“ ‘Early music’ is a force to reckon with. No trend has been more influential in classical music in the last half-century,” writes Ivan Hewett in Thursday’s (11/1) Daily Telegraph (U.K). “You could even say that early music, which started out as a subversive movement, has taken over much of the field. But … early music has lost its novelty…. These days it’s par for the course.… The boost that the end of the era of the LP and the corresponding ascendancy of the CD gave early music has long since dissipated…. Who’s to say Bach would not have preferred a modern piano to an ‘authentic’ harpsichord for his keyboard works? … Early musicians [now] use the much more modest phrase ‘historically informed.’ … Without the ideological commitment to ‘authenticity’ … early music … becomes … ‘a knowledge of style, leavened with personal interpretation,’ which is pretty much what performance is for any sort of classical musician. The result is that the boundaries between early music and the rest of classical music have dissolved. … Early music hasn’t disappeared: in fact, it’s ubiquitous…. But, in a strange way, it’s become invisible.”

To read Symphony magazine’s 2018 article about orchestral musicians crossing boundaries among classical, modern, and Baroque styles, click here.

Posted November 5, 2018