As we regress in the past, slower declamation times must be adopted.
The decision to declaim Shakespeare today involves different times of declamation in relation to the language used. It might be declaimed in modern English, or in nineteenth century English or in eighteenth century English: the language is always English, but it is not the same English.
This comparison allows us to understand why it is necessary to play slower today: classical music is not familiar to contemporary people and the public, no longer possessing a musical background, perceives music differently than it was once perceived .
If in the past the audience could recognize expressive beauty at high speeds, today it is no longer so.
Chopin wrote for saloons and his audience had musical education and therefore perceived in a different way than today.
The concept of tension and relaxation, consonance and dissonance must be absolutely restored because this is where the emotion comes from.
Let's analyze the harmony of Chopin's Etude Op. 10 n. 1 in C major.
The ﬁrst eight-bar period begins with the following chords: C major, third and ﬁfth on the ﬁrst degree, then F, fourth degree.
The sudden F sharp, chromatization of the fourth degree, already at the third bar, is a revolution, a revolution made by a nineteen-year-old boy.
This is the seventh chord on the seventh degree of G major.
The seventh is actually an appoggiatura because E becomes D and the chord, becoming the dominant seventh, resolves quietly in G major.
The fact is that the bass moves (F sharp-E-D), and it moves independently because in the right hand we ﬁnd A instead of B.
D in the bass is essentially dominant of G major and therefore C major has not yet been afﬁrmed.
The initial C major actually served as the ﬁfth degree of F major.
Even G major is not real: there are other unprepared appoggiatura: A ﬂat will go to G, and C will go to B.
After that, ﬁnally, we have the dominant seventh of C major, but in the end we ﬁnd a D sharp which means that the dominant seventh is enriched with an augmented ﬁfth.
The following is no less surprising, but the second bar of the third line is something truly shocking: a performance at the speed of 176 metronome marking, a speed normally performed today, will completely destroy it's surprising revolution.
Chopin's genius is reduced to a mechanical, ornamental fact.
At the speed of 176 metronome marking, which is by the way not an indication of the manuscript, one cannot understand Chopin's genius.