ヴォーン・ウィリアムズ「National Music」(1934)第6・7章 自分の地域社会への意識/伝統




D. Mus.  









In primitive times, when each small community was self-sufficing and every outsider an enemy, nationalism, or rather, parochialism was not so much an ideal as a necessity. But with the growth of mobility and its consequences of foreign trade, foreign wars, and the breaking down of natural boundaries by the purely artificial action of international treaties, people began to feel that their sheet anchor was dragging, that something that they loved and which peculiarly belonged to them was slipping away from them. It was not until they were threatened that they realized for the first time how much their customs, their language, their art meant to them. 




Thus arose on the one hand the self-conscious cosmopolitans and on the other the self-conscious nationalists with their evil counterparts, the truculent chauvinists and the lovers of every country but their own. I am afraid it is true that nationalism first appears as hatred and fear of enemies, or at all events the fear of losing one's livelihood. English nationalism really came into being, strangely enough, as the result of the Norman Conquest. In the early Plantagenet days French, the language of the Conquerors, became the speech of the Court and of the educated classes and English was driven down to be the language of the peasants. 




Then came the French wars and it became fashionable to regard French as an enemy language; the fashionable classes turned to the hitherto despised speech of the peasants in the same way, I suppose, as it becomes fashionable occasionally among our bright young things to talk cockney. By the year 1362 English again became the official language and it is interesting to note that it was then for the first time called the mother tongue. In 1385 certain schoolmasters had the courage to teach English and not French to their pupils in the grammar schools. "Thus," writes Professor Trevelyan, "did these humble schoolmasters prepare the road for Chaucer and Wycliffe in their own century, for Shakespeare and Milton in time to come, for the English Reformation and Renaissance and the whole development of English life and letters as something other than a northern offshoot of French culture." 




In early days the music of the people was of necessity national. They had to make their own music because there was no one else to make it for them. The music of Courts and Princes had always been and probably always will be cosmopolitan. The Kings, Emperors and Bishops attracted to their courts the best that they could get regardless of country. The skilled musician seems to have had no national conscience, but went where he could get most recognition and best pay. Thus, Dunstable, Dowland and Lassus, to mention only a few, gained their fame and their livelihood at foreign courts. 




It was this same indiscriminate Court patronage which first produced a wave of nationalism in music, at first no more than a "keep out the foreigner" movement, a desire for protection by those who had to make their living by music. Thus we find Locke and Bannister and other English musicians complaining bitterly of the preference given to foreign musicians at the Court of Charles II; entirely, I fear, on the grounds that their bread and butter was being taken away from them. Nationalism as a spiritual force in art was yet to come. 




The nationalism of John Sebastian Bach was on the other hand unself-conscious and consisted not in a fear of the foreigner, but of a deep love for the spiritual values of Teutonism, as exemplified in the Lutheran religion and the great choral melodies which were one of the outward and visible signs of that spirit. In Bach's case there was no question of fighting the foreigner, except perhaps in the one instance of his famous victory over Marchand at the Court of Frederick the Great, because there was no foreigner to fight. Music, in Bach's time and in Bach's community, was looked on not as an international art but as a local craft. The citizens of the small German towns where Bach practised his art would no more have thought of importing a foreign Cantor than of importing a foreign Town Clerk. 




An interesting but short-lived "keep out the foreigner" movement arose during Mozart's lifetime at the instigation, curiously enough, of the Emperor himself who established Opera as a national institution, abolished the old Italian Opera and Ballet, and started what was called the "National Singspiel," and it was for this that Mozart wrote "Die Entführung." The experiment did not last long. In 1783 the German company came to an end, but isolated performances of German operas continued to be given, among them of course "Die Zauberflöte." So we must be thankful for this short-lived outburst of nationalism. The ultimate effects did not stop there because it prepared an audience to be enthusiastic later about "Der Freischütz," and if we had not had "Der Freischütz" there would certainly have been no "Ring des Nibelungen." 




I am no historian and I speak under correction, or perhaps I am telling you the obvious, but the outburst of artistic nationalism in the early 19th Century appears to me to have been the natural reaction to the artificial carving up of Europe to suit the needs of Emperors and politicians after 1815. 




Chopin is generally considered the first of the nationalist composers and he certainly was strongly influenced by the patriotic aspirations of his oppressed country. We must, however, distinguish between the Parisian Chopin of the Waltzes and Nocturnes and the national Chopin of the mazurkas, polonaises and Polish songs. But in reality he was no more national than Schumann or Beethoven or Mozart; his inspiration simply came from a new source. His period was the heyday of the romantic movement when everything had to be exotic. One's own time and one's own place were not enough and one sought an escape from reality in the glamour of remote times and remote places, the forests of Poland or the mountains of Scotland. So when Chopin appeared on the scene with his Polish rhythms and cadences he was hailed as the first nationalist, though he was only building on his own foundations just as Beethoven and Mozart had built on theirs. 




The most striking example of a national renaissance comes from Czechoslovakia, or Bohemia, as it was then called, and it is a clear proof that a self-conscious movement among a few patriots can spread so as to be a living force in the country. The Czech national movement started little more than a hundred years ago with a coterie of Bohemian littérateurs; yet now Czech language, Czech culture and Czech music is a natural and spontaneous expression of its people. This would not have been so if the roots had not always been there. The plant had shrivelled under the chill blasts of foreign suppression. Perhaps these March winds were required before the April showers could bring forth the flowers of spring. Those who bring about revivals are often scoffed at by the ignorant as foisting on the people something "unnatural"--if it is "real" we are sure it will come about "naturally." But does not life itself start for us in nine cases out of ten "artificially"? Ask any doctor. And when life is nearly extinct can it not be revived by artificial  breathing, artificial feeding, artificial blood pressure? If a healthy life ensues why quarrel with the means employed? 




Smetana, the recognized pioneer of Czech musical nationalism, received his first impulse from 1848, the year of revolution, when he wrote his choruses for the revolutionary "National Guards." It is curious, however, that Smetana denied that he owed anything to folk-song and would indignantly protest that he never committed what he called "forgery." When we think of the polka out of his string quartet, of the dance movement in "Ultava" or the opening chorus of "The Bartered Bride," this seems difficult to swallow. The truth probably is that Smetana's debt to his own national music was of the best kind, unconscious. He did not indeed "borrow," he carried on an age-long tradition, not of set purpose, but because he could no more avoid speaking his own musical language than he could help breathing his native air. 




The national movement in Russia is too well-known for me to have to dwell long on it, but I will call your attention to two points. The Russian movement had small and humble beginnings as all great artistic movements do and I believe should do. And the Russian nationalist composers drew frankly and unashamedly on their own folk-songs. These are really two aspects of the same factor. The Russian movement started in the late 18th Century with a revolt against the boredom of the heavy Italian operas which led people to look out for something lighter, some entertainment in which their own popular tunes might have a place. 




This led to a series of "people's" operas in which folk-tunes were introduced rather after the manner of the "Beggar's Opera." Then came 1812 and the resultant outburst of Russian patriotism. Thus the way was prepared for Glinka who deliberately, as he said, wanted to write music which would make his own people "feel at home," music which was sneered at by the Frenchified Russian aristocrats as "coachman's music." Mrs. Newmarch rightly says that whereas Glinka's predecessors had been content to play with local colour he "re-cast the primitive speech of the folk-song into a new and polished idiom." From Glinka we pass on to the splendours of Moussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov surpassing their musical ancestor far in power of imagination, but like him, having their roots firmly planted in their native soil. It is a question how far the modern Russian school has not uprooted itself; possibly Stravinsky is too intent on shocking the bourgeois to have time to think about making his own people "feel at home." Cosmopolitanism has to a certain extent ousted nationalism. He seems deliberately to have torn up his roots and sold his birthright, cutting himself off from the refreshing well-spring of tradition. At one time he will toy with jazz, at another time with Bach and Beethoven seen through a distorted mirror. Or he will amuse himself by adding piquant "wrong notes" to the complacent beauty of Pergolesi. This seems to be not the work of a serious composer, but rather that of the too clever craftsman, one might almost say, the feats of the precocious child. But in one branch of our art it is hardly possible for an artist to be untrue to himself, namely when he writes for the human voice, for then language takes command and the natural rise and fall of the words must suggest the melodic and rhythmic outline. And the human voice is the oldest musical instrument and through the ages it remains what it was, unchanged; the most primitive and at the same time the most modern, because it is the most intimate form of human expression. Instruments are continually being improved and altered, new inventions are continually increasing their capabilities both for good and evil. The pianoforte of today is not the instrument for which Beethoven wrote, the modern chromatic trumpet has nothing to do with the noble tonic and dominant instrument of the classics. Violinists can perform feats on their instruments undreamt of by our forefathers; we can add mutes hard, soft or medium to our brass instruments which change their features so that their own mothers would not know them. But through all this the human voice remains what it was with its unsurpassed powers and its definite limitations and in the face of these limitations the composer is forced to think of the essentials and not of the external trappings of music; thus he often finds his salvation. More important than all, the human voice is connected with our earliest associations and inevitably turns our thoughts back to our real selves, to that sincerity of purpose which it is so difficult to follow and so perilous to leave. And I believe this is especially the case in choral music where the limitations are most severe and the human element is the strongest. When Stravinsky writes for the chorus his mind must surely turn homeward to his native Russia with its choral songs and dances and the great liturgies of its church. And so I believe that it is in "Les Noces" and the "Sinfonie des Psaumes" that we find the real and the great Stravinsky which will remain fresh and alive when all the clevernesses of his instrumental works have become stale from familiarity.  












Closely connected with nationalism is the question of tradition. I have already quoted to you Gilbert Murray's great saying that a genius is the child of tradition and at the same time a rebel against that tradition. He develops this further by pointing out that in art tradition is essential. Art has to give a message from one man to another. As you can speak to a man only in a language which you both know, so you can appeal to his artistic side only by means of some common tradition. Consequently tradition cannot be disregarded. This is really the same thing as Emerson's epigram, "The most original genius is the most indebted man." Many of the most revolutionary artistic thinkers are in externals most obedient to traditional forms. In contrast to the iconoclasts of today there stand out one or two truly original figures, such as Sibelius, who have something to say that no one has said before, but who are nevertheless satisfied with the technical content which has been handed down to them by their ancestors. 




Cecil Sharp wisely says, "The creative musician cannot produce music out of nothing and if he were to make the attempt he would only put himself back into the position of the primitive savage. All that he can do and as a matter of fact does, is to make use of the material bequeathed to him by his predecessors, fashion it anew and in such manner that he can through it and by means of it express himself." 




It is true that tradition may harden into convention and I am entirely in sympathy with all artistic experimenters who break through mere convention. Let the young adventurer branch out into all known and unknown directions. Let the tree develop flowers and leaves undreamt of before, but if you pull it up by its roots it will die. Truly we cannot ignore the present and we must build for the future, but the present and future must stand firmly on the foundations of the past. 




Walt Whitman says:  

"Have the past struggles succeeded?  

Now understand me well. It is provided in the essence of things  

That in any fruition of success, no matter what,  

Shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary." 








But there may be bad traditions. Every generation, I suppose, thinks that the tradition of its immediate predecessors is bad, but the tradition is there and however much we want to we cannot help being the inheritors of those who have gone before us. We are inevitably the children of our fathers. We may curse our parents, but it is they that have made us, and not we ourselves. Effect proceeds from cause and always has done so; the sins of the fathers are visited on the children and it is up to us to see that the sins of one generation turn into the virtues of the next. Dr Colles writes: 




"Most of the best things in modern music come from composers who have kept close to their several native traditions and whose individual genius has enabled them to extend it in directions undreamt of by their predecessors." 




We cannot help building on the past. What is America building on? Have we possibly on both sides of the water a common tradition? Well, we have one thing in common and that is perhaps the strongest traditional force, namely, our common language--though even in that America and England in their divergent practical and emotional needs have to a certain extent drifted apart. And whether in fifty years' time we shall be mutually intelligible seems to me doubtful. 




Now the musical style of a nation grows out of its language. To quote Dr. Colles again: "A people's music grows in contact with the people's mother tongue, from the emergence of the vernacular in  poetry and prose literature speech stamps its character with increasing decisiveness in the music of that people." 




The roots of our language and therefore of our musical culture are the same, but the tree that has grown from those roots is not the same. We cannot, if we wish to, jump back three hundred years and join up again where we parted. We have seen in the case of Bohemia and Russia how a tradition can be brought to fruition in a hundred years if the roots are well planted. America and England have had three hundred years of separate existence with different ideals and a separate culture. This must count for something. How are we each to find and preserve our own souls?