Dear Diary. We live in bleak times. It's awful that Philips is no more - utterly awful! I had high hopes that my survey of late Mozart symphonies from the 1980s would be remastered and reissued in premium packaging with a photograph of myself on the cover looking like the Duke of Wellington or Field Marshall Montgomery but that's not going to happen anytime soon. I do not understand why. No-one at Universal is taking my calls. DG rudely cancelled my complete survey of Bach Cantatas. The bean-counters are telling me to wind up Soli Deo Gloria on account of the dismal sales; they fail to understand that I record these mighty works for the delectation of ultra-refined cognoscenti, not the masses. Those reactionaries are saying some rather rude things about me: that I am superficial, emotionally arid and a glorified choir-master. No matter. We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight them in Bach; we shall fight them in Handel; we shall fight them in Haydn; we shall fight them in Mozart. We shall never surrender to full expressiveness.
Dear Diary. What is our aim here at Soli Deo Gloria? I can answer with one word: Victory. Victory over vibrato, victory in spite of all the ridicule from the market, victory over emotion; victory over the grandeur of these scores; victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival for Soli Deo Gloria.
Dear Diary. I have decided to revisit some Mozart Symphonies. My interpretations from the Philips cycle could hardly be bettered but it is time to take advantage of the new recording technology. I have nothing to offer but bloodlessness, clipped phrasing, frantic speeds and the odd drop of sweat.
Dear Diary. I am so proud of the English Baroque Soloists. Never in this field of conflict between traditional readings and period practice has so much been owed by so many to so few. Even so, I noticed a hangdog look on the faces of the rank and file. Many of the poor devils have not eaten for some time. After the first run-through of the E Flat symphony, I put down my baton and said to them, "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if these spry recordings last for a thousand years, men will still say, `This was their tweediest hour!'"
Dear Diary. I have to say that I am quite pleased with the success of my latest venture. The slow introduction to the E Flat is remarkable in its spruce tones, mild-mannered gestures and repudiation of anachronistic grandeur. The Allegro that follows is equally as memorable. We carefully excluded any overt romanticism from the Andante con moto: it's a Mozart who is rather patrician-like, a bit like yours truly. The Minuet with the clarinets is a jolly romp and the finale will put a spring in anyone's step. The Jupiter is a tremendous success. The opening movement is smartly attired in punchy rhythms, tinted by plangent contributions from the woodwind. The sorrow that is inherent in the Andante Cantabile is made all the more effective by being somewhat muzzled. The finale to the Jupiter is spritely done: yes, it is one of the peaks in the symphonic landscape but it needs to be kept in proportion and the English Baroque Soloists do that rather prudently.
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Soli Deo Gloria.