I started my music studies when, thanks to my master, the recovery of ancient musical practice reached my city. At the same time my master started building an important collection of ancient pianos from the second half of the eighteenth century to the first decades of the twentieth century and his execution of all Mozart’s piano sonatas on original instruments was for me an authentic revelation. This represented a new approach to a more analytical almost revolutionary interpretative attitude.
The total respect for the musical score, in particular the awareness of the historical evolution of the musical signs, along with the careful study of the ancient treaties opened up new unexplored territories. Finally the peculiar sound and the delicate mechanics of vintage instruments caused sensation, even though there were several critical positions from the traditionalists.
I was very young and my musical knowledge was at the beginning, but the philological movement represented also for me the symbol of novelty against a tradition completely out of date and unable of renewal. In those years some people claimed (but with arrogance) that tradition was nothing more than deformation: this statement was probably an attempt to solve an ancient problem of Western culture which isn’t able to relate serenely to its past.
According to this new school, the retrieval of the original editions (urtext) would finally restore the true will of the composer purified from the arbitrary additions by editors who, belonging to different aesthetics, could not grasp the greatness and the depth of the works they published. It seemed like a discovery of a lost treasure, buried by the dust deposited over the decades; the work of art would finally be reborn and shine.