In the new issue of Standpoint, I offer some reflections on the conflicted legacy of Christopher Hogwood, who died last month.
Hogwood was the first to create a mass market for period instrument recordings, and the first to shout out when he thought the early music movement had done all it could and needed to be wound up. I write:
His honesty went largely unheeded. Early music had become big business. Universities had chairs in it, monthlies and quarterlies were published, cities held festivals and competitions, ensembles once formed had still to be fed. Hogwood went to Boston to convert the venerable Handel and Haydn Society to period instruments. Though he stepped down from the Academy in 2005, he continued to support it financially while suggesting it served no further purpose.
In every revolution, there comes a moment the morning after victory when the leaders say, “What do we do now?” Christopher Hogwood will be remembered as a revolutionary who asked that question and never found an answer.