The A Tempo Project

A unique rendering of tempo in classical masterpieces

The tempo is the pulse of music. 

The tempo forms and determines the character of a piece of music. Changing tempo, time and rhythm, significantly changes the way we receive and experience music. 

A new field of research reveals: Composers, as well as performers, have always searched for the “right” tempo for their music. And more than that: the ideas about what the “right” tempo is, as well as the performance practice, have changed and evolved constantly over the centuries.

Pianist, organist, and composer Bernhard Ruchti is one of the few musicians who has delved into this fascinating field of research. In 2018, he started his “A Tempo Project”. The project consists of several parts, each of which is dedicated to a particular masterpiece for piano or organ.

Bernhard Ruchti produces high-quality recordings of these masterpieces that cast a new light on their interpretation – for many for the first time. In addition to the recordings, Bernhard Ruchti produces video commentaries in which he introduces the recorded works and considers questions of tempo, interpretation, and style, thus revealing a thrilling aspect of musical history.

One goal of the “A Tempo Project” is to create a unique experience of classical music that is as close as possible to the tempo that the composer may originally have had in mind. Thus, an impressive variety of articulation and phrasing results in a stunning harmonic richness of the recorded works. Prominent recording venues such as Merseburg Cathedral or the KKL concert hall in Lucerne add even more to a fascinating new reception of the music. And there is more: Bernhard Ruchti’s recordings foster an important theme for modern times – slowing down. Interpretation and research merge in an exciting and creative dialogue that illuminates a new way of interpreting music. 

All the videos are published on Bernhard’s Youtube Channel. So everyone can enjoy this unique journey into the world of tempo, time, and rhythm. 

Articles about the A Tempo Project:
Comprendre les premières indications métronomiques : Le Projet A Tempo – Diane Kolin (Beethoven, journal de l’Association Beethoven France et Francophonie, No. 21, 2021)
Early Metronome Markings and the ‘A Tempo Project’ – Diane Kolin (Journal of the American Liszt Society, No. 70-71, 2021)

The A Tempo Project is sponsored by:

Ria & Arthur Dietschweiler Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung

Public Crowdfunding