ヴォーン・ウィリアムズ「National Music」(1934) 第5章(2/2)民謡と作曲家



D. Mus.  











Possibly we of the older generation were self-conscious and "synthetic" in our devotion to folk-song. But it is the younger generation which matters: they are no longer self-conscious, they speak the language without thinking. Largely owing to the labours of Cecil Sharp our folk-tunes are now known to English people from their earliest youth. These tunes have become part of the national basis of musical language to every child in England. Cecil Sharp was never under the delusion that a national music could be "made out" of folk-song; but he did believe the more these tunes became the property of the young, true composers would arise among them. His prophecy came true. 




We have been told that the folk-song movement in England is dead. The arguments used prove that it is not dead but that it has just begun to live, that we are now taking folk-song for granted, whether we like it or not, as part of our natural surroundings; that its influence is no longer self-conscious but organic. 




We are told that many of our younger composers are as yet untouched by the influence of folk-song, but those of us who can see rather deeper into things and with more imagination, know that they can no more help being influenced by their own folk-songs than they can help being nourished by their mothers' milk. Of course they are touched unconsciously and so the superficial journalist cannot see the influence; probably they do not recognize it themselves and would be most indignant if it was suggested to them; for them the folk-song is no longer synthetic, it is spontaneous. 




I have had the privilege of looking at the early work of our younger English composers, written while they were still in statu pupillari, while they were still in the imitative stage, and it was largely what we have been taught to call "synthetic folk-song." Later on of course, as some of them took the trouble to explain to me, they put away childish things, saw the errors of their ways and so on. This is just what we should wish. They are in fact, once again to quote Gilbert Murray, "rebels against tradition but at the same time children of it." 




I know in my own mind that if it had not been for the folk-song movement of twenty-five years ago this young and vital school represented by such names as Walton, Bliss, Lambert and Patrick Hadley would not have come into being. They may deny their birthright; but having once drunk deep of the living water no amount of Negroid emetics or "Baroque" purgatives will enable them to expel it from their system. 




But this is a digression from historical order. 




Do we find the folk-song influence in the classical period, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert? 




One would at first be inclined to say no. I hope I shall not be accused of inventing a paradox if I say that it is not noticeable because it is so very plain. If we look at a collection of German Volkslieder we are apt to be disappointed because the tunes look exactly like the simpler Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert tunes. The truth of course is the other way out. The tunes of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert are so very much like Volkslieder. 




We talk of the "classical tradition" and the "grand manner." This really means the German manner because it so happened that the great classical period of music corresponded with the great line of German composers. 




What we call the classical idiom is the Teutonic idiom and it is absolutely as narrowly national as that of Grieg or Moussorgsky. But there is one composer of the classical period whose case is different--Joseph Haydn. Haydn's themes, indeed the whole layout of his work, has really nothing in common, except purely superficially, with that of Mozart, though they have the same technical background and show some of the conventions of the polite music of the period. Sir Henry Hadow in his interesting essay on Haydn's nationality, called "A Croatian Composer," proves definitely, I think, that he was not a Teuton, but a Slav of Croatian nationality. It is a curious comment on the strength of the German influence on all music that up till quite lately, we habitually spoke not only of Haydn, but even of the Hungarian Liszt and of the Polish Chopin, as "German" composers. 




That Haydn's musical ancestry is different from that of his German so-called compatriots is obvious in all his characteristic work. Of course before he attained maturity he followed the lead of his teachers and even in latter life, in the enormous amount of his output, there is a certain proportion of mere journeyman work, and it is noticeable that in these the national characteristics are not so apparent. It is when he is most himself that he owes most to the music of his own country. It has been suggested that Joseph Haydn owes nothing to a national bias because we do not find the same bent in the compositions of his brother Michael. But Michael of course was not a genius, but just an honest practitioner who never got beyond the commonplaces of the "polite" music which he absorbed in Vienna, just as Joseph does not show his national characteristics except in his inspired moments. 




Some explanation surely is required of all the irregular metres and characteristic phrases which distinguish Haydn's music. They derive from nothing in the music of Emanuel Bach or any other of his Teutonic forerunners. What is their ancestry? These themes and many others are found to be nearly identical with certain Croatian folk-tunes. 




It goes without saying that Hadow has been accused of charging Haydn with plagiarism. This is what he writes on the subject: 




"No accusation could be more unfounded or more unreasonable. He poached upon no man's preserve, he robbed no brother artist, he simply ennobled these peasant tunes with the thought and expression of which he was most nearly in accord.... No doubt he was not only the child of his nation, he had his own personality, his own imaginative force, his own message to deliver in the ears of the world, but through all these the national element runs as the determining thread.... No doubt there are other factors; [besides nationality] the personal idiosyncrasy that separates a man from his fellows and again the general principles, fewer perhaps than is commonly supposed, that underlie all sense of rhythm and all appreciation of style. But to say this is only to say that the artist is 

himself and that he belongs to our common humanity. In everything, from the conception of a poem to the structure of a sentence the national element bears its part with the other two; it colours the personal temperament, it gives a standpoint from which principles of style are approached and wherever its influence is faint or inconsiderable the work of the artist will be found to suffer in proportion.... It is wholly false to infer that music is independent of nationality. The composer bears the mark of his race not less surely than the poet or the painter and there is no music with true blood in its veins and true passion in its heart that has not drawn inspiration from the breast of the mother country." 




The debt of the Russian nationalist school of composers to their own folk-song I need hardly dwell on, it meets us at every turn. 




Chopin wrote national dances, the Mazurka and the Polonaise; Moussorgsky and Borodin frankly made use of folk-songs. Grieg and Dvořák avowedly and Smetana less frankly imitated them. In each case they have made the so-called "borrowed" tunes their own. 




In the 18th century an enterprising Scottish publisher commissioned Beethoven to harmonize some Scottish melodies. The result was curious and not satisfactory, but the strange thing is that the accompaniments added by the great master gave a decidedly German tinge to the tunes. 




In the 19th century Brahms harmonized a collection of his own German Volkslieder--they sound exactly like Brahms, but here there is no misfit because the composer felt at home with his material. One of the tunes, "Du mein einzig Licht," has been harmonized in another collection without sympathy or understanding by Max Friedländer (though I admit he was also a German). A comparison between the two settings is instructive.  




I will not give you any more detailed examples but I will try and tell you what I mean by the connection between the composer and the folk-song of his country. Supreme art is not a solitary phenomenon, its great achievements are the crest of the wave; it is the crest which we delight to look on, but it is the driving force of the wave below that makes it possible. For every great composer there must be a background of dozens of smaller ones. Professor Dent has given us examples of a crowd of small practitioners in Vienna, who, so to speak, went to make up one Schubert. 




There never has been and never will be a great artist who appeared as a "sport"; a supreme composer can only come out of a musical nation and at the root of the musical quality of a nation lies the natural music whose simplest and clearest manifestation is the folk-song. 




Historians of early English music are continually being puzzled and slightly annoyed by the occasional outcrop in medieval times of a magnificent piece of music like "Sumer is icumen in" or the "Agincourt Song" without apparent reason. There is no written record of a musical soil which could have produced such wonderful flowerings as when the wonderful Tudor school suddenly appeared, as they pathetically complain, "from nowhere." Of course, these things do not spring from nowhere, of course, the English were "carolling" as Gerald the Welshman puts it, all through the middle ages, disregarded by the Frenchified court and the Italianized church, but coming to their full fruition in the age of Elizabeth. True, there is no written record of these happenings--therefore the historians are at a loss to account for their results; but there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in the bookman's philosophy. 




The scholar's pathetic trust in the written word often leads him into difficulties. The only medieval music of which we have written record is that of the church and that of the Troubadours. Therefore, according to the scholars, this was the only medieval music worth notice. Popular music was made not according to rule but according to instinct--therefore it was negligible. This attitude of mind is well illustrated in Mr. Gerald Cooper's article on the Troubadours in the "Oxford History of Music." 




He writes that "the music of the Troubadours in spite of certain points in contact with popular music was an aristocratic and intricate art with none of the haphazard characteristics of folk-music." I take this to mean that the Troubadours were amateurish, i.e., "aristocratic," that they wrote by rule, i.e., "intricate," and not by instinct, i.e., "haphazard." The Troubadours, judging from results, had no instincts to guide them and therefore invented elaborate rules. But elaborate rules cannot produce live music: instinct is the sure guide. These rules reached their limit of absurdity in the music of the Meistersingers, the bourgeois descendants of the Troubadours. 




Beckmesser thoroughly distrusted instinct and says to Walther,  




Doch in welcher Schul' das Singen mocht' Euch zu lernen gelingen? 





Wann dann die Flur vom Frost befreit und wiederkehrt die Sommerszeit, was einst in langer Winternacht das alte Buch mir kundgemacht, das schallte laut in Waldespracht, das hört' ich hell erklingen: im Wald dort auf der Vogelweid', da lernt' ich auch das Singen. 


川から氷が溶け去り、夏の日々が帰って来ると、かつて長い冬の夜に、古い書物が教えてくれた知恵が、森の輝きを浴びて高らかに鳴り響き、朗らかな歌声となって聞こえてきたのです。ですから私は、森の鳥たちが集う草原(フォーゲルヴァイデ)で 歌を学んだのです。 



Oho! Von Finken und Meisen lerntet Ihr Meisterweisen? Das wird dann wohl auch darnach sein! 





Zwei art'ge Stollen fasst' er da ein. 





Again, Professor Dent writing also on the Troubadours says that "from a social point of view the Troubadours are important because their art gradually led to the acceptance of music as an independent art, to its cultivation among the leisured classes, and so to a wider sphere of influence than could ever be permeated by an art of music which remains subservient to an ecclesiastical ritual." But this is surely to put the cart before the horse. Music has always spread from below upwards, the spontaneous song of the people comes first. Quantz did not play the flute because Frederick the Great played it, but the other way out. Quantz learnt the flute presumably because it was indigenous to the country where he lived. The people have always sung and danced. Historians are too apt to take it for granted that, because there is no written record of this, it did not exist, or that at all events it is 

quite unimportant. 




I cannot make out that Troubadour music flourished in England, at all events as an indigenous art. There is a simple explanation of this. The fashionable language was French and English was the despised speech of the peasants, so that fashionable England was probably in those days as it has so often been since, an importer of foreign goods. Perhaps it was just as well, for it allowed our native music to pursue its quiet way undisturbed so that "Sumer is icumen in," almost certainly a popular melody, is still the despair and wonder of historians, and other popular tunes that have come down to us such as the "Salutation Carol" and the "Agincourt Song" are still vital, while the songs of the Troubadours are mere museum pieces. When the great School of Tudor music arose, it could go straight to the fountain head for its inspiration, fructified of course by the skill of the great Belgian contrapuntists, but inheriting its energy and vitality from the unwritten and unrecorded art of its own countryside.