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Forged Notes brings together into one place Jeremy Barlow’s series of columns written for Early Music Today between 2002 and 2006, in which he examined a wide range of topics pertaining to early music and historical performance, as well as some new previously-unpublished material. While Barlow self-deprecatingly claims – unfairly, I feel – that, ‘at 500 words apiece, the articles do not probe deeply’, he always manages to dive right to the heart of a topic, expounding concisely upon such diverse subjects as the development of modern concert etiquette, the perpetual problem of the inaudibility of theorbos and the seemingly infinite desire held by record labels to release complete sets of composers’ works. The serious and the light-hearted rub shoulders here, all treated with healthy doses of knowledge, learning, wit and humour; an added bonus to Barlow’s writing are cartoons by Kathryn Lamb (a regular contributor to Private Eye), making the final package a hugely enjoyable and informative read.

Adrian Horsewood Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing