英日対訳:T.ビーチャム自叙伝「A Mingled Chime」第33章(2/2)ワーグナーについて/父の死






Among the other operas which swelled the repertoire were The Magic Flute and Tristan and Isolde, both in English. The former proved to be more popular than any other piece I gave with this company and the latter was a near rival to it, due mainly to the singularly individual impersonation of Frank Mullings. I have often (especially during the last twenty years) been baffled as well as amused by the attitude toward Richard Wagner on the part of a large number of apparently intelligent persons. Although it finds its origin in a dislike for or want of sympathy with the sentiment and style of the music itself, it claims to discern in the man and his work all sorts of characteristics and significances which so far have been entirely hidden from me. One of these is a strange theory which made its appearance in the first World War and has cropped up again in the present one. It is that while the pantheist Beethoven represents a spirit completely in accordance with that of the struggle to preserve the religious ideals of the past nineteen hundred years, the Christian Wagner is as much of an opposing element to him as Beelzebub was to Jehovah. How the creator of The Flying Dutchman, Tannhauser, Lohengrin, and Parsifal, all quasirehgious dramas in praise of the creed, the traditions, and virtues of the ancient faith could ever be regarded as other than the most stalwart and persuasive champion it has yet produced passes my comprehension. Even the pagan Ring considered didactically, is a  weighty sermon on the anti-christian vices of lust of power, fraud, the arbitrary exercise of force, and the tragic consequences that proceed from them. Apparently other composers, Handel, Gluck, Mozart, or Weber are permitted to seek inspiration in Classical Greece and Rome, Moslem Arabia, or Confucianist China; not, however, Wagner. But what of Tristan, which it has become the fashion to refer to as an indelicate exhibition of acute eroticism? Even if this were true, it would not be surprising in the case of a man who devoted most of his time to the preachment of the doctrine of renunciation and the eulogy of Venus Ourania. These antitheses and reactions are the commonplace of the world’s dramatic history, and contrariwise the gayest of all English playwrights turns without effort or embarrassment from the unabashed naturalism of The Custom of the Country to the delicate and lofty spirituality of The Knight of Malta.  

我が歌劇団のレパートリーを広げてくれた作品の中に、「魔笛」それに「トリスタンとイゾルデ」がある。いずれも英語での上演が可能だ。前者「魔笛」は、この歌劇団で上演した中では最も人気を博することになる。後者「トリスタンとイゾルデ」はこれに続く人気を博した。これはひとえに、フランク・マリングス個人の演技力のお陰であるところが、大きい。特にここ20年ほどは、世の知識層と呼ばれる方々の、リヒャルト・ワーグナーに対する見方には、私は興味関心もさることながら、困惑すら覚える。この根源は、音楽自体が醸し出す雰囲気や、音楽自体のスタイルについて、嫌悪感か、もしくは共感したいと思う感情か、そのいずれかにある。だがそれは、ワーグナーの人となりや作品群の中にある、あらゆる類の性格や意味(私にはまだ全く見えてこないが)を見極めるよう求めてくる。その1つは、聞いたこともないような理屈で、第1次世界大戦中に初めて登場し、今次大戦(第2次世界大戦)で突如再登場している。これによると、ベートーヴェンとは「全ては神で、神は全てだ」と信じる人物で、過去1900年間の宗教的な理想を保つ上での戦いに、完璧に沿っている人類を代表する者である。そしてワーグナーは、ベートーヴェンとは大いに真逆の人物であり、この違いは、キリスト教の悪魔「ベルゼバブ」と全能の神「エホバ」ほどの差がある。「さまよえるオランダ人」「タンホイザー」「ローエングリン」あるいは「パルジファル」といった、宗教もどきの楽劇の数々は、大昔からの人類の信じるところの、神を信奉する気持ちや、伝統、美徳といったものを讃えるものだ。これら楽劇の数々を創り出した張本人は、「神がこの世に産み落とした、最も忠良頑健にして説得力のある先駆者である」という評価とは、異なる見方をされている。これが私には理解できない。異教徒の風合いを持つ「ニーベルングの指環」は、「尊大」と見なされているが、これでさえ、権力に対する欲望、人に対する欺き、力の身勝手な行使、そしてこれらがもたらす悲惨な結末、こういった「キリスト教を良しとしないことに関する悪徳」に対しての、重大かつ深刻な説教なのだ。ヘンデルグルックモーツアルト、あるいはウェーバーといった他の作曲家達は、古典とされる文化や文学、つまり、ギリシャ、ローマ、イスラム、アラビア、あるいは中国の儒教言ったものに、自身の作曲のインスピレーションを求めても差し支えがないように見えるのは、明らかである。なのに、ワーグナーだけが、そうではないのだ。ところが、「トリスタンとイゾルデ」はどうか、この作品を、強烈な性欲主義を、下品にさらけ出すものと見なすことが、流行りとなっているようだが?仮にそうだとしても、一人の男が、自分に与えられた時間の大半を、自制・滅私の教義を言い散らかし、「天にまします愛欲の神ヴィーナス様!」と讃えまくる、そんなことに費やしていることも、別に驚くことではないということかもしれない。自制と愛欲、この相対するものの見方とそれに対する反応は、世界の演劇の歴史を見てみれば、よくある話だ。そしてこれとは逆に、イギリス演劇文学の最も艶やかなる作品は、努力も困惑も要せずして、恥じらいのカケラもない自然主義の「The Cusotom of the Country」から、繊細かつ高尚な精神主義の「The Knight of Malta」へと代わってゆく。 



Everyone is privileged to read into music that which dogs his own private thoughts and emotions. But if anyone can find in the great love drama a single sign that Wagner did not look upon the passion of its protagonists as a dream outside all practical fulfillment in a world dominated by the claims of duty and honor, it must be someone with a telescopic vision denied to ordinary creatures like myself. The plain fact is that music per se means nothing: it is sheer sound, and the interpreter can do no more with it than his own limitations mental and spiritual will allow, and the same applies to the listener.  




The value of Mullings’ interpretation was that while the music was sung with greater alternate vitality and tenderness than by any other artist I have heard, the whole rendering of the part was suffused with a high nobility, an almost priestly exaltation  of mood and a complete absence of any wallowing in the style of  mere fleshly obsession. The total effect was one of rapt absorption in an other-world fantasy, hopeless of realization on this earth, and this I believe to have been Wagner’s own conception.  




All this time I had kept my eye on the progress of the scheme for placing the Covent Garden contract on something like a manageable basis. There was no question of my father being relieved of any of his personal responsibility to the vendors; indeed an essential part of the new deal was the provision by him of another large cash payment which would increase the amount advanced by him on account of the purchase to upwards of half a million pounds. On the other hand James White had secured the offer of some fresh financial backing as well as an agreement between the contrasting parties that everything else would stand over until the conclusion of war. There was no doubt that the unsettled state of this affair had weighed heavily on my father’s mind during the past two years, and he had aged visibly. I made a point of seeing him more frequently and on most occasions we were alone. All through his life he had been a man of unusual reticence and could rarely bring himself to discuss matters of an intimate nature with anyone. The antithesis of my grandfather, a personality of vigorous utterance and changing impulse, who did not hesitate to let everyone for a mile around know what he was thinking about, he always tried to avoid giving a definite answer to any question. Because of this incapacity to meet others halfway or open his mind freely, he was something of a trial even to those friends who were sincerely attached to him; and occasionally some old crony who had known him for forty or fifty years, would seek my aid under the mistaken impression that I could tell him what my father’s thoughts were about some question on which he himself had been unable to extract any expression of opinion.  




But during the late summer months and early autumn of 1916 , he for the first time in our association unburdened himself to me as much as I believe it was in his nature to do. His had not been a very satisfactory life. He had married against the inclination of his family, his wife had been an invalid during the greater period  of their union, he did not seem to understand his children very  well, nor they him; and the reserve which had afflicted him since boyhood was due to an incurable shyness and a fear of being misunderstood if he talked on any conversational plane save the most prosaic. The greatest of his misfortunes had been the break with myself, which occurred at a time when he needed most the friendship and companionship of a member of his own family. This was something he had been looking forward to during the years I was at school and Oxford, and the loss of it had the effect of causing him to withdraw still further into his shell. For books he cared little; for pictures rather more. But music, after his business, was the main interest of his life, and the operas and symphonies that he loved he would hear over and over again without tiring of them. Lohengrin was his favorite, and he must have seen it a hundred times in nearly every opera house of the world.  




It was about the beginning of October that I went up to Lancashire to stay with him. The signing and sealing of the document which was to free his mind from further anxiety about Covent Garden was to take place some time during the latter part of the month, and there were final details to be discussed and settled before the date of completion. As I had to make preparations for the Halle Concert Season which was to open in about two weeks’ time, the intervening days were spent between Liverpool and Manchester. He attended the first concert, which was on a Thursday; and as it was over at a comparatively early hour, he decided that he would return that night to his home. As I saw him into the train, he reminded me that the appointment at the lawyer’s office to approve finally the various agreements under the revised deal had been made for ten o’clock on Monday morning, and asked me not to be late for it. The next day I went South and spent the week end in the country, going up to London early and arriving at the Aldwych Theater about half past nine.  




My manager was waiting for me with the gravest face and the most unwelcome news. My father had died in his sleep some time during the previous night.  





歌劇ローエングリン第2幕より エルザの大聖堂への行列の場面 

NHK Eテレ放送分より