英日対訳:F.ブゾーニ(T.ベイカー英訳)Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music (2/5) 標題音楽、記譜法、音楽表現


Translated from the German by Dr. TH. BAKER (Theodore Baker) 


音楽「シン・ビガク」概要 ~新しい審美眼~ フェルッチョ・ブゾーニ 

ドイツ語→英語 訳   セオドア・ベイカ 


日本語訳 竹中弘幸(2023年)







THE name of Wagner leads to program-music. This has been set up as a contrast to so-called “absolute” music, and these concepts have become so petrified that even persons of intelligence hold one or the other dogma, without recognition for a third possibility beyond and above the other two. In reality, program-music is precisely as one-sided and limited as that which is called absolute. In place of architectonic and symmetric formulas, instead of the relation of Tonic to Dominant, it has bound itself in the stays of a connecting poetic—sometimes even philosophic—program. 





Every motive—so it seems to me—contains, like a seed, its life-germ within itself. From the different plant-seeds grow different families of plants, dissimilar in form, foliage, blossom, fruit, growth and color.[G] 



[G] “… Beethoven, dont les esquisses thématiques ou élémentaires sont innombrables, mais qui, sitôt les thèmes trouvés, semble par cela même en avoir établi tout le développement …” [Vincent d'Indy, in “César Franck.”] 


ヴァンサン・ダンディの著書「セザール・フランク」に、ベートーヴェンに関する次のような記述があります。“… Beethoven, dont les esquisses thématiques ou élémentaires sont innombrables, mais qui, sitôt les thèmes trouvés, semble par cela même en avoir établi tout le développement …” 



Even each individual plant belonging to one and the same species assumes, in size, form and strength, a growth peculiar to itself. And so, in each motive, there lies the embryo of its fully developed form; each one must unfold itself differently, yet each obediently follows the law of eternal harmony. This form is imperishable, though each be unlike every other. 





The motive in a composition with program bears within itself the same natural necessity; but it must, even in its earliest phase of development, renounce its own proper mode of growth to mould—or, rather, twist—itself to fit the needs of the program. Thus turned aside, at the outset, from the path traced by nature, it finally arrives at a wholly unexpected climax, whither it has been led, not by its own organization, but by the way laid down in the program, or the action, or the philosophical idea. 



And how primitive must this art remain! True, there are unequivocal descriptive effects of tone-painting (from these the entire principle took its rise), but these means of expression are few and trivial, covering but a very small section of musical art. Begin with the most self-evident of all, the debasement of Tone to Noise in imitating the sounds of Nature—the rolling of thunder, the roar of forests, the cries of animals; then those somewhat less evident, symbolic—imitations of visual impressions, like the lightning-flash, springing movement, the flight of birds; again, those intelligible only through the mediation of the reflective brain, such as the trumpet-call as a warlike symbol, the shawm to betoken ruralism, march-rhythm to signify measured strides, the chorale as vehicle for religious feeling. Add to the above the characterization of nationalities—national instruments and airs—and we have a complete inventory of the arsenal of program-music. Movement and repose, minor and major, high and low, in their customary significance, round out the list.—These are auxiliaries, of which good use can be made upon a broad canvas, but which, taken by themselves, are no more to be called music than wax figures may pass for monuments. 






And, after all, what can the presentation of a little happening upon this earth, the report concerning an annoying neighbor—no matter whether in the next room or in an adjoining quarter of the globe—have in common with that music which pervades the universe? 







To music, indeed, it is given to set in vibration our human moods: Dread (Leporello), oppression of soul, invigoration, lassitude (Beethoven's last Quartets), decision (Wotan), hesitation, despondency, encouragement, harshness, tenderness, excitement, tranquillization, the feeling of surprise or expectancy, and still others; likewise the inner echo of external occurrences which is bound up in these moods of the soul. But not the moving cause itself of these spiritual affections;—not the joy over an avoided danger, not the danger itself, or the kind of danger which caused the dread; an emotional state, yes, but not the psychic species of this emotion, such as envy, or jealousy; and it is equally futile to attempt the expression, through music, of moral characteristics (vanity, cleverness), or abstract ideas like truth and justice. Is it possible to imagine how a poor, but contented man could be represented by music? The contentment, the soul-state, can be interpreted by music; but where does the poverty appear, or the important ethic problem stated in the words “poor, but contented”? This is due to the fact that “poor” connotes a phase of terrestrial and social conditions not to be found in the eternal harmony. And Music is a part of the vibrating universe. 





I may be allowed to subjoin a few subsidiary reflections:—The greater part of modern theatre music suffers from the mistake of seeking to repeat the scenes passing on the stage, instead of fulfilling its own proper mission of interpreting the soul-states of the persons represented. When the scene presents the illusion of a thunderstorm, this is exhaustively apprehended by the eye. Nevertheless, nearly all composers strive to depict the storm in tones—which is not only a needless and feebler repetition, but likewise a failure to perform their true function. The person on the stage is either psychically influenced by the thunderstorm, or his mood, being absorbed in a train of thought of stronger influence, remains unaffected. The storm is visible and audible without aid from music; it is the invisible and inaudible, the spiritual processes of the personages portrayed, which music should render intelligible. 





Again, there are “obvious” psychic conditions on the stage, whereof music need take no account. Suppose a theatrical situation in which a convivial company is passing at night and disappears from view, while in the foreground a silent, envenomed duel is in progress. Here the music, by means of continuing song, should keep in mind the jovial company now lost to sight; the acts and feelings of the pair in the foreground may be understood without further commentary, and the music—dramatically speaking—ought not to participate in their action and break the tragic silence. 



Measurably justified, in my opinion, is the plan of the old opera, which concentrated and musically rounded out the passions aroused by a moving dramatic scene in a piece of set form (the aria). Word and stage-play conveyed the dramatic progress of the action, followed more or less meagrely by musical recitative; arrived at the point of rest, music resumed the reins. This is less extrinsic than some would now have us believe. On the other hand, it was the ossified form of the “aria” itself which led to inveracity of expression and decadence. 








THE audible presentation, the “performance,” of music, its emotional interpretation, derives from those free heights whence descended the Art itself. Where the art is threatened by earthliness, it is the part of interpretation to raise it and reëndow it with its primordial essence.   



Notation, the writing out of compositions, is primarily an ingenious expedient for catching an inspiration, with the purpose of exploiting it later. But notation is to improvisation as the portrait to the living model. It is for the interpreter to resolve the rigidity of the signs into the primitive emotion. 



But the lawgivers require the interpreter to reproduce the rigidity of the signs; they consider his reproduction the nearer to perfection, the more closely it clings to the signs.— 



What the composer's inspiration necessarily loses[H] through notation, his interpreter should restore by his own. 



[H-1] How strongly notation influences style in music, and fetters imagination, how “form” grew up out of it and from form arose “conventionalism” in expression, is shown very convincingly and avenges itself in tragic wise in E. T. A. Hoffmann, who occurs to me here as a typical example. 




[H-2]This remarkable man's mental conceptions, lost in visionary moods and revelling in transcendentalism, as his writings set forth in oft inimitable fashion, must naturally—so one would infer—have found in the dreamlike and transcendental art of tones a language and mode of expression peculiarly congenial. 



[H-3]The veil of mysticism, the secret harmonies of Nature, the thrill of the supernatural, the twilight vagueness of the borderland of dreams, everything, in fact, which he so effectively limned with the precision of words—all this, one would suppose, he could have interpreted to fullest effect by the aid of music. And yet, comparing Hoffmann's best musical work with the weakest of his literary productions, you will discover to your sorrow how a conventional system of measures, periods and keys—whereto the hackneyed opera-style of the time adds its share—could turn a poet into a Philistine. But that his fancy cherished another ideal of music, we learn from many, and frequently admirable, observations of Hoffmann the littérateur. 



To the lawgivers, the signs themselves are the most important matter, and are continually growing in their estimation; the new art of music is derived from the old signs—and these now stand for musical art itself. 



If the lawgivers had their way, any given composition would always be reproduced in precisely the same tempo, whensoever, by whomsoever, and under whatsoever conditions it might be performed. 



But, it is not possible; the buoyant, expansive nature of the divine child rebels—it demands the opposite. Each day begins differently from the preceding, yet always with the flush of dawn.—Great artists play their own works differently at each repetition, remodel them on the spur of the moment, accelerate and retard, in a way which they could not indicate by signs—and always according to the given conditions of that “eternal harmony.” 



And then the lawgiver chafes, and refers the creator to his own handwriting. As matters stand to-day, the lawgiver has the best of the argument. 








“Notation” (“writing down”) brings up the subject of Transcription, nowadays a term much misunderstood, almost discreditable. The frequent antagonism which I have excited with “transcriptions,” and the opposition to which an ofttimes irrational criticism has provoked me, caused me to seek a clear understanding of this point. My final conclusion concerning it is this: Every notation is, in itself, the transcription of an abstract idea. The instant the pen seizes it, the idea loses its original form. The very intention to write down the idea, compels a choice of measure and key. The form, and the musical agency, which the composer must decide upon, still more closely define the way and the limits. 



It is much the same as with man himself. Born naked, and as yet without definite aspirations, he decides, or at a given moment is made to decide, upon a career. From the moment of decision, although much that is original and imperishable in the idea or the man may live on, either is depressed to the type of a class. The musical idea becomes a sonata or a concerto; the man, a soldier or a priest. That is an Arrangement of the original. From this first transcription to a second the step is comparatively short and unimportant. And yet it is only the second, in general, of which any notice is taken; overlooking the fact, that a transcription does not destroy the archetype, which is, therefore, not lost through transcription. 



Again, the performance of a work is also a transcription, and still, whatever liberties it may take, it can never annihilate the original. 



For the musical art-work exists, before its tones resound and after they die away, complete and intact. It exists both within and outside of time, and through its nature we can obtain a definite conception of the otherwise intangible notion of the Ideality of Time. 



For the rest, most of Beethoven's piano compositions sound like transcriptions of orchestral works; most of Schumann's orchestral compositions, like arrangements from pieces for the piano—and they are so, in a way. 






Strangely enough, the Variation-Form is highly esteemed by the Worshippers of the Letter. That is singular; for the variation-form—when built up on a borrowed theme produces a whole series of “arrangements” which, besides, are least respectful when most ingenious. 



So the arrangement is not good, because it varies the original; and the variation is good, although it “arranges” the original. 





ベートーヴェン弦楽四重奏曲 第16番 ヘ長調 作品135 弦楽合奏 




Ludwig van Beethoven: Streichquartett Nr. 16 F-Dur op. 135 

Version for string orchestra 

Wiener Philharmoniker 

Leonard Bernstein 

13-19. Sep. 1989 Musikvereinsaal, Wien