英语美文:The Christmas pledge

发布日期: 2014-12-05访问次数:


英语美文:The Christmas pledge 
瓦格纳的圣诞诺言
Christmas Eve, 1870. Richard Wagner and his wife, Cosima, had agreed not to give each other Christmas presents. They were simply too poor. But Wagner was planning a surprise gift.

For more than two months he had been crafting a piece of music to be performed outside Cosima’s bedroom door on Christmas morning. He had based it on themes later to be used in his opera Siegfried, plus a little nursery song he had written for their children two years earlier. He completed the Siegfried Idyll three weeks before Christmas and arranged for conductor Hans Richter to recruit the members of the small orchestra. Richter conducted secret rehearsals, first in Zurich then at a hotel in Lucerne.

Wagner invited philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to the final rehearsal on Christmas Eve at the Hotel du Lac and they arrived together at the Wagners’ home in the village of Trihschen. There they found Cosima decorating the Christmas tree and preparing presents for the children.

At seven o’clock on Christmas morning the musicians arrived and quietly arranged themselves on the stairs outside Cosima’s room. They began to play.

“As I awoke to the light of dawn,” Cosima said later, “my mind passed from one dream into another. Familiar sounds from Siegfried came to my ears. It was as if the house—or more accurately—our entire being, was rising up in music and going up to heaven. Sacred memories, birdsong and sunrise, interwoven with music from Siegfried, soothed my heart and I came to realize that I was not dreaming, and yet was experiencing the most sublime of all dreams. Now at last I understood all of Richard's writing in secret.”

And yet Wagner had kept his pledge not to buy his wife a Christmas present. December 25th was Cosima’s birthday.
 

1870年圣诞夜,理查德•瓦格纳和他的妻子柯西玛说好了不互送礼物——他们实在是太穷了。但瓦格纳还是谋划着一个意外的礼物。

两个多月来,瓦格纳一直在创作一首乐曲,准备圣诞节那天早晨在柯西玛的卧室外弹奏。他的曲子取材于他后来的歌剧《齐格费里德》的主旋律,另外加入一首两年前他写给孩子们的小童谣。在圣诞节前,瓦格纳写完了《齐格费里德田园曲》,就安排指挥家汉斯•里切斯特在一小型管弦乐团里选录演员。里切斯特秘密地排练了几场,先在苏黎世,后来在卢塞恩的一家旅馆。

平安夜,在杜拉奇酒店的最后一次排练时,瓦格纳把哲学家弗里德里希•尼采请了过来,随后他们一起到达瓦格纳位于萃斯琴村的家。在那里,他们看见柯西玛正在装饰圣诞树,为孩子们准备礼物呢。

圣诞节早晨七点,乐师们来了。他们悄悄地在柯西玛屋子外的楼梯上排好,然后开始演奏起来。

“当我从晨光里醒来,” 柯西玛后来回忆说,“一个梦又一个梦从我脑子里掠过。忽然,熟悉的《齐格费里德》乐曲传入耳畔。当时,就好像整个房子——或更确切地说——所有的一切都和音乐一起跳跃起来,飘上了天堂。神圣的记忆、鸟鸣、日出等等都和《齐格费里德》的音乐交织融合在一起了。我深感安慰,开始意识到,我没有做梦,却享受到了最美妙的梦境。现在,我终于明白瓦格纳的创作秘密了。”

然而瓦格纳还是遵守了不给他妻子买圣诞礼物的诺言,因为12月25日,还是柯西玛的生日呢。





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