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By Norman Gilliland

李波 译


Performing for the great Henri Vieuxtemps wasn’t bad enough, violinist Leopold Auer had to put up with one of the worst accompanists imaginable—the wife of Vieuxtemps.[1]

It happened about 1859, when Auer was a student. Auer and his father went to visit Vieuxtemps and the violinist received them cordially, but his wife—who was also his accompanist—was icy. After some small talk[2] about his studies, Auer was allowed to take out his violin—not a very good one—and play. Madame Vieuxtemps sat down at the piano, looking bored. Auer had a nervous disposition as it was and he was trembling as he began to play Vieuxtemps’ “Fantasie Caprice.”[3]

Years later when he told the story, Auer couldn’t remember whether he had played well or not so well, but he remembered pouring his whole soul into each note even though his technique wasn’t the best. Vieuxtemps encouraged him with a friendly smile.

Suddenly, in the middle of the performance, Madame Vieuxtemps jumped up from the piano and began prowling[4] around the room, bending to the floor, looking underneath the furniture, and under the piano as if she had lost something.

Auer was at a complete loss. He stood open-mouthed, feeling as if he had been knocked from a bright pinnacle[5] by a fiery explosion from a pit. Even Vieuxtemps seemed amazed as he watched his wife scouring the room. Finally he asked her what she was doing.

“A cat or two must be hiding in the room,” she said, “meowing[6] in every key.”

When Auer realized that she was referring to his playing, he fainted. His father caught him before he fell to the floor. Vieuxtemps turned the entire debacle[7] into a joke, though, patted Auer on the cheek and told him everything would be all right. Leopold Auer went on to become one of the world’s great violinists, but he would never forget the setback he suffered at the age of fourteen.

能够为伟大的亨利• 维奥克斯腾普斯(比利时小提琴家——译者注)演出,应该不至于太糟吧,但小提琴家李奥坡• 奥尔却不得不忍气吞声,因为伴奏者——维奥克斯腾普斯妻子的粗鲁简直出乎他的想象。






当奥尔意识到她是在对他的演奏含沙射影时,他昏厥了。父亲及时扶住了他他才没昏倒在地上。还是维奥克斯腾普斯出面,将这场灾难转变成一个笑话。他拍着奥尔的脸颊,告诉他没事,一切都会好起来的。李奥坡• 奥尔后来成为世界上最伟大的小提琴家之一,但他永远无法忘怀14岁时所遭受的挫折。





1. Leopold Auer: 李奥坡• 奥尔(1845—1930),匈牙利著名小提琴家,教育家。主要作品有:《小提琴演奏法教程》、《我的小提琴演奏教学法》、《小提琴名作解释》及回忆录《我的音乐生活》;put up with: 忍耐。

2. small talk: 闲谈,家常。

3. disposition: 性情,处理;fantasie: 幻想曲;caprice: 随想曲。

4. prowl: 搜寻。

5. pinnacle: 顶尖,顶峰。

6. meow: 喵喵(猫叫声)。

7. debacle: 灾难,崩溃。