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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: August 26, 2008 Archive

On Musical Authenticity

Posted at 2:55 PM on August 26, 2008 by Gillian Martin

Conductor Philippe Herreweghe specializes in "early music," but tonight in Edinburgh, Scotland, he's conducting a Mass by late-19th-century composer Anton Bruckner. He talks about how his experience in the "early music" movement informs how he conducts more recent pieces of music:

But what I am searching for is not "authenticity" in the way this term is usually understood. We cannot hear Bach's cantatas as the congregation in Leipzig heard them because we are very different people, just as we cannot hear Bruckner's music as he heard it. But what we can hear, or can help to communicate as performers, is an authenticity in the sense of allowing the music to be true to itself.

Read the whole essay here.