My music writing is a recent departure. I had been concentrating on painting for expression, but I had also rediscovered playing. While I was exploring repertoire I began to have quite rebellious thoughts about performance. Unlike my similar experience with psychology, I did not have any experience or reading to validate these thoughts.
Somehow I came across Wim Winters’ website Authentic Sound. Winters has a view that most Classical music is now played too fast and has set out to prove it. Additionally, Winters’ research indicates that the original dynamics of keyboard music were quite different to the ones of today. These views have attracted such a level of contempt and opprobrium from the music establishment that I immediately recognised he was on to something! It is a rule of thumb that the more an idea has substance, the more it will be attacked. People don’t like change – particularly when money is involved.
The two pieces of music writing below don’t have much to do with Winters’ theories. In fact they talk more about history and psychology. But they both come from the same iconoclastic place. I would like to think that I will live to see performances of work from lesser composers, played as closely to the original as possible. It will be a revelation.