I met Bernhard Ruchti, a Swiss pianist, organist and composer, when I was writing a paper about Franz Liszt’s organ works. I discovered Bernhard’s video recording of “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam” which came with another video about his research process on the original duration of the piece, leading him to reconsider the average tempo usually taken by performers recoding this piece: if many recordings of today have a duration of 25-30 minutes, reports and letters of members of the audience for the first performance gave a duration of 45 minutes. As I like stories behind facts, I got intrigued and watched the other videos produced by Bernhard about tempo in the 19th century performance practices. His work on this topic is fascinating. It led me to write an article about the A Tempo Project, that was published in the Journal of the American Liszt Society in April 2021. A slightly longer version of this paper was published in the Journal of the French Beethoven Society in September 2021. In December 2021, I met with Bernhard in St Gallen to interviewed him on his current activities and plans for the future. The interview is available below. Don’t hesitate to visit his YouTube channel and subscribe.
Link to the YouTube video if needed: https://youtu.be/pCVplPxfMxU
Bernhard Ruchti’s website: https://www.bernhardruchti.com/
Bernhard Ruchti’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/bernhardruchti