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?