2014-12-31 12:37:24 UTC
The argument about Beethoven's metronome markings prompts this post.
Has anyone considered that Beethoven might have read the tempo at the wrong
(faster) end of the weight?
I'm more than ever convinced that most composers wanted their works to be
performed more briskly than they commonly are. (We know as fact that this was
true of Wagner.) The tendency toward slower tempi seems partly the result of
conductors getting older, and partly because conductors want "profound"
performances -- though I've never heard a slow performance that automatically
came out as "profound".
Dausgaard's Schumann cycle was revelatory. A small orchestra could negotiate
hairpin musical turns at high speed -- and the result was a thrilling
experience that did not trivialize the music. Ditto for Paavo Jarvi's