Changing tempos over the decades?

Posted on: November 1, 2018

“I’ve seen a number of breathless headlines over last few days, reporting that a ‘new study into performances of J.S. Bach reveals classical music is speeding up over the last 50 years’!” writes Laurie Niles in Tuesday’s (10/30) “The ‘study’ itself does not appear to be on the Internet. The ‘study’ … appears to be in conjunction with publicity for a new giant compilation of the works of Bach by Deutsche Grammophon and Decca called Bach 333…. The ‘study’ … looked at tracks for three recordings of the Bach Double, from 1961, 1978 and 2016, and concluded ‘classical music is speeding up.’ … From the ‘new study’: Bach’s Double Violin Concerto (BWV 1043). 1961 — David & Igor Oistrakh: Total [time]: 17:15. 1978 — Arthur Grumiaux & Herman Krebbers…. Total: 15:42. 2016 — Nemanja Radulovic & Tijana Milosevic…. Total: 12:34…. Here is my first list, ‘proving’ that classical music has slowed down in the last half-century: Bach Sonata No. 1 in G minor (BWV 1001). 1960 — Arthur Grumiaux…. Total: 13:50. 1975 — Nathan Milstein…. Total: 14:39. …. 2016 — Kyung Wha Chung…. Total: 16:16. 2018 — Hilary Hahn…. Total: 16:56… The lesson? … Just go listen for yourself!”

Posted November 1, 2018