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韦伯和那个该死的瓶子

 

In 1804 Carl Maria von Weber was a 17-year-old composer and singer with little conducting experience. He was invited to lead the theater orchestra in Breslau, and accepted the position in part because he hoped that its modest salary would enable him to support his father, an unsuccessful engraver. He tried to bring in new musicians and new repertory , but at every turn he met resistance. Then, in the midst of this series of temporary professional setbacks, Weber suffered a personal calamity that would last a lifetime.

One evening early in 1806 Weber asked a friend, Friedrich Wilhelm Berner, to come to his lodgings to go over the score of an opera Weber was writing. Berner agreed but was delayed until long after Weber had gotten home.

Arriving home, Weber was thirsty and seeing a wine flask , he picked it up and took a long drink. But the fluid in the flask was not wine. It was acid—an etching solution Weber's father had carelessly poured into a wine bottle.

It was late by the time Berner arrived but, seeing a light in the window, he knocked on the door. When there was no reply Berner tried the door and found it unlocked. Entering the dark room he smelled a sharp odor . Then he tripped over a body. It was Weber. Berner cried out and Weber's father, clad in a nightshirt, came running from the next room. They called doctors but Weber's mouth and throat were badly burned and it was a long time before he could even explain what had happened. He was sick for two months and, when he recovered, his beautiful singing voice had been forever burned away.

When he finally returned to the theater Weber found that all of his reforms had been reversed and, fearing that he would be blamed for the worsening performances to follow, he resigned and retreated from Breslau. But years later he would take some comfort from words that he had written before accepting the post: “Nothing harms me which affords me experience.”

1804年,卡尔•玛利亚•冯•韦伯还是个年仅17岁的作曲家和歌手,在指挥方面则经验欠缺。布雷斯劳剧院乐团邀请他去领衔,他接受了这个收入菲薄的职位,部分原因是他想拉老爹一把——他是一个不得志的印刷工人。他尝试着引进新乐师和剧目,但每次都遇到阻力。随后的临时职业生涯中,韦伯遭遇了一系列的挫折,包括一次终生难忘的人身灾祸。



1806年初的一个傍晚,韦伯邀请他的朋友弗里德里希•维尔亨•伯勒到他住所来一同切磋他正在写的一部歌剧乐谱。伯勒答应了,但直到韦伯回家很久之后他才姗姗来迟。

韦伯回家时,渴坏了,他看见一个酒瓶,就拿起来豪饮一口。没想到,瓶子里装的居然不是酒,而是酸!——是一种蚀刻用的溶液,韦伯粗心的父亲将它倒进了酒瓶。


伯勒来晚了一步,但他从窗口看见灯亮着,他就敲门,但屋里没有动静。伯勒发现门虚掩着,就走进漆黑的房间。一股强烈的怪味扑鼻而来,紧接着他被躺在地上一个人体绊倒了,这个人正是韦伯。伯勒大声求救,韦伯的父亲穿着睡衣从隔壁房间跑了出来。他们叫来医生,但由于韦伯的嘴和喉咙被严重灼伤,所以大家花了很长时间才弄清楚他到底出了什么事。他病了两个月才痊愈,但他那美妙的嗓子却一去不返了。


当他重返剧院舞台,韦伯发现他所有的改革都阻力重重,加上担心他越来越糟糕的演出会被观众责难,就主动请辞,离开了布雷斯劳镇。好在数年后,他从多年前接受乐团职位前写的一句歌词里获取了慰藉:“任何人生经历都是一笔财富,不会给我带来伤害。”


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