Refer to my above post. Wim presents ZERO documented evidence. In fact, all documents and program notes fit in with our modern depiction of tempo. Wim only speculates based on the quicker-than-usual tempi of Czerny and then runs off with it, completely disregarding all historical evidence of pianists claiming that the Hammerklavier was impossible or the Schumann Toccata was the hardest work or whatnot.
Czerny was a boy when he began lessons with Beethoven. There is no reason to think Czerny was doing anything other than being faithful to his teacher. Plus the Moscheles tempi are typically within 10% of Czerny's. There are some outliers primarily because I believe Moscheles preferred slower tempi as indicated by the tempi he gave for Haydn & Mozart.
And what of Hans von Bulow claiming that Chopin's Etude Op.10 No.1 was played too fast?
I'm not familiar with that quote but I agree with von Bulow. The first etude is an homage to Bach's WTC1 c major prelude. And IMO works better at a slower tempo. It should flow like a wandering stream not a raging torrent. That's my opinion, nothing more.
And what of string players having immense difficulties with the bowings required at HALF TEMPO?
And what of opera singers and horn players? Who already almost burst their lungs singing at modern tempos? How would they possibly manage a piece in half the speed?
I believe wood & wind players have various techniques for dealing with long notes. Not sure about others. The piano is the only instrument I play. No problem for me to hit any note and hold it for as long as I need to
And what of Schumann ruining his hand practicing too strenuously? Scriabin as well? How could someone's hands be permanently damaged playing pieces at half tempo?
No one should ever hurt or ruin their hands playing in half beat or whole beat. There are also tales that Schumann (bizarrely) performed surgery on his own hands to loosen up the tendons. I don't believe them. Probably Schumann had terrible technique and developed malignant tendinitis. I've read studies that even today 60% of career pianists end up with injuries. As I've said before, if you hurt yourself playing piano You're Doing It Wrong.
And what of Beethoven's octave glissandi in the Waldstein? Have YOU tried octave glissandi at half tempo? Why would they be notated as glissandi in the first place? AT HALF TEMPO THEY ARE EASILY FINGERED!
Yes I've tried them. I use Urtext editions. Beethoven wrote a 1-5 fingering & that's it. He didn't write "gliss". I can't play a glissando there. My piano has a 58g touch weight, a 2 foot key length & a large key dip. I'd bleed profusely doing a 1-5 gliss! My teacher's piano has a 50g touch weight and a shallower key dip. I get closer on that piano but still not usable. I need a piano lighter-shallower than any available to me.
Critics that hurl insults have great reason to do so. Wim is truly a crackpot, if not an outright scam artist.
By the way Valentina Lisitsa & Josh Wright are my 2 favorite modern keyboard technicians. They are close to the way I was taught my first time around the block.
I don't know Wim. Wim doesn't strike me as a crackpot. After decades in the IT business world, he strikes me as thoughtful & hard working. If he's a scam artist, he is one of the worst ever.
When I was a student ALL my teachers struggled explaining the MM numbers. After lots of hand waving the solution was to write in their own MM. I always sensed they didn't know the answer.
In my personal ruminations I've come to believe in the foundational importance of Tempo Ordinario. It is fundamental, in my opinion, to tie tempo & rhythm to our own heartbeat. Wim caught my attention because he was taught that when he was in conservatory.
Here it is: Wim & I think of music in the same way. My current teacher does too. But I'm acutely aware it is passionately frowned upon to play repertoire in whole beat.
Honestly, I don't have the courage to play whole beat in public. I don't want to be called a crackpot or a bad pianist with people accusing me of not having "the chops." Maybe someday I will, but not today.