英日対訳:T.ビーチャム自叙伝「A Mingled Chime」第28章(2/2) 音楽興隆に奔走/イシドール・デ・ララ



28. WAR TIME  





Here was a situation that should be met without delay. The organization was the center and chief of an imposing number of lesser or satellite bodies who looked to it for example and guidance; and its excellent orchestra traveled far and wide, not only giving its own concerts but taking part in those of choral societies whose work would be hampered or curtailed without its cooperation. Any manifestation at this vibrant moment of infirmity of will, timidity of purpose or, worst of all, abnegation of leadership would depreciate morale, diminish zeal and undermine the outer defenses of the gallant stronghold of culture which Charles Halle had toiled so laboriously to consolidate over a period of thirty years. I entered into a partnership with the Society under which I would work for it as an unsalaried musical director, conduct the concerts when on the spot and engage a fitting substitute when absent.  




I lost no time in reversing what had been its artistic policy for the past fifteen years, filling the programs with French, Russian, English and Italian works, hardly any of which the public had yet heard. I doubt if this could have been done in such a wholesale fashion in pre-war days, but with anti-German feeling increasing daily, the audiences soon developed a temper in which they were ready to listen to anything written by the composer of an allied nation. Manchester having been successfully planted on what appeared to be the solid ground of security, I turned my attention to London and the Royal Philharmonic Society which was also in a mood of indecision. With the support of two stalwart directors Stanley Hawley and Mewburn Levien I concluded an arrangement which enabled it to carry on the series which had been running uninterruptedly for over a hundred years, even during the Napoleonic Wars. It would never have done to permit the Kaiser to succeed where the great French Emperor had failed.  




The more I observed the general situation of music arising out of the war, the more I was appalled by the disorganization caused in its professional ranks. Artists of name and ability, singers, pianists and others who a few weeks earlier had been making a comfortable and in some cases a handsome living, now found themselves without a single engagement. The only institution or quasi-institution which survived intact was the annual performance of Messiah, which every choral society with a spark of vitality left pulled itself together to perform. Isidore de Lara, who had lately arrived in London from France, where he had been living for the past twenty years, started at Claridges Hotel a set of wartime concerts confessedly for the relief of those in difficulties. This was an enterprise of high merit which was not treated at the time with the respect it deserved. It ran throughout the war, provided work for hundreds of musicians and was the medium by which a large mass of British compositions was introduced to a section of society which so far had been unaware of its existence. For the audiences were largely composed of women of fashion and of those who liked to be seen in their proximity, but all a little curious to inspect at close quarters a man who had become almost a legendary figure of romance.  




Some twenty-five or thirty years earlier, de Lara had been a popular young composer of whom much was expected. He had written a few songs of the ballad type that were sung in every drawing room of the Kingdom and even an opera on Edwin Arnold’s poem The Light of Asia. Realizing that there was next to  no opportunity at home for anyone who wanted to devote his career to the lyric theater, he had transplanted himself to Paris where he remained until the beginning of the war, and during the intervening period had written some half-dozen operas of which the most popular was Messaline. Both as man and musician he was skillful, adroit, and knowledgeable; with a shrewd eye for the sort of subject likely to make a good libretto and the sense to invoke the aid of a practiced hand at the game. Thanks to these useful qualities his operas were a plausibly attractive entertainment when heard for the first time, the ingredients making up the dish served to us being blended with cunning enough to disarm the critical part of our musical attention. But further familiarity soon made it evident that here was another talented writer who had succumbed to the lure of the stage without the possession of those gifts which alone have the power to create a work containing the elements of true drama. De Lara’s bent was purely lyrical and devoid of the capacity to construct big movements, build up climaxes or endow his puppets with the breath of individual life. The listener must have a sluggish ear indeed who fails to discern that the songs sung by the Countess, Susanna, and Cherubino in Figaro are utterances of three clearly differentiated personalities, and this investiture of stage figures with variety of portraiture through the medium of the music itself, is the prime essential of any opera which asks that it be accepted as a genuine work of art. For it can never be emphasized too often that it is the music alone that matters, and if it be of the right sort, no one troubles about anything else. 




There were at that time half-a-dozen composers of de Lara’s stamp who were unable to comprehend the distinction between the two entities, drama and theater; and who imagined that so long as they made full use of all the devices and paraphernalia of the melodramatic spectacle or the pageant play, thrilling tale, picturesque milieu, troops of dancing ladies and houris, Roman amphitheaters and mirages in the African desert, all would be well with the music. If we accept this formula as canonical, we shall probably have to reject that employed in Pelleas and Melisande; and I have more than once heard apostles of the former declare that neither Debussy nor Delius knew how to write for the theater. Possibly not, but they could write for the opera house; and although they show next to no desire to dazzle or “upset” us, we do remain interested even after a dozen hearings, for the reason that these men are fundamentally musicians who are able to satisfy our ears with a line and volume of sound that makes all else going on of secondary importance.  




In disposition de Lara was a simple, kindly and manly fellow who almost to the end of his life boxed and rode daily on a bicycle in the Park. But through his long association with the stagier sort of people, he had developed a slightly theatrical air with which his British colleagues did not always find themselves in sympathy. The idol of his earlier years had been that great master of posture Maurel, some of whose tricks of manner and speech he had unconsciously absorbed; and these rarely failed to come to the surface with amusing fidelity at the rehearsals of his operas, or during discussions of those artistic problems on which his prototype never wearied of holding forth, so long as there was someone at hand to listen. By reason of his long absence from England he was inclined to overlook the considerable changes that had taken place during that period in public taste, and to present us with diversions that might have met with keener appreciation in the eighties or nineties. On one occasion we were electrified by a stirring address on the subject of Passion, delivered with immense gusto to an audience mainly composed of aged dowagers and their great-grand-children; and on another by a concert of his own songs, most of them dating back to his salad and ballad days. This latter event attracted enthusiasts from all parts of the country and, I sat next to two ladies of extremely advanced years who had traveled the whole way from Cornwall to listen to his own rendering of his famous ditty “The Garden of Sleep.” As the moment drew near for the performance of this favorite gem their excitement was almost painful to witness, and at its conclusion one of the pair murmured to the other “Thank Heaven, my dear, I have heard him sing it again before I die.”  

仕事を離れて自由気ままに過ごす時間イシドール・デ・ララとは、裏表のない単純で心優しく男気のある輩であった。亡くなる直前まで、毎日毎日、小突きあいの喧嘩を起こしてみたり、ハイドパークをサイクリングしてみたりと、そんな風に過ごしていた。だが彼は、「わざとらしく型にはまった性格の演劇」という特徴の舞台人達と、長く付き合いすぎた。彼の芝居がかった人となりには、同じイギリス人の同業者達は、必ずしも共感を覚える者達ばかりではなかった。彼が駆け出しの頃、目標として憧れていたのは、かの名優ヴィクトル・モーレルである。その立ち居振る舞いや話し方の、ちょっとしたところを、彼は無意識に自分に染み込ませていた。それを、オペラの稽古中や、音楽談義について手近に話し相手になる者がいれば、持論を飽きもせずまくしたてる、そういった際に、ビックリするほどよく似たやり方を、毎度必ず示すのである。彼は人生の長い期間、生まれのイギリスに居なかった。おかげで、この間の一般大衆の好みが大きく変わったことを、見逃してしまう傾向にあった。1880年代だの90年代だのならば、まだ耳の肥えた客の好みに応えることが出来たかも知れないような、そんなやり方を、いつまでも転用する、そんな傾向にあった。その例を2つご紹介しよう。1つは、私達は彼の感動的な演説に、身震いしたことがあった。「受難曲」についての話であった。喜びに満ち溢れる物言いであった。これを聴いていたのは、年齢的には未亡人となっているような女性達と、その「ひ孫達」であった。もう1つは、彼がまだ若くて経験が浅かったころ、自作自演のリサイタルに際してであった。「自作自演のリサイタル」の方は、英国全土、津々浦々から、彼の熱烈な愛好家達が集まってきていた。私も客席に居た。隣に座っていた2人の御婦人方は、超ご高齢で、イギリスの南西の一番端にあるコーンウォール半島から、はるばるやってきたという。彼の代表曲「The Garden of Sleep」(眠りの庭)を、彼自身の歌声で聴きたかったとのこと。この珠玉の大人気曲が、演奏に付されるその瞬間が近づいてくる、その際の御婦人方の熱狂ぶりは、見ていて痛々しいほどであった。歌が終わると、2人の御婦人方の内の1人が、フガフガモゴモゴと、彼女の連れにこう呟いた「有り難いねぇ、冥土の土産に、また彼の歌を聞けたねぇ。」 



More than one musician of commanding stature has been known to envy the authorship of some of the Johann Strauss waltzes, and I daresay there are many others of larger accomplishment than de Lara who have journeyed through long and honorable careers without ever evoking such a manifestation of pious 







The Garden of Sleep (イシドール・デ・ララ作曲