“…the critic … does his duty best by his readers when he describes and explains to the public what the artist is doing. If he adds a paragraph of personal opinion, that is his privilege as a musician. It is also his duty as a reporter, since the confessing of his personal prejudices and predilections helps the reader to discount them. But the description of music is his business, as the performance of music is the performer’s business and the designing of it for possible execution the composer’s. Consuming it is the public’s business and, to this end, judging it. We all judge it. That is a human right granted even to the reviewer. But if the reviewer is not to be mistaken by artists and managements for just a cog in their publicity machine, neither should he set himself up as a Bureau of Standards. We still live in a Republic of Art, thank God. And I, as a member of the republic, as a plain consumer, want access to all the music there is. I also want all the description and information about it I can get, as a consumer’s guide. I even enjoy knowing, as a consumer’s guide, who likes it and who doesn’t.” — Virgil Thomson

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