Early Music

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
Early Music

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This chapter focuses on early music and the works of several early musicians. Mozart left himself plenty of room for spontaneous display in his own concertos and expected the same of anybody else who played them. That is why it has always been so bizarre, even if inevitable, that early-music performers, though they specialized in preromantic repertory, have been especially prone to impose on themselves all the puritanical inhibitions with which romantic idealism has shackled the performance of classical music. For some time, the only promising figure on the horizon has been the pianist Robert Levin, happily more famous than notorious for his improvised cadenzas, florid embellishments, and other distractions from the music of Mozart's concertos. If two new CDs by the English violinist Andrew Manze are any indication, early music may finally be shedding one of classical music's most venerable but useless assumptions.

Keywords: early music; early musicians; Mozart; Robert Levin; Andrew Manze

Chapter.  1945 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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