guitarlad wrote:They don't have to be a better player than Barrueco, but one would expect them to be able to at least manage the basics, eg. Keep time in a simple/ intermediate duet.
I think there's a bunch of perspectives missing here.
Firstly, its not cool to speak ill of the departed, so I'll only say that you're being a wee bit unkind about Kilvington's performance; at the very least one needs a few experiences of something to know what the average is, and what's not due to a one-off factor eg illness.
I wrote reviews for CG from 1995 to 2009 and spoke several times by phone to Chris Kilvington, and met him in person a couple of times. I found him to be a very decent chap with no airs or illusions, happy and able to be helpful. He died suddenly in 1999 during the week before the Dillington summer school. Which takes place 40 minutes up the road from here. The ensembles had to go ahead anyway - I played his part. Very difficult gig...
The important perspective is that the emergence of Classical Guitar Magazine in 1982 was the fruit of Maurice Summerfield the businessman (and decent jazz guitarist), Colin Cooper, editor, the journalist and published author (and amateur pianist, violinist and very very amateur guitarist), and Chris Kilvington, reviews editor, a teacher, player, and composer. Between them they gained the trust of all the significant figures in the world of playing and composing (and making), right round the world. The fact that none of them could play to a high standard is not relevant. Chris may or may not have been able to hold a beat, but certainly Colin, in that situation would have no chance, and Colin's reputation as reviewer and commentator on the very highest echelons of this world was not, to my knowledge, ever questioned by anybody. Certainly, not by any of the very big names whose opinion really counts. I can't guarantee there are no stories from (then) young players who weren't as good as they thought they were, if you follow.
You'd certainly have to travel a long way before you find a more modest, unassuming fellow.
Colin worked with Chris as reviews editor right through that time far as I'm aware. He obviously had confidence and trust in his insight and writing. A reviewer is accountable both to the reader, and to the editor and the journal as a whole. While nobody and no organisation is ever perfect, between them they did as good a job as anybody can expect, under the circumstances.
In fact the very last thing you will get, or would actually want, would be a review written by somebody able to actually compete on a par with whatever they are reviewing. The scope for professional jealousy and competition is obvious. While there may be some specialist insights they could furnish, they are unlikely to be able to write a review that would be use to 'most folks'. That's the strength of people like Chris and Colin - they were 'most folks' and could both understand sufficiently what they were hearing, and relate it in always readable, and often beautiful, English.