No change has had a more profound influence on the development of music-making over the last two decades than the growth of the historical performance movement. The notion that we can - and indeed should - perform music in the manner its composers intended has led to a search for original methods and styles of performance. At first this was the pursuit of a small coterie, but in recent years the explosion of popular interest in what has been called the
'authenticity' movement has led to a sea-change in our listening habits. Performances on period instruments are now supplanting those on modern instruments in some central areas of the classical repertory, and by many this is perceived as a threat. For the first time, this book explores the
thinking behind the search for so-called authenticity in musical performance, and questions some of the received opinions about its worth and purpose. The contributors include critics Nicholas Kenyon of Early Music and Will Crutchfield of the New York Times, alongside Howard Mayer Brown, Philip Brett, Robert P. Morgan, Richard Taruskin, and Gary Tomlinson, all of them experts in their field. The variety of views expressed is sure to provoke wide discussion and to stimulate new thought among
both scholars and performers about the future of the historical performance movement.
'Every practising early musician should read this brilliant, witty, often perverse, article, guaranteed to raise even higher the temperature of the continuing debate.' Hugo Cole,
'one of the most fertile and stimulating collections of ideas about music that I have encountered for a long while ... argued on all sides with rare wit, erudition, and engagement' Max Loppet,
'a valuable and stimulating state-of-the-art discussion of the whole business ... Valuable in that its contributors are all experts and scholars in the fields of research or performance. Stimulating in that their viewpoints sometimes meet in violent collision.' Michael Tumelty,
'a small bombshell: six academics discussing really worrisome questions ... this is a thought provoking book' Phillip Sommerich,
Ham and High
'This book certainly ranks as one of the most significant to be published this decade and amidst so much tedious, objective academic writing it is healthy to return to some (dare I say it) Toveyesque philosophising about music. Recommended.'
William McVicker, Hi-Fi News & Record Review
'Authenticity and Early Music must be prescribed reading for every performer and every critical listener. The questions raised in it are crucial ... we should acknowledge and commend Kenyon not simply for an editing job well done but for having the courage to ask the questions at all.'
B.J. Music Ed.
`All of the contributions are intelligent and stimulating.'
Charles Rosen, The New York Review
'Always thought-provoking ... thoroughly recommended.'
Kenneth Mobbs, The Galpin Society