Showing posts with label joyce hatto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label joyce hatto. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The loving plagiarist

William Barrington-Coupe, who issued other people's recordings under his wife's name, has admitted his actions. He says he wanted his wife to receive the praise ill-health had denied her:

On its Web site on Monday, Gramophone said that in his letter to BIS Records, Mr. Barrington-Coupe said he had used other pianists’ recordings to give his wife “the illusion of a great end to an unfairly (as he terms it) overlooked career.”

Mr. Barrington-Coupe is quoted as saying that after CD technology arrived in the early 1980s, his attempts to transfer her cassette recordings to CDs proved unsuccessful. He and his wife therefore decided to re-record her repertory.

“Although she kept up a rigorous practice regime, Barrington-Coupe says that Hatto was suffering more than she admitted, even to herself,” Mr. Inverne wrote. “Recording session after recording session was marred by her many grunts of pain as she played, and her husband was at a loss to know how to cover the problem passages.”

Barrington-Coupe insists his wife, Joyce Hatto, was unaware he had started to use passages of other people's work to cover her weaker parts.

He may have been misguided, but he was motivated by love. Part of me wonders if it might have been better if we'd never known:
But Mr. Barrington-Coupe, 76, apparently declined to provide more information in his conversation with [Gramophone editor James] Inverne on Monday. “I’m tired,” Mr. Inverne quoted him as saying. “I’m not very well. I’ve closed the operation down. I’ve had the stock completely destroyed, and I’m not producing more. Now I just want a little bit of peace.”

Let's hope nobody is as vindictive to use copyright law to make the story have an even more heartbreaking end.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The classical Milli Vanilli

It's not just the pop audience, it turns out, who'll fall for a pretty face and nice story only to have their trust thrown back in their face. According to analysis of the tracks, every one of the hundred CDs attributed to Joyce Hatto may very well have been a simple copy of an older peformance by somebody else.

Hatto died last year; her reputation had been building almost entirely on the strength of internet word-of-mouth. Very few people had seen her play, as ill-health had led to retirement from the stage 35 years earlier, so it was the recordings which won her plaudits - recordings released on Concert Artists Recordings. The boss at the label? William Barrington-Coupe, who also was Mr. Hatto.

Now, Gramophone magazine has announced an investigation which has uncovered proof that the recordings weren't those of Hatto:

Sound engineer Andrew Rose of Pristine Audio, who performed an analysis of Hatto's recordings on behalf of Gramophone, says every one of the CDs he has analysed can be attributed to another artist.

"We have yet to investigate a Hatto recording that has not proved to be a hoax," concludes Rose. In several cases, says Rose, the original sound recording had been manipulated to disguise the source.

We're surprised, actually, that the tireless beaks at the RIAA hadn't already picked up on this terrible bootlegging scandal. They're meant to specialise in spotting goings-on like this, aren't they?