Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wilfred Mellers on Handel

Yet because Handel is a very great, not merely representative, composer, authenticity is not essential to the performance of his music, as it now seems to be to that of Telemann or Couperin. Great works of art, which are those most likely to survive, are also those most likely to over-ride the ephemeral; which is why they may be re-interpreted in terms of a later age, so long as that age has the courage of its convictions.

Bach and the Dance of God, by Wilfred Mellers, appendix, page 308.

I noted this quote down originally in the 1980s. Much later, probably a couple of years ago, I came across this book in the library when I was having a bit of a thing about Bach. Having completely forgotten I’d read it, I was amazed to find some pencil notes in it that I knew I’d written. There was no mistaking my handwriting. Furthermore, instead of finding Mellers to be the last word on Bach, he seemed to be rather silly the second time around!

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