“Again, this is only a tiny list, of some  performers who seem to me to be under-rated – and no living performers, in case other living performer friends of mine happen to visit this site, and get offended!”

Daniil Shafran (cellist)

“I first heard a recording of his when I was a teenager, and was stunned. It’s SO unlike anything else I’d heard before, or have heard since. Perhaps the only musicians he really resembles are Russian folksingers. Of course, his playing can be bizarre in some repertoire; but when he’s at home – in lots of little pieces, for instance, or in anything Russian – it is magical. I know of no musician who plays more directly from the soul.”

Jacques Thibaud (violinist)

“He is best known for his recordings with his more famous colleagues Cortot and Casals (both heroes of mine, incidentally); but his solo recordings are gorgeous, too. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to find in Japan a record of Thibaud playing the Brahms concerto in a live performance recorded not long before his death. In a way, it’s a disaster; intonation is questionable, there are frequent scratches and scrabbles for notes – but it doesn’t matter! The spirit is so strong, that the whole performance becomes a celebration of humanity. His charm in short pieces is totally captivating, too – his joy is infectious.”

Chorale Gabriel Fauré

“I know absolutely nothing about this group, except that they made a recording of short choral works by Fauré which I bought years ago and which immediately became one of my all-time favourite records. (A company called Musical Concepts, who own the old Turnabout catalogue, make copies on CD by demand.) It is so touching – by no means technically perfect, but it’s singing from the heart, with such civilised restraint that the music emerges in all its purity. Wonderful.”