Or perhaps this is just the first example of the controversy inspired by historically informed performance practices. . . .
John Ruskin laments that current singers are just not as good as they used to be: ". . . and [Adelina] Patti, the last time I heard her, massacred Zerlina's part in 'La ci darem,' as if the audience and she had but the one object of getting Mozart's air done with, as soon as possible."
(from Praeterita, sec. 203)
(I realized yesterday evening that I was whiling away the time before the oratorio -- Mendelssohn's Elijah, ably performed by the San Francisco Symphony -- by reading Ruskin, and I suddenly felt like a minor character in a Merchant-Ivory film, perhaps a high-minded, easily flustered vicar whose inadvertent bit of gossip will cause our turbulent heroine to realize that she, and her heart, belong to the Swinburne-reading golden boy and not to respectable but stultifying Lord Stanley --
"No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two. . . .")