英日対訳:トーマス・ビーチャム自叙伝「A Mingled Chime」第9章(2/2)技術偏重は何が悪いのか/ドイツに負けるな!



9. First Opera Company





It is only fair to an institution in which I have so many good friends to explain a little this passing allusion to the press. There are, in every country where music is seriously cultivated, a few really remarkable men of keen sensibility, wide learning, and brilliant intellect whose writings are a delight and stimulation to all those who read them. Any one of these is in himself as much of a force as a great virtuoso or combination of instrumentalists. But even the most highly gifted intelligence does not always remain unaffected by the long and continued prod of subtle and intangible influences that emanate from every point of contact in a large musical circle, and it is only too obvious that during the last twenty years criticism generally has concentrated more and more on the material values of music and less on the spiritual. In other words, it has been and still is concerning itself almost exclusively with that which it calls technique, with little regard for anything else. In so doing it has mistaken the means for the end, the essential for the quintessential; and the result is that we have a standardized technique in every branch of the art, before which all have agreed to bow, save one dissenting group, the really musical. For we have reached a stage where we are confronted with the paradoxical situation that, while never before have there been so many musicians who are credited with impeccable mechanical excellence, there have also never been so many dull and uninspiring interpreters.  




What has been forgotten is that technique is not an independent entity separate from the music itself. If someone plays Mozart or Schubert to me in a way I dislike, it is meaningless and irrelevant if an apologetic friend assures me that he is quite  

competent in Liszt. And if I reply that his technique is not equal to the task of interpreting satisfactorily the two other masters, my criticism is regarded as something between a libel and an insult. I therefore have to explain that my idea of technique is something more than playing mere notes accurately or even brilliantly. There is, for example, the choice of tone for a particular piece and the creation of a definite mood or atmosphere through the calculated control of a fixed range of dynamics. Are these important branches of the art of the keyboard to be considered as coming under the head of technique? If not, then under what other? For without a mastery of them no execution has for me the slightest interest or value. And it is precisely the want of the capacity to do these things that makes in my estimation the mere sounds produced by so many public performers so superficially musical as to give the minimum of pleasure. Again, accuracy, although excellent in itself, is not the only thing which is essential: “Non porro unum est necessarium.” The great Rubinstein was not always accurate, he made mistakes; yet no one in those days suggested that he had a faulty technique. But in our present year of grace he would certainly have been severely admonished for a simple little slip and perhaps told to go away and practice before he ventured on another public appearance.  

技術は音楽全体から切り取って、論じてはいけない、ということが、忘れられてしまっている。誰かが私に、モーツアルトでもシューベルトでも、私が嫌いな演奏の仕方で、聴かせるとしよう。仮に、言い訳上手な友人がしゃしゃり出て、こいつはリストを弾かせたら、めっぽう上手いから、などと言っても、私には無意味で、無価値だ。もし私が、「友人」様に対して、そいつの腕前では、リスト以外の、モーツアルトシューベルトという、2大巨頭の作品を、キチンと解釈して演奏することは出来ない、などと返事をしてしまったら、「私には無意味で、無価値だ」は、事実を示した上での「名誉毀損」か、はたまた、事実無根の「誹謗中傷」か、そう見なされてしまう。こうなると私も、「技術」に関する私の考えを、説明せねばなるまい。技術とは、単に音符を正確に鳴らすとか、単に華々しく鳴らすとか、それ以上のものなのだ。例えば、こんな雰囲気で行こう、こんな空気感を漂わせよう、というものを明確に打ち出して、ある作品を演奏するにあたって、音量の範囲を決めて、計算し尽くしたコントロールを加えてゆくのだ。こんな大事なピアノの弾き方の一つを、「技術」と分類するか?しないなら、他にどう分類するか?というのも、こういったことを身に着けもせず、何を演奏しても、私には興味もないし価値もない。故にこれこそが、まさしく、私の考えでは、凡百の「芸人」の放つ凡庸なるサウンドを、「これだけは伝えたい」とする喜びを表現する上で、素晴らしいほどに音楽的にする、そのために求めたい懐の深さなのだ。繰り返すが、正確さは、それ自体はとても素晴らしい。だが、「音楽の『本来不可欠』なもの」は、これだけではない。ロシアのアントン・ルービンステインの言葉で言うなら「Non porro unum est necessarium.あの大名人でさえ、常に正確無比、とはいかなかった。演奏中の間違えは、起こしていた。でも当時、彼の腕前を欠陥品呼ばわりする者など、誰もいなかった。だがもし、今の、このオジョウヒンな時代に、彼が生きていたら、一言のもとに厳しい忠告を受けるだろう「出ていけ、練習してこい、どうしても人様の前で演奏したいと言うならなぁ」     



Some years ago I took my own orchestra, which already knew the work tolerably well, through a series of sectional rehearsals of The Ring. Every department, even double basses, had to go over each phrase with care and attention. As all the players were of recognized accomplishment, the performance was of a clarity, sonority, and accuracy that I have never heard equaled anywhere, save for a single break on the trumpet in a passage that unfortunately is familiar to every amateur in the world. This little misadventure, which the same player would probably not repeat in fifty years, filled the bulk of the critical press with an unholy joy. Nothing else in the rest of the representation seemed to have the smallest interest for them, and there was hardly a word of appreciation for the remainder of a four-hour spell of flawless playing. No; they had discovered a spot on the sun which their noctalyptic vision had so magnified as to make them doubt whether the latter was really there at all. And so I venture the modest opinion that the worship of the so-called impeccable execution has been a little overdone and that it is time that some measure of attention be given to the spirit and character of the music itself. After all, there is nothing easier to achieve than dead accuracy if one really sets about it. For there does exist one branch of work where it is of more importance than anything else, the making of records for the gramophone. Here the purely intellectual and technical elements take precedence over the emotional, owing to the cardinal necessity of securing a perfect balance adjustable to the peculiarities and limitations of the microphone and the disc. Here no one, conductor, pianist, or violinist, can let himself go for a single moment. Every bar is the bondservant of a tyrant to whom the correct playing of each note, a flawless pitch, and a discreet scheme of dynamics are the supreme considerations. In a public performance there are moments when a conductor is impelled to make exceptional demands upon his players for the full realization of the grandeur and eloquence inherent in the work he is striving to interpret; and sometimes vaulting ambition overleaps itself and tests to straining point the limits of that unsleeping control which the true Apollonian spirit maintains should never be violated. It is without doubt a fault, but surely one more excusable than a persistent discretion which never takes a risk or soars above the middle height of adventure.  




But returning to my first encounter with opera, the most valuable lesson I learned was that all the music which sounded right and effective in the theater had a character or quality possessed by none other; and, equally, when heard outside the theater it failed to make anything like the same appeal. To apply the term “dramatic” and to be content with such a definition would be inadequate and misleading. The symphonic work of Beethoven more than that of any other composer is essentially dramatic, and if anyone be doubtful on the point, he need only listen to it after a course of Mendelssohn, Schumann, or Dvorak, all of whom wrote quite good symphonies in their way. Yet Beethoven’s theater music is not one-quarter as vital and telling as that of Mozart. The fifth and sixth symphonies (particularly the latter) of Tschaikowsky have a distinctly dramatic quality, but of all the Russian composers he is the least successful in opera. What is this intangible element in the music itself which must be half the battle already won for any piece that has to dominate the stage? And how many works do we not know which are admirably constructed, have capital stories and excellent usic, but which fail to hold the public attention really interested and absorbed? It is not easy to answer this question; but it may be a highly developed inner visual sense in the consciousness of supremely gifted writers for the theater like Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini, that sees as in an ever present mirror the progress of the drama running through every phrase, word, and action, and simultaneously evolves the right sort of music to go along with it. But whatever is its nature, there is no doubt about its existence, and the realization of it was to me at the time important enough to send me back to study again the operatic efforts of my countrymen, who so far had failed to produce a single work that could hold its own with even the dozens of second-rate pieces turned out by the composers of France or Italy. 




It could not be owing to any inherent incapacity for the theater in our people, who during a period of several hundred years had been giving to the world one of the few great schools of drama known to civilization; but it might conceivably be traced to the predilection among our musicians themselves for those foreign masters like Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, who are a complete antithesis to all that has to do with the essential spirit of it. As I have already indicated, German influence was everywhere omnipotent, while at the same time it was over-looked that the Germans were not really a theatrically gifted people. Their dramatic literature could not compare with that of several other great European nations, and even in the field of opera their composers, outside Weber and Wagner, had produced  very little of genuine originality. It therefore seemed to me that until our musicians realized all this more clearly, turned their backs on their Teutonic models, generated a more wholesome respect for the composers of other countries, and (more important than all else) began like the Russians to cultivate a style and idiom of their own, they had better return to the safer and easier task of writing oratorios and cantatas for the thousands of choral societies up and down the kingdom, just as their forefathers had been peacefully and harmlessly doing for the past two hundred years.