Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Ein Gespräch mit Robert Hill

Quo vadis, »Alte Musik«?
Zur Rolle der Zeitgestaltung in der historisierenden Aufführungspraxis der Zukunft

Januar 2015, 19. Jahrgang, Heft 73, pp 5-23

Historically Informed Performance (HIP), a profound influence on classical music performance especially during the last half-century, is deeply rooted in the aesthetic values and philosophy of pre-World War II Neoclassicism. Yet the pre-eminent chamber keyboard instrument of the Baroque – the harpsichord – relies on a myriad of agogic manipulations to convey adequately the player’s musical intentions. The irreconcilability of the agogic nature of the harpsichord with the Neoclassicist ethos mandating minimal inflection in the organization of musical time exposes a fundamental flaw in the Neoclassicist varnish that has been coloring performances of Early Music for nearly a century now, and in so doing has been defining our collective experience of this literature. The tempo modification traditions of pre-Neoclassical, late-Romantic performance practice (as preserved in recordings and other documents from the late 19th- and early 20th centuries) constitute, I propose, late iterations of performance traditions that pre-date the cultural hegemony of the metronome. The surviving remnants of these traditions provide a range of models for the expressive molding of musical time, models which can be adapted to the harpsichord and its literature, and to other genres of 17th- and 18th-century music as well.

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