Thanks for your kind and helpful comments. I won't reply publicly any further to anything "Mr White" says, because he self-evidently has all the answers anyway - he is presumably a resting musicologist-reviewer himself.
But I do want to say that I agree with you entirely. There are many ways to write reviews, and like you, I write ones that address the points I would want to know about if I was considering parting with money. As an 'audiophile' I particularly want to know how good the engineering is, something most reviewers don't even mention. And if I'm paying 'full price' I'd prefer to have a booklet with lots of well written information in it. So I always refer to these things - what I call part of the product.
"Mr White" has got it into his head that only by somehow knowing the mind of the composer and performer can a "non-makeshift" review be written. Well, I've been reading maybe ten reviews a day for the last 20 years and I still haven't come across a single one like that!
You're particularly astute in your remark that "Knowledge or expertise can be a double edged sword since with it comes prejudice" - I would add that it also often comes with jargon. Many people who buy art music CDs are highly educated, but not everyone is, and a good critic shouldn't go flashing technical or arcane knowledge about - that only serves to make the review effectively about the reviewer.
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