Text and Act, a collection of essays and reviews published over the last dozen years, offers a brilliant evaluation of the early music movement, transforming the debate about `early music' and `authenticity'. Taking a wide-ranging cultural view of the phenomenon, Taruskin shows that the movement, far from reviving ancient traditions, in fact represents the only truly modern style of performance on offer today, and is therefore far more valuable and authentic than the historical verisimilitude it ostensibly aims at could ever be.

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