Thursday, September 20, 2012

Losing the rhythm?

On Australian TV a report declares that today's musicians have "lost the rhythm" of romantic music. In this video, Professor Clive Brown (of Leeds University) explains that Brahms, Chopin et al would have expected their music to be played much more freely than we normally hear it now, with "sliding notes" and the like. Among research tools were early recordings, and so forth.

My goodness. Someone noticed? What in the name of heaven took them so long? This is a stylistic recognition that's existed for many years, but one has the impression that it had to be kept under the counter... High time it was out in the open and accorded the recognition that has attended other, sometimes less convincing theories about performance practice. And extraordinary to see it make national news on the other side of the globe.