スーザ自叙伝「進め!Marching Along!」英日対訳


「Copland on Music を読む」第12回の4 レオン・キルヒナー



Leon Kirchner (1950) 



COMPOSED IN 1947, this Duo for Violin and Piano is the first published composition of Leon Kirchner, a comparative newcomer to the American musical scene. I doubt whether a more important young American composer has come along since the advent of Harold Shapero several years back. Recent New York performances of Kirchner's Duo, his Piano Sonata, and most recently his String Quartet No. 1 were accorded a unanimity of enthusiasm that is rare in the case of a hitherto-unknown name. It is all the more unusual since his music is not by any means of the easily assimilable kind, belonging as it does to the Bartok-Berg axis of contemporary music. 



Kirchner is a Brooklynite who pursued his musical studies in California, where he was a student of Roger Sessions. (He also did some work on the West Coast with Bloch and Schonberg.) In considering the teachers he sought out, and the clearly chromatic propensities of his own music, it is rather surprising that Kirchner has not been won over to adopting the twelve-tone system in toto. The fact that he has not is indicative of an independent mind, an independence that shows itself in other aspects of his music.キルヒナーはブルックリン出身で、音楽教育はカリフォルニアで受けたが、そこではロジャー・セッションズに師事している(彼はまた西海岸ではブロッホシェーンベルクと共に制作活動をいくつか行った)。彼が教わりに行った指導者と彼自身の作品にハッキリと見られる半音階を好んで使う傾向を鑑みるに、キルヒナーが12音音楽を使った音楽作りに全く関わっていないことは、むしろ驚くべきことである。この事実が示すのは、彼の思考回路が独特のものであり、彼の音楽が持つ他の側面にも独自性が見られるということだ。 


Studying this first available work of Kirchner's, I am struck by how little the written notes convey the strong impression made by a live performance of the Duo. It is well to keep this in mind ― the potential effect of these notes when performed in the concert hall; otherwise I am afraid that the purchaser may be a trifle disappointed. For a measure-by-measure examination of the Duo will disclose nothing remarkable in the way of melodic invention or rhythmic novelty. Nor is there anything remarkable about Kirchner's harmonic vocabulary, which reflects current practice in advanced creative circles. 

キルヒナー初の出版譜「二重奏曲」をよく読んで驚いたのが、生演奏を聞いた時の強烈な印象が、書かれた音符から殆ど感じ取れないことだ。この音符がコンサートホールで演奏される時に現れる潜在的な効果がある、ということを念頭に置いたほうが良い。でないと、この楽譜を買ってもガッカリするだけではないかと思う。「二重奏曲」を 1小節ずつ検証していっても、メロディ作りやリズムの目新しさという点で何もめぼしい発見は無いだろう。同じように特筆すべきものが見られないのがキルヒナーの和声のネタだが、これは近年の先進的な作曲家グループの取り組みを反映している。 


And yet, undeniably, when sounded in actual performance, the notes themselves cast a spell. What is the explanation? I am not sure that I know. But what I do know is that the impression carried away from a Kirchner performance is one of having made contact, not merely with a composer, but with a highly sentient human being; of a man who creates his music out of an awareness of the special climate of today's unsettled world. Kirchner's best pages prove that he reacts strongly to that world; they are charged with an emotional impact and explosive power that are almost frightening in intensity. Whatever else may be said, this is music that most certainly is “felt.” No wonder his listeners have been convinced. 



In studying the Duo one inevitably thinks of Bartok, since there is obviously a similarity of aesthetic approach in both composers. But in the case of the Hungarian master the basic emotional turmoil, the bitterness and pessimism, is tempered by a meticulous workmanship, almost schoolmasterish in its manipulation of musical materials. Bartok's is a controlled violence, in which the element of control is a mitigating circumstance. But with Kirchner, although he works with analogous material, we get the impression of a creative urge so vital as to burst all bonds of ordinary control. It is this out-of-control quality that gives any one of his works enormous excitement. To date it would seem to me that that is his principal claim to originality: the daringly free structural organization of his compositions. Certain it is that the Duo, cast in a one-movement form, will never make the analysis boys happy. One literally never knows what is likely to happen next, and sometimes the composer seems no more sure than ourselves. But I respect his willingness to take such chances, for the future is sure to require a more experimental attitude toward formal problems on the part of composers. 



The road ahead will not be easy for a composer of Kirhner's gifts and pretensions. All the more reason why we shall watch with special concern what the next work will bring.