In response to:

Berlioz, Boulez, and Piaf from the January 29, 1970 issue

To the Editors:

Translators are seldom praised, and as a rule they are only noticed for their faults. In keeping with this convention, Virgil Thomson’s review of David Cairn’s translation of Berlioz’ Memoirs [NYR, January 29] discusses Berlioz but not his new translator. Those who already recognize Mr. Cairns as the finest literary stylist among present day British musical critics will discover that his accustomed felicity as a writer has been matched by his imaginative resourcefulness as a translator. The difficult passages—some seemingly almost impossible—have been brought to life with a linguistic skill that is a delight to compare with the original because of its faithfulness to Berlioz’ own style and changing moods. It seems only fair to Mr. Cairns to add this note.

J.R. Pole

Center for Advanced Studies

in the Behavioral Sciences

Stanford, California

This Issue

March 12, 1970