, but also in his own country. 

ブエノス・アイレスで演奏の機会が持たれている新作の演奏会は、二つの音楽団体によって開催されている。一つはグルーポ・レノヴァシオン 、もう一つはラ・ヌーヴァ・ムジカである。これら現代音楽に関する二つの団体は、我が国の作曲家協会に相当するものだ。先に設立したのはグルーポ・レノヴァシオン。主な作曲家のメンバーは、ハコボ・フィチェル、オノリオ・シカルディ、ルイス・ヒアネオ、そしてホセ・マリア・カストロである。私から見ると、この中ではホセ・マリア・カストロが最もしっかりした創作力を持っているように思える(一つ付け加えるべきことがある。それは、ホセ・マリアがこの国では近年最も知名度が高く精力的な活動を展開しているということだ。彼は4人の兄弟全員が音楽家であり、彼は長男である)。ホセ・マリアの音楽は、実際のところ我が国では無名だ。彼の音楽は次の二つのいずれかのカテゴリーに当てはまる。一つは明るさと楽しさを基にする新古典主義、もう一つは完全に作曲家自身の好みによる甘く切ない雰囲気を基にする新ロマン主義。どちらの場合も、彼の曲作りには一切の虚飾がなく、無駄なく素直な曲は新鮮味があり、彼の人となりが映し出されている。我が国だけでなく母国でも、カストロはもっと知名度が上がるべきである。 


La Nueva Musica, the second of these organizations, is headed by the Argentine composer Juan Carlos Paz. Paz has a broader acquaintance with the literature of modern music than any other musician I met in South America. He is an indefatigable worker ― serious, learned, solitary, and something of a martyr to the “cause.”  Paz is the only mature composer in South America who has attached himself to the Schonberg twelve-tone line. It is characteristic that there is no faintest suggestion of caterwauling in Paz's twelve-tone system. It is as cool and detached and precise as any diagram, the kind of music that is always a pleasure to look at, if not always a pleasure to hear. What he lacks most as a composer is the real lyric urge; much of his work takes on a grayish pallor that in the end is tiring. Technically it is first class, but artistically it is distinguished rather than exciting. 



All groups are agreed, however, that the white hope of Argentine music is young Alberto Ginastera. Ginastera has a natural flair for writing brilliantly effective, sure-fire music of the French-Spanish persuasion. Sometimes it acquires an increased charm through a well-placed use of local melodic phraseology. He also possesses an unusual knack for bright-sounding orchestrations. Later Ginastera may become more ambitious and learn to look inside himself for deeper sources. But already no report of music in Argentina is complete without mention of his name.