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Re: Who is John France?
Well yes, but on the other hand you must allow that John's ears and critical faculties enabled him to recognize Petri's star qualities, uninfluenced by her reputation, of which he was unaware. If John had said something like "I've never heard of Michala Petri and her technical insecurity and limited musicality suggest her obscurity is dfeserved", now that would have been rather embarrassing. In other words, John was not asked to do a blind test, but he effectively did one and passed it with flying colours.
It is not always thus. Many years ago one of Gramophone's leading critics sarcastically trashed recordings of Bruckner 5 & 6 by a provincial German orchestra under a virtually unknown conductor called Gunther Wand. Only a few years later the same critic was among those proclaiming Wand as the gospel of modern Bruckner interpretation.
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