Developments in Bach interpretation by Reitze Smits

by Reitze Smits | Het ORGEL | Year 114 | (2018) | Issue 3


Reitze Smits Developments in Bach interpretation
Het ORGEL 114 (2018), nr. 3, 14-21 [summary]

There was attention for the original context of early music from the early 20th century. But historically based performance practice blossomed particularly in the second half of the century. Since then this movement, called Historically Informed Performance Practice, has developed its own history. In the 21st century various overviews have appeared in articles and books, showing who were the principal figures, which subjects were central, and what the developments within the movement were. In the period that is the focus of Historically Informed Performance Practice, particularly the 17th and 18th centuries, music older than 30 years was already old-fashioned. Historically Informed Performance Practice is by now even older, but is still developing and has advanced in the direction of later music.
Following Bruce Haynes, the author differentiates not only 20th-century movements in which a ‘romantic’ or ‘modern’ manner of playing was promulgated, but also a ‘rhetorical’ manner of playing as alternative for the interpretation of early music. Here the expression of the music is the central issue, not the expression of the performer (‘romantic’) or the distance of the polished virtuoso (‘modern’).

BWV 530-2 Hanwriting Wilhelm Friedemann Bach ad Anna Magdalena Bach Click at the picture to enlarge.