I believe I've linked more often to AC Douglas' site than to any other, Teachout possibly excepted. He has the rare gift of being vastly fun to read even when he is completely wrong. We have disagreed before on the question of classical music's place in the firmament. With a carrot in the form of generous praise offered before the stick, he proposes to disagree again. I respectfully decline; I am not interested in writing about music as a horse race with Beethoven or Charlie Parker out in front. I ask this, though: if the ideal critic writes about classical music and nothing but, where would you put G. B. Shaw? E. T. A. Hoffmann? Wagner? The writer who can encompass more than one realm is the one whose words will resonate longest. The best piece of music criticism I've read in a decade was Alan Hollinghurst's TLS review of the Bayreuth Ring in 2000. Why? Because he didn't write like a parochial expert; he wrote like the major novelist he is. In an ideal world, poets, presidents, painters, and priests would talk about music, and there would be no critics. We're just filling the void.