John Quinn's is a comparative review, weighing one version against the other, hopefully clarifying a few aspects of both for those weighing up their options. I agree this should be kept in proportion, but I've been moaned at more often in the past for leaving out mention of one or other classic version of a work by way of comparison than being criticised for heaping on too many alternatives.
As for using scores, these are indeed not absolutely essential but do provide a useful reference when trying to sort out controversial points or get at what the composer's intentions look like on paper if one feels they are being missed by the conductor or musician(s). I almost always find they open windows into details I might otherwise have missed, and consider myself very fortunate to have been given the kind of education which enables me to read musical notation.
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