Analysing over 100 recordings from 1945-1975, this book examines twentieth-century baroque performance practice as evinced in all the commercially available recordings of J.S. Bach's Passions, Brandenburg Concertos and Goldberg Variations. Dorottya Fabian presents a qualitative, style-orientated history of the early music movement in its formative years through a comparison of the performance style heard in these recordings with the scholarly literature on Bach performance practice. Issues explored in the book include the availability of resources, balance, tempo, dynamics, ornamentation, rhythm and articulation. During the decades following the Second World War, the early music movement was more concerned with the revival of repertoire than with the revival of performance style which meant that its characteristics and achievements differed essentially from those of the later 1970s and 1980s. Period practice techniques were not practised even by ensembles using eighteenth-century instruments. Yet, as this survey reveals, several recordings of the period provide unexpectedly stylish interpretations using metre and pulse to punctuate the music. Such metric performance and appropriate articulation helped to clarify structure and texture and assisted in the creation of a musical discourse - the pre-eminent goal of baroque compositions.
'From the perspective of research, this book will be remembered as one of the first comprehensive studies on the recorded performance. By focusing on several major works by Bach in the 30-year period immediately after the World War II, she succeeded in telling us fascinating stories from both performers and scholars of what they considered important, their mistakes and achievements, leaving lots of food for thoughts on what we may achieve in the future.' www.music.qub.ac.uk '… the author is perceptive and widely informed and her analyses and conclusions are incisive and relevant… A detailed and fascinating look at one of the most interesting periods in the history of music which answers as well as raises a number of interesting questions.' MusicWeb '… Fabian's book is excellent; many could learn from it immensely. So much so that it could be the textbook for any course on the history of AuffÃ¼hrungspraxis. The attached CD provides a clever selection of audio illustrations to the text; the exceptionally broadly based bibliography at the end of the book can serve as a handy reference for anybody. The monograph should be part of every decent library.' Translated from Magyar Zene
Contents: Preface; Introduction; The early music movement: theory and context; The early music movement: a style-oriented history; Resources: instruments, voices, size of ensembles and the problem of balance; Tempo and dynamics; Ornamentation; Rhythm; Articulation; Conclusions; References; Discography; Bach Performance Practice, 1945-75:CD track list; Index.