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The paper summarises the lessons and conclusions of a large study of over 100 recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passions, Brandenburg Concertos and Goldberg Variations issued between around 1945–1976. In the first part it gives an overview of the state of performance practice scholarship in the first three quarters of the 20th century. In the second part it deals with the role of instruments, vocal practices, tempo, ornamentation, rhythm and articulation in creating the style of a performance. It argues that articulation stemming from early instrumental technique and based on the metric organisation of rhythm is the key element of a historically oriented style. This, however, has not been fully recognised during the period. Among scholars only Sol Babitz discussed it at length prior to the mid-1980s while on record it appeared sporadically from late 1960s onwards, but almost exclusively in the performances of Leonhardt and Harnoncourt. 7 figures, musical examples, summary list of recordings referred to in the text.

Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Language English
French
German
Year of
Foundation
1961
Publication
Programme
changed title
Founder Magyar Tudományos Akadémia  
Founder's
Address
H-1051 Budapest, Hungary, Széchenyi István tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0039-3266 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2888 (Online)