« 2006年に入手したディスク | メイン | Google Earthで見るコンサートホール・歌劇場 »

Erich Kleiber "The Decca Book of Opera" のエーリッヒの序文

Decca Book Opera

1956年に英国で出版された "The Decca Book of Opera"(T.Werner Laure Limited)のエーリッヒによる序文です。

IT GIVES me particular pleasure to contribute this Foreword, for by doing so I can commemorate an achievement which would have seemed impossible even as recently as ten years ago. When I first an to make records, in 1924, the issue of a complete opera was a event. Not merely was the reproduction itself haphazard by the standards of today, but the records themselves were heavy, fragile, and cumbrous. Nor could even the most expensive equipment disguise the fact that the music was broken into four-minute sections. position today could not be more different. The enthusiast can make himself familiar with works that he is likely to hear in the opera se only once or twice in a lifetime. The standard of reproduction notably improved, and the records themselves have become much re easily manceuvrable. There are very obvious advantages in a em by which the finest contemporary performances are made available in every town and village in the world. The effects of this mot as yet be judged, but I am sure that historians will eventually point to the 1950s as a period in which an enlightened and exacting audience began to be formed in many areas where live performances the first quality were unknown. Each generation must recreate the sics for itself. Our own recordings will initiate a new cycle of taste-a cycle which is likely to continue for as long as music has an audience. Nor is the influence of L.P. confined to the classics. It has a role of equal importance in the propagation of new music. The manufactures have now the honour-and many of us would say the obligation-to present authoritative performances of new works. In doing they produce the musical equivalent of a 'first edition' . The greater the composer, the greater the problems of interpretation. The gramophone can make it possible for a composer to pass on his wishes posterity in a manner that was denied not merely to Beethoven and Schubert, but to more than one twentieth-century master. Opera is the most complicated of all forms of music. So heterogeneous are the forces involved that hardly ever can a performance be called quite satisfactory. To this extent a fine performance on record is one of the greatest of the companies' gifts to music. The enthusiast is assured of an experience which would rarely be vouchsafed to him in the flesh ' The hazards which afflict even the greatest performers are, or should have been, expunged from the final copy, and the performance is as ideal as it can humanly be. Much is gained, therefore ; and in the case of certain famous passages, the listener may be assured that he will be unlikely ever to hear them so well given in the theatre. But there is also a danger implicit in this general raising of standards. No recording can convey the nuances of stage action-and many of our best singers are also distinguished actors. Nor can it convey those intimate vibrations, those gusts and counter-gusts of sympathy and excitement, which colour every performance in the theatre and make it significantly different from those given on other occasions by the same performers But I am sure that those who take most pleasure in their records at home will find that the spell of the theatre is redoubled in consequence. The one complements, but can never replace, the other.

ERlCH KLEIBER