Ultimately, even the most informed and experienced reviewer's opinion is no more than that - an individual's opinion. As a consumer of reviews as well as a writer I know that there are reviewers whose opinions - on balance - chime with my own more often than not and that being the case I am more likely to follow their opinion in considering a disc for purchase than not. But any review must have the editorial equivalent of caveat emptor attached.
A couple of observations regarding this specific review. I rather like the fact that Dan's dismissal of this recording is so passionately (but not lightly) done. It makes for a more challenging and engaging read than a measured "damming-by-faint-praise". I think Dan succeeds in finding a balance between no holds barred criticism and *not* being "despicably mean". And here we are discussing it - and both curious to hear the performance that spawned the review - which surely must be a good thing.
I find Mr Cantrell's "I canít think of another living conductor who could work such magic" a much more contentious comment. REALLY!? - no other conductor at all, in the world..... REALLY! I know that is a well-intentioned (possibly fawning) thing to say but it undermines the validity of the review by launching into unsupportable hyperbola. No possible chance a reviewer from Dallas is lacking a degree of objectivity......?
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