Living in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, I delight in listening to "historic" recordings - the old guys (Cortot, Thibaud, Busch, Ysaye, Oistrakh, etc.) for the intensity of their musicmaking. Being told, however, that the standards that are "universal" now for performers have been raised by the advent and availability of recordings, I find myself humbled when taking on any task.
However, knowing that the quest for perfection can be somewhat detrimental and even destructive, I found myself curious to read this book review from the Wall Street Journal. In this review of Kenneth Hamilton's After the Golden Age by James Penrose, the question is asked again - although also looked at from a much different perspective.