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Thread: The Joyce Hatto scandal

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    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Default The Joyce Hatto scandal

    I just learned about the "Joyce Hatto scandal". It seems the pianist Joyce Hatto experienced a comeback during the 90's as a recording artist. She had been forced to end her concert career in the 70's due to illness. But the amazing thing is that the coemback was a hoax. She didn't perform on the recordings herself. Instead she, with the assistance of her husband, released several CD's with tracks copied from other artists' recordings!!

    More about the story, as well as audio samples here (News story here).

    This is now being considered one of the greatest music scandals in recent times. Incredible that they got away with it for such a long time. Anyone here that has heard - or perhaps even bought - some of Joyce Hatto's recordings?

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    What an amazing story. Found an additional article in Wikipedia on Joyce Hatto that explains in great detail the 'tracks' that got altered. I had never heard of her until reading this today - Is her husband still living? Wonder if he will be held accountable.
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    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Yes indeed amazing. The husband, William Barrington-Coupe, is still living and a couple of days ago, on the 26th, he finally admitted guilt:
    "It is self-evident that I have acted stupidly, dishonestly and unlawfully,"
    (Link to BBC article)

    I assume there will be some kind of legal aftermath.

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    Junior Member captaintim's Avatar
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    Its unbvelievable! i don't know about anyone else but I'd never even heard of her before all this. Seems that her 'success' was limited anyway and I really hope that they didn't make much money out of this (and that the husband will be punished).

    Fingers crossed also that the pianist who's recordings were used will receive some compensation (or cut of any profits made on the recordings).

    As a performer and recording musician it makes me sick that someone can be ripped off in this manner. Its such a cut throat industry anyway and as the classical recording market is not as large as it once, so for his recordings to be abused in this manner is shocking, although I guess the pianist has probably gotten more publicity out of this scandal than he would have done if it hadn't happened!

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    Junior Member toughcritic's Avatar
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    Sadly, it's one way to get publicity. Unless the listener has some kind of knowledge about classical music, how would they know? But yeah, it is pretty outrageous.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Regards,
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    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


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    Here's a great little documentary about this fascinating fraud.


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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    The whole deal ought to have some notoriety as a successful fraud, the guy getting no jail time, and keeping most of the take.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    The short version of the consequences is that the husband, who was a sound engineer who made all the fraudulent CDs, made very little money off the endeavour, and has not been charged with anything and will probably never be prosecuted. He did accept an interview, but he denies the extent to which the CDs were evidently faked. Analysis makes it clear that entire tracks were lifted from other recordings, but he states that Joyce recorded most of the pieces, and, because she would make loud whimpers because she was near death while recording, he replaced those sections with others. That's all he accepts responsibility for, but it's clearly not the full story.

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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Joyce Hatto wasn't a bad pianist I saw a couple of her concerts'
    barrington-Coupe along wit Marcel Rodd were responsible for cheap record companies with pirated recordings. They pretend artists such as the pianist Paul Procopolis and the conductor William Havergesse plus all sorts of strangely titled orchestras.Some of their stuff was taken straight from radio broadcasts. The record label that commited the
    Hatto fraud was Concert Artist and they also did the same with Sergio Fiorentino recordings,so if you own some you do not know which are fake and which are genuine.Marcel Rodd went off and started up Saga Records the ten shilling per LP company.This caused chaos because HMV, Decca etc. had the prices fixed there were no bargain records then. I wass his sales director and it was a riot, at one pont they were thowing old returned records,labels and all into the material mix. Rodd and Barrinton-Coupe were enemies by then. Although Rodd was a rogue Saga did some good work,we recorded Janet Baker first and Sheila Armstrong,Malcolm Binns,John Shirly-Quirkand Jill Gomez.Then HMV hired Paul Hamelin to start Music For Pleasure also at ten shillings and that was the end of that, but it was fun while it lasted. The music business was full of strange people then.
    by the way you're a bit late on this story.

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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Forgive the slips and mistakes, I'm rather tired it's late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    by the way you're a bit late on this story.
    I'm also late for the French Revolution.

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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    I'm also late for the French Revolution.
    Depends from which perspective you approach it.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    I have an LP of Ms. Hatto playing Bax sonatas. It's the only Bax I've been able to enjoy... so she must have been doing something wrong.
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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    I have an LP of Ms. Hatto playing Bax sonatas. It's the only Bax I've been able to enjoy... so she must have been doing something wrong.
    How do you know it's her??

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