英日対訳:トーマス・ビーチャム自叙伝「A Mingled Chime」第16章(1/2)楽しく過ごした1年








The twelve months that linked the summer of 1908 with that of 1909 are among the pleasantest in my recollection. I was now fairly launched on a flood tide of activity wholly congenial to me, I felt completely at one with my musical kind and was accepted as one of the prime spirits in a vigorous and progressive movement. It was in fact a short transition period separating the stage of youthful experiment from the larger and more spacious days of big enterprises that lay closely ahead of me, but of which I had as yet no inkling. Surrounded by a delightfully enthusiastic set of companions who looked upon me as the principal mouthpiece of their message to the world, life for the time being seemed altogether worthy of praise and enjoyment.  




In July I went over to Norway to meet Delius with whom I had planned a long walking tour in parts little frequented by the average tourist, and reaching Oslo (then Christiania) about a week in advance of him was lucky to find a dramatic festival going on at the State Theater. Until six months or so prior to this, my knowledge of Scandinavian authors had been of the scantiest, being limited to a few Ibsen plays which I had seen in London and a novel or two of Bjornson. But influenced by Delius, who spoke each of the languages of the three kingdoms like a native and seemed to know their literature better than that of his own country, I had prepared myself for the trip by reading everything I could lay my hands on that had been translated, from the classical comedy of Holberg to the contemporary novels of Jonas Lie and J. P. Jacobsen. 




It was lucky for me that I was in pretty good physical condition at that time, thanks mainly to tennis and long country rambles, for Delius proved to be a first-class mountaineer and a pedestrian of untiring energy. One morning we got up at half past five after a somewhat troubled night spent in a cattle hut, climbed on to the Josteldalsbrae, the largest glacier in Europe, walked across a long arm of it, and, stopping for hardly five minutes on the way, reached our destination about half past eight in the evening. This was one of the highlights of our tour, and the only thing that marred the total enjoyment of one of the grandest sights in the world was the frequent thought of bears, which, according to my companion, had an unpleasant habit of appearing suddenly on die glacier to the discomfiture of the unarmed traveler. But as he passed on this unwelcome information to me quite casually and admitted that he had never caught sight of one on any previous occasion, I forgot my uneasiness in the contemplation of this marvelous sea of ice stretching for a hundred and twenty miles and t aking on gradually a richer hue of gold as the sun sank lower and its rays grew longer. So when we got down to the tiny hamlet where we were to lodge that night, he was almost as startled as I to see ly ing in front of the inn a huge specimen of the tribe, which had wandered down only an hour or two earlier from the glacier in search of food, and had been shot by one of the farmers who had been on the lookout for it  




Almost as unforgettable was the ascent of Galdhopiggen, the highest mountain in the country, on the top of which we spent two or three days and where we encountered in the dining room of the little hostelry one of our countrymen. He was absorbed in the task of assimilating a vast plateful of some unappetizing sort of meat which he dosed with frequent extracts from a bottle of Worcester sauce, and the appearance of our national condiment in this remote spot filled us both with such astonishment that we were moved to inquire how he had got hold of it. He told us that he had been climbing this mountain for the past four successive years and on each occasion had called for the piquant accessory without which the enjoyment of any kind of fleshy viand was out of the question. But no sympathetic response had been made to his repeated inquiries until the present season, when the landlord welcomed him with a complacent grin on his face and a bottle of the precious stuff in either hand. Now at last he could feast his eyes upon one of the finest panoramas of the Northland, untroubled by the recurring sensation that there was something wanting to complete his happiness, and deeply impressed we hastened to express our appreciation of a remarkable example of British persistency.  




In the lower land of the dales wherever there was a likely stream, Delius would procure a rod and sit peacefully fishing for hours, and it was during these periods of relaxation that I would lead him to talk about his music and the correct interpretation of it. So far he had never been present at either rehearsals or performances where I had given his works, and I was not yet sure that I had been doing the right thing by them. The scores, especially the printed ones, were vilely edited and annotated, and if executed in exact accordance viith their directions of tempo, phrasing, and dynamics could not help being comparatively ineffective and unconvincing. Accustomed to the scrupulous care which the modern composer lavishes on this side of his task, and without which no adequate presentation of any piece of an intricate character is possible, I was amazed at this revelation of indifference or ineptitude on Delius’ part, for it seemed that having once got down on paper the mere notes of his creations, he concerned himself hardly at all with how they could be made clear of ambiguity to his interpreters. I gathered from what he said that, as he seldom left his retreat at Grez to venture into the active world of music making, he had been content to rely upon the advice of some fellow composers, who might have been in closer touch with the executive side of it, but who obviously possessed more zeal than insight I knew that he was almost wholly wanting in talent as a public performer, for some months ago I had with agonized anxiety watched him endeavoring to conduct his “Appalachia.” In one of the slow variations which was in four-four time he contrived, I never knew how, to beat five to the bar throughout; and to compass this unique achievement he had practiced the motions of conducting in front of a looking glass for six weeks beforehand. The only other time he dared venture to appear in this role was at a Three Choirs Festival concert at which I was unable to be present, much to my relief. But I was afterwards told by several who were there that the performance (the first anywhere) of his “Dance Rhapsody,” sent shivers of excitement running down the backs of everyone sitting in the massive nave of the Norman cathedral.  




There is an odd opinion current in many foreign places that the Englishman is a dull and humorless sort of fellow, although how it has obtained circulation, in face of the admitted fact that his nation has produced the most famous' company of comic playwrights, novelists, essayists, and even philosophers that civilization has yet seen, is beyond the understanding of anyone who has thought twice about the matter. Like every other popular notion it is the reverse of true; and I venture to assume the pleasing privilege of informing a deluded world that whatever else there may or may not be in my country, there is more fun and laughter there to the square acre (save of course in the Celtic principality of Wales) than there is to the square mile of any other known quarter. Even if a man does achieve a gravity alien to the common spirit around him, he is not able to keep it up for long. The opposing pressure from outside is too powerful and sooner or later forces him to renounce the worship of the goddess of gloom. The most serious creatures find themselves victims of the most ludicrous situations unless they exercise the greatest care to avoid them, and this is what Delius, who despite much wit and some humor was fundamentally a serious soul, could never succeed in doing. Everyone of strong personality has within him a centripetal ruling force, magnetlike, which draws from without into its orbit another like unto itself, whether it be rest or unrest, hate or love. There must have been in Frederick an element which invited visitations of the twin spirits of high and low comedy, for the moment he exchanged the safe sanctuaiy of Fontainebleau for the busy haunts of men was the instant sign for their appearance, and the performance of the “Dance Rhapsody” was quite one of their typical quips.