Music means different things to different people and sometimes even different things to the same person at different moments of his life. It might be poetic, philosophical, sensual, or mathematical, but in any case it must, in my view, have something to do with the soul of the human being. Hence it is metaphysical; but the means of expression is purely and exclusively physical: sound. I believe it is precisely this permanent coexistence of metaphysical message through physical means that is the strength of music. (46)It is also the reason why when we try to describe music with words, all we can do is articulate our reactions to it, and not grasp music itself.
Beethoven’s importance in music has been principally defined by the revolutionary nature of his compositions. He freed music from hitherto prevailing conventions of harmony and structure. Sometimes I feel in his late works a will to break all signs of continuity. The music is abrupt and seemingly disconnected, as in the last piano sonata. In musical expression, he did not feel restrained by the weight of convention. (47)By all accounts he was a freethinking person, and a courageous one, and I find courage an essential quality for the understanding, let alone the performance, of his works.
This courageous attitude in fact becomes a requirement for the performers of Beethoven’s music. His compositions demand the performer to show courage, for example in the use of dynamics. (48)Beethoven’s habit of increasing the volume with an intense crescendo and then abruptly following it with a sudden soft passage was only rarely used by composers before him.
Beethoven was a deeply political man in the broadest sense of the word. He was not interested in daily politics, but concerned with questions of moral behavior and the larger questions of right and wrong affecting the entire society. (49)Especially significant was his view of freedom, which, for him, was associated with the rights and responsibilities of the individual: he advocated freedom of thought and of personal expression.
Beethoven’s music tends to move from chaos to order as if order were an imperative of human existence. For him, order does not result from forgetting or ignoring the disorders that plague our existence; order is a necessary development, an improvement that may lead to the Greek ideal of spiritual elevation. It is not by chance that the Funeral March is not the last movement of the Eroica Symphony, but the second, so that suffering does not have the last word. (50)One could interpret much of the work of Beethoven by saying that suffering is inevitable, but the courage to fight it renders life worth living.
英语(一)翻译真题来自于2013年4月4日的The New York Review of Books《纽约书评》,原文标题为“Beethoven and the Quality of Courage”，原文作者为Daniel Barenboim(丹尼尔·巴伦波伊姆)，是一位蜚声国际的钢琴家与指挥家。
Most people would define optimism as endlessly happy, with a glass that’s perpetually half full. But that’s exactly the kind of false cheerfulness that positive psychologists wouldn’t recommend. “Healthy optimism means being in touch with reality.” says Tal Ben-Shahar, a Harvard professor. According to Ben- Shahar, realistic optimists are those who make the best of things that happen, but not those who believe everything happens for the best.
Ben-Shahar uses three optimistic exercisers. When he feels down-say, after giving a bad lecture—he grants himself permission to be human. He reminds himself that not every lecture can be a Nobel winner; some will be less effective than others. Next is reconstruction. He analyzes the weak lecture, leaning lessons, for the future about what works and what doesn’t. Finally, there is perspective, which involves acknowledging that in the ground scheme of life, one lecture really doesn’t matter.
考研英语(二)翻译原文来自2005年7月出版的一本英文著作，书名为Gerard's Opus 22: The Joys of Health, Fitness & Youth Yours, in 22 Days，作者是Gerard Dickert Schainuck。该书主要是关于提升生活品质的指南。此书清楚的表明生活的最好品质其实往往是最容易实现的。但是，大多数普通人都因为懒惰的缘故而疏于照拂其生活中最重要的方面——也就是他们自己的身体。此书以成功人士的生活为例，阅读此书，读者可以看到从这些示例中汲取生活的养分。可以说，关于生活的零零总总，本书应有尽有，而读者需要做的就是用书上的指南来着力改善自己的生活方式。