I think that Dave's note contains great truth...not only about music,
but human nature as well.
I am reminded of the time I used to work in a record store. The owner
was a very informed listener and a good judge of performance. One time
we got in a bunch of less than wonderful recordings of a particular piece
of standard literature. He tried an experiment, partly out of curiosity
and partly out of the desire to unload some less than wonderful product...not
necessarily the most noble of motivations. He told the customers, some
that were informed listeners, that this particular conductor was unjustly
underrated and that his performance had great distinction. Not surprisingly,
many who bought the record came back looking for more performances by
that particular conductor!
I am reminded of the book, "The Tipping Point." If you have read it you
will understand. Namely, value is often predicated on considerations
other than content and that context can be of equal, or even greater
importance in the minds of most of us. Once the right person, a
"connector," gets hooked, and the context is right, many others just
fall in line.
If anything comes out of this mess, perhaps it will be an increased
appreciation for those pianists who were pirated.
Karl (who still treasures his Oscar Levant and William Kapell recordings)