Gifted violinist, violist, and conductor Pinchas Zukerman has this to say about the HIP (Historically Informed Performance) movement:
"I disagree with everything they do," Zukerman says emphatically. "From the minute I heard that in 1972 to today (I said), 'What the (expletive) is that? These are professional musicians?'" He calls the movement a fad and contends that digital recording has falsely represented the sound of period ensembles. "If you hear them in public - which I have - one is amazed at how bad it sounds and out of tune."
The string instruments that period groups play are dubbed "cigar boxes." Conductors such as Christopher Hogwood and Roger Norrington, pioneers in the field, are dismissed as no-talents who have ruined classical music. "They don't know how to conduct. They certainly don't know how to play. And who's going to say that?"
Well, Pinchas Zukerman is.