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date: 11 April 2021

Bach Revivallocked

  • Nicholas Temperley
  •  and Peter Wollny


The rediscovery during the first half of the 19th century of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music marked the first time that a great composer, after a period of neglect, was accorded his rightful place by a later generation. Palestrina, Lully, Purcell and Handel had never been quite forgotten by the musical public, but Bach was known only to a small circle of pupils and devotees until the Romantic movement stimulated a growing interest in his art. The Bach Revival was an early example of a new historicism which eventually opened all periods of Western music to discovery and performance, and which now constitutes the dominant factor in the musical taste of advanced Western societies. It began at about the same time in Germany, where most of Bach’s descendants and pupils, and most of his surviving music, were to be found; and in England, where musical historicism was already well advanced by the end of the 18th century....

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Journal of the American Musicological Society
Music & Letters