articles on classical music, "early music," and performance
Bernard D. Sherman

about 40 of them, reprinted from The New York Times, Early Music, Gramophone, The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Los Angeles Times,, Schwann/Opus, Early Music America, Goldberg, Gramophone Early Music, Journal of the American Musicological Society, and Fanfare


article topics
Byrd, Weiss, Strauss
Women in Classical Music
Copyright, Conducting etc.
Hearing loss


or scroll down for titles:










My review of John Butt's Playing with History (Cambridge University Press, 2002), updated from what I published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society

"Authenticity in Musical Performance" from The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, ed. Michael J. Kelly (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, four volumes)

An Atmosphere of Controversy, the introduction from my book Inside Early Music (Oxford University Press, 1997) "A fluent essay stirring up controversy with a light touch... the best thing on early music performance since Taruskin's now infamous article"-The Musical Times

My chapter, "Conducting Early Music," from The Cambridge Companion to Conducting, ed Jose A. Bowen (Cambridge, 2003)

Early-music Talk and Action: the 1998 Berkeley Early Music Festival, reprinted from Early Music.

My review of Gunther Schuller's The Compleat Conductor (Oxford University Press, 1997), from Schwann/Opus, Spring, 1998

Modernism, Rhetoric, (De)Personalization, and the Early-Music Movement. - A paper by Uri Golomb, referenced in my article on the St. Matthew Passion



Bach: Cantatas 136, 95, 138, and 46, led by Masaaki Suzuki reprinted from Gramophone Early Music

"Simulating Mr. Bach's Sunday Morning Service" (review-essay on Bach: "Epiphany Mass" -- Cantatas 65 and 180, Mass in F, Sanctus in D, and more led by Paul McCreesh) from The New York Times

"Performing Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier" - an essay that discusses recordings influenced by Gustav Leonhardt - from Early Music America (November, 2000)

"A Way to Hear Bach Intimately, if Barely"  - a review of clavichord recordings by Richard Troeger and Ralph Kirkpatrick. (August 19, 2001) Reprinted from The New York Times

"Rifkin's Pesky Idea" from Early Music America (Summer 1999)

"Schering's Wacky Theory"- Joshua Rifkin's response to the above - from Early Music America (Fall 1999)

"Performing Bach's B Minor Mass" - an essay that discusses performance issues in the work, and also discusses almost twenty recordings. Reprinted from Goldberg

"Performing Bach's St. Matthew Passion" - an article that discusses period-instrument recordings - from Early Music America (August, 2001)

Bach: The "Lutheran Masses," v. 2 (BWV 233 and 236), by the Purcell Quartet reviewed for Gramophone Early Music

Bach's Notation of Tempo and Early Music Performance, reprinted from Early Music, August, 2000; and Bach's Turba Movements - an appendix to the article.

Review of Bach and The Patterns of Invention by Laurence Dreyfus - reprinted from Fanfare, July/August 1998

"Music Meant to Be Worked At, Not Just Listened To" (review-essay on Bach: The Art of Fugue, performed by Phantasm) from The New York Times

Bach: St. John Passion, led by Masaaki Suzuki reprinted from Gramophone Early Music
PLUS: A Note on the Performance of Fermatas in Bach Chorales

Masaaki Suzuki an essay (May 20, 2001) Reprinted from The New York Times.

Bach: The Toccatas. Edward Parmentier, harpsichord reprinted from The New York Times





"Putting the Dance Back into the Mazurka"-- Chopin: The Mazurkas and Nocturnes, played by Andrzej Wasowski Reprinted from The New York Times






An Ear for Mozart's Dialect: Improvising with Robert Levin Reprinted from Stagebill





Copyright Law, Sibelius, and the Vienna Philharmonic - A post for Iowa Public Radio

More Copyright, More "Quality Work"? Not Quite, Says Study of Italian Opera - a post for Iowa Public Radio on copyright duration

Review of Gunther Schuller's book The Compleat Conductor (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), from Schwann/Opus, Spring, 1998

Losing Your Ears to Music: the Hearing Loss Epidemic and Musicians reprinted from Early Music America (Spring 2000; this article was featured on NPR's Performance Today)


Weiss: Lute works, performed by Hopkinson Smith Reprinted from The New York Times

Byrd: Complete keyboard works, performed by Davitt Moroney, Reprinted from The New York Times

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (transcr. Stern) and Songs of a Wayfarer (transcr. Schoenberg), conducted by Kenneth Slowik In

Strauss's Oboist Reprinted from Gramophone







Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 Review-essay focusing on recordings by Philippe Herreweghe and Arturo Toscanini, with further discussions of the Ninths of Norrington, Brueggen, Gardiner, Hogwood, Harnoncourt, and Mackerras. From The New York Times.

Beethoven: The "Diabelli" Variations. Anatol Ugorski, piano Reprinted from Fanfare






Fritz Steinbach's Brahms: The Blume Typescript PDFs - a work in progress. Background on Steinbach - and PDFs of Walter Blume's typescript on his Brahms conducting.

Brahms and Historical Performance: A Progress Report Adapted from my article "Mûrissements d'époque" in Diapason France October 2009, pp. 34 - 37

"Tempos and Proportions in Brahms: Period Evidence" Reprinted from Early Music, August 1997

Brahms: The Four Symphonies. Sir Charles Mackerras Review-essay reprinted from Fanfare. Also discusses Brahms recordings by Abendroth, Barenboim, Beecham, Furtwangler, Mengelberg, and Norrington

Brahms: The Sextets. Hausmusik Reprinted from Gramophone Early Music

My review of The Compleat Conductor discusses Brahms at length. (I realize there are two other links to it on this page!)

Brahms: The Violin Sonatas. Pamela Frank/Peter Serkin Reprinted from The New York Times


How Exceptional IS Classical Music's Woman Problem? - A post for Iowa Public Radio

Is Parity Time Here for the Classical Violin?  -  A  post on women and the violin profession, for Iowa Public Radio

120 Years Before NPR, She Wrote the All Things Considered Theme: What We Can Learn from the Genius of Louise Farrenc - What can we learn from the life of Louise Farrenc about how to close the gender gap in music today?

"The Hottest 900-Year-Old on the Charts" from The Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1998 (an article on performance approaches to Hildegard of Bingen.)

"Mistaking the Tail for the Comet" Christopher Page on Hildegard of Bingen From All Music Guide (, 1999.

"Medieval Mania from a 'Terminal American,'" an article about Mary Springels from Early Music America, Summer 1999.

 A Tribute to Barbara Thornton (not by me but by Paul Attinello, reprinted off the American Musicological Society email discussion list by Paul's permission)

return to my home page