英日対訳:T.ビーチャム自叙伝A Mingled Chime第36章(1/2)第1次大戦終結/劇音楽「マンフレッド」徹夜作業








We had now reached the spring of 1918, and our operatic performances began to be disturbed more and more by air raids. During one week a bomb killed the stage-door keeper of the Aldwych Theater, another wrecked the premises of a publishing firm just up the street and a third shattered the sixteen thousand panes of glass of the Covent Garden flower market, the most stupendous clatter I have ever heard anywhere. The shrapnel from our anti-aircraft guns occasionally came through the roof of the stage to the discomfort of the singers on it, and one night when I was conducting Figaro and the second act had just begun, a terrific bombardment opened all about us, and for minutes at a time the music was hardly audible. There was a momentary nervousness in the audience which was at once relieved by a courageous lady in a box arising and exhorting it to follow the example of the artists who were singing away as blithely and unconcernedly as if there were no such things as a war or Zeppelins. These raids and a few in the summer were almost the last attempt of the enemy on London. The Zeppelin attack was singularly futile, almost every one that came over being brought down in flames, and I myself saw two or three destroyed, in each case by a single airman who climbed up within easy firing range and punctured the huge mass with gunfire. 

時は1918年の春に差し掛かりオペラの公演は日に日に空襲による邪魔が入るようになってきた1週間の間にオールドウィッチ劇場の舞台ドア係 1人、爆撃で亡くなってしまった。1区画向こうでは、とある出版社の社屋が破壊されてしまった。更には、コヴェント・ガーデンのフラワーマーケットの、16000枚もの窓ガラスが割れた。こんな轟音は、後にも先にも聞いたことがない。市内に配置された対空砲から発射された榴散弾が、時々舞台の屋根を突き破って、舞台上に居る不安に苦しむ歌手達のもとへ落ちてくる。ある夜のこと、「フィガロの結婚」上演中のことだった。私が指揮を執っていたのだが、第2幕がちょうど始まった頃、砲撃の恐ろしい音があちこちで鳴り響き始めた。数分ほど、音楽がほとんど聞こえなくなる。一瞬、客席に不安が走る。だが、これをすぐさま和らげてくれたのが、1人の勇気ある女性客だ。ボックス席から立ち上がると、熱くこう語ってくれた「舞台上で明るく悠然と歌う歌手達を見習おう、戦争だの、ツェッペリン号だの、そんなもの、はなから無いものと思えばいい。」春先のこうした空爆と、夏にも2度3度とあったが、敵がロンドンに対して行う、最後の試みといった感じであった。ツェッペリン号の攻撃は、とにかく無駄なものであった。ほぼ1機残らず炎上墜落してゆく。私も2,3機見かけた。いずれも飛行士が1人、対空砲が楽にとどいてしまうような高度まで上がったところで、砲撃を受けて木っ端微塵になってしまった。 



An interesting interpolation in our summer season at Drury Lane was a performance in conjunction with the Stage Society of Byron's Manfred the opera company providing the orchestra and choir for Schumann's music. This fine but gloomy drama is very much of a monologue and I saw it falling flat unless cheered up in some way indicated neither in the play nor the musical score. I introduced a part song or two as well as some short orchestral fragments into what seemed to be fitting places, but the monotony of the piece remained unrelieved, and it finally occurred to me that what might save the situation was a little dancing, recalling that whenever George Edwardes of Daly's and  the Gaiety Theaters saw his piece lagging and failing to catch fire, he would invariably call for a fancy dress ball to be brought on the stage. But as Schumann had never written any ballet music it was necessary to invent some, and I selected about a dozen of his short piano pieces and handed them to my two lieutenants, Eugene Goossens and Julius Harrison, for orchestration. As there were only three days to go before the first performance, these two invaluable young men sat up for two nights with wet towels round their heads, turning over fte ballet as it was scored, page by page, to the copyists who were to make the orchestral parts. The dances were inserted in the scene of the Hall of Ahrimanes, the decor of which was borrowed from Boito’s Mefistofele and did something to enliven a work which perhaps was never seriously intended for public performance.  




During the winter and spring the nation, realizing that the supreme moment of the war had arrived, had followed with painful concentration the final effort of the Germans to break  through to Paris. But as the year advanced there came a gradual  relaxation of the tension, due to a conviction based more on instinct than fact that the enemy’s attack had failed and victory was in sight. Both Turkey and Austria were out of the struggle; only Germany remained in the field. The end came suddenly and unexpectedly and the armistice was signed almost before we were aware that fighting had ceased. Excitement was intense and the whole country gave itself up to a riot of junketing. During the past eighteen months I had noticed a growing change in the attitude of most people toward the war and each other, and the sacrificial spirit of the early days that we see mirrored in the verses of Laurence Housman and Rupert Brooke had given way to a harder and coarser state of mind, generated I think by the brutalizing and tedious strain of trench warfare.  




The employment of women on a large scale in war work had brought the sexes closer together, with results that appeared to be as little attractive aesthetically as ethically. The few years that followed the armistice were a frank return to the outward freedom of Restoration days, and an erudite historian said to me one day during 1920, that he did not think anything quite like it had been seen in England for hundreds of years. But of this one can never judge with certainty, for almost the same thing was said to me by an elderly friend in 1913. So far as I can read between the lines of history, men and women have been very much the same in all ages, and the only visible difference between good and naughty periods is that in the latter they care less for the opinions and judgments of others. But what undoubtedly was, and remained for years, the universal obsession was dancing; not dancing in the free-limbed bouncing style of twenty years earlier, when a few couples scamped vigorously up and down a spacious room, but a funereal assemblage of creatures, tightly packed together in an exiguous space, bumping and banging into one another, hardly moving the while and all looking as if they were practicing some painful penitential exercise. The comment of a distinguished French diplomat on his first sight of this singular species of amusement, deserves I think to be remembered: “Les visages sont si tristes, mais les derrieres sont si gais.” (The faces are so sad, but the backs are so happy) 




Robert Schumann ed. Beecham : Manfred, incidental music Op. 115 (1848-49), with spoken text 

The BBC Chorus  

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  

Sir Thomas Beecham.