Joyce Hatto -- a strange discovery

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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:32 pm

BorisG wrote:
Modernistfan wrote:Why is Mr. Barrington-Coupe digging himself in deeper?
Criminally insane?
*****

He may have little to lose. Hatto CDs haven't, I'm sure, brought him megabucks.
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pizza
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Post by pizza » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:26 am

If it eventually appears to Barrington-Coupe that he can't escape the consequences of scientific logic, he'll probably blame the entire switcharoo on a rogue recording engineer who can't be found, and who will turn out to be a distant cousin of Rene Kohler! :wink:

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Post by Ralph » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:43 am

No one seems to have raised the possibility that Hatto herself was an unknowing pawn in this racket. Perhaps because of illness she had little or no idea of what was going on. It's possible.
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Post by Ralph » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:42 am

From The Telegraph:

My wife's virtuoso recordings are genuine

By Martin Beckford
Last Updated: 1:48am GMT 21/02/2007

The classical music producer accused of releasing recordings by virtuoso pianists under his wife's name has insisted that they are authentic.

William Barrington-Coupe brought out more than 100 CDs of performances supposedly given by his wife, Joyce Hatto, many of which were hailed as masterpieces by critics.

William Barrington-Coupe, Wife's virtuoso recordings are genuine, says music producer
William Barrington-Coupe has vowed to keep selling the CDs

But doubts have been raised about the authenticity of the discs. Hatto, who died last year aged 77, had apparently mastered a wide repertoire including some of the most difficult pieces composed for the piano, despite battling cancer and having not given a live recital in decades.

On Saturday The Daily Telegraph revealed how audio experts now believe several of the Hatto CDs are identical to earlier recordings made by other musicians, leading many people to conclude that Mr Barrington-Coupe had faked the CDs in a scandal which has thrown the world of classical music into turmoil.

But last night he insisted that the works were indeed made by his late wife and vowed to keep selling them.

Speaking at his home in Royston, Herts, Mr Barrington-Coupe, 76, said: "She was the sole pianist on those recordings. I was there at all the important sessions, I was the engineer on the jobs and I take full responsibility for everything released on my label Concert Artist. Twelve months ago she wasn't very well known. If it was all a fake why would I put my wife's name on it.

''I would have put someone else, some Russian name and we would have sold 10 times as many.

Joyce Hatto, Wife's virtuoso recordings are genuine, says music producer
Joyce Hatto had not given
a live recital in decades

''The English don't like success, you are successful for a year then they start putting the boot in." He added: "She was a pianist who developed all through her life. It was amazing. She had this wonderful independence of the hands."

He said he was amazed when the respected music magazine Gramophone questioned the authenticity of his wife's recordings. "I was astounded. I had no idea it was coming." He disputed the accuracy of the expert analysis of the CDs saying "the evidence that they rely on isn't proven – it would have been possible to change the speed of the recordings until they matched".

But he admitted: "I cannot explain some of the things that they say are there."

Laughing off a suggestion that he had passed off a recording of a celebrated Viennese orchestra as that of his wife and some session musicians, he said: "Everyone connected with our project will be delighted. They calmly say that I swiped the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, probably the greatest orchestra in Europe. It's ludicrous."


Mr Barrington-Coupe added: ''The items which are being called into question I am not selling now and every single person who sends an order I'm sending them a health warning telling them about the article in Gramophone and asking if they want to continue." James Inverne, the editor of Gramophone, said: "We stand by our evidence. We're not accusing anyone, we're just stating that these recordings are identical to others.

''If anyone can provide an explanation we'd be happy to listen."
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Modernistfan
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Post by Modernistfan » Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:29 pm

Well, it is now looking like they did rip off Hamelin (Hyperion) for at least some of the Godowsky Etudes. Outrageous. If there is litigation, I hope Hyperion goes to the front of the line. We shall see if this crook (and there is no other way to describe Mr. Barrington-Coupe at this stage) is really judgment proof or if he has assets stashed somewhere.

Incidentally, I still think that some of the earlier recordings, such as the Bax with Handley, were genuine. If Mr. Barrington-Coupe wanted to honor his wife and promote her career, why did he not promote these recordings and any live recordings made at recitals, rather than resort to wholesale piracy?

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Post by pizza » Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:05 pm

Modernistfan wrote:Well, it is now looking like they did rip off Hamelin (Hyperion) for at least some of the Godowsky Etudes. Outrageous. If there is litigation, I hope Hyperion goes to the front of the line.
Having recently been badly burned by the courts, I wouldn't be surprised if Hyperion lets the matter rest.

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Post by Modernistfan » Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:31 pm

Unless everything we have learned is incorrect, this would be a slam dunk. I cannot imagine a judge who would not grant a summary judgment motion for the plaintiff on a claim of copyright infringement given this evidence. Mr. Rose would undoubtedly execute a declaration or affidavit explaining exactly what was done and how identical the "Hatto" recordings are to the originals. That would be awfully hard to rebut. Access to this material would not be difficult to prove, as these recordings were commercially available and there is no indication that master tapes or anything else not available to the public were used. As you undoubtedly know, the elements of a cause of action for copyright infringement are access and substantial similarity.

Of course, the real issue is the availability of damages and whether Mr. B-C has any resources available to pay them (as well as the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees under the English rules).

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Post by pizza » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:14 pm

Modernistfan wrote:Unless everything we have learned is incorrect, this would be a slam dunk. I cannot imagine a judge who would not grant a summary judgment motion for the plaintiff on a claim of copyright infringement given this evidence. Mr. Rose would undoubtedly execute a declaration or affidavit explaining exactly what was done and how identical the "Hatto" recordings are to the originals. That would be awfully hard to rebut. Access to this material would not be difficult to prove, as these recordings were commercially available and there is no indication that master tapes or anything else not available to the public were used. As you undoubtedly know, the elements of a cause of action for copyright infringement are access and substantial similarity.

Of course, the real issue is the availability of damages and whether Mr. B-C has any resources available to pay them (as well as the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees under the English rules).
After having reviewed the case which Hyperion lost, I wouldn't be too quick to apply normal judicial standards to any intellectual property case tried by English courts.

I'm not familiar with English rules of civil procedure, and I don't know if summary judgment is available in their courts. In most American courts, all an opposing party need do to defeat a motion for SJ is file counter-affidavits that present questions of fact to be resolved at trial. Unless the facts thus presented are either patently false or inherently impossible, or are irrelevant to the issues raised in the complaint, the court has no choice other than to deny the motion.

Slam-dunks are few and far between in this business.

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Post by Modernistfan » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:29 pm

True, perhaps "slam dunk" might be a bit too glib, but it would be very difficult to counter an affidavit or declaration by Mr. Rose. The evidence that presents a triable issue of fact needs to be credible. Remember that summary judgment has been granted for the plaintiffs in cases of patent infringement, and the quantum of factual evidence required to support a judgment of patent infringement is probably somewhat greater than for copyright infringement in the present situation (each element of a patent claim needs to be present in the allegedly infringing device for literal infringement to exist).

Summary judgment appears to be available in British courts.

We shall see where this goes.

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Post by Ralph » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:58 pm

Summary judgment in English law roughly parallels American practice.
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Modernistfan
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Post by Modernistfan » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:45 pm

All I can say is that if I were Mr. Barrington-Coupe's lawyer and the copyright infringement actions start flying from Sony/BMG, Universal, EMI, et cetera, I would advise him to settle fast if at all possible. I have been involved in several trademark infringement actions where it was clear that a mark was pirated and there was no reasonable argument that an identical mark had been somehow adopted in good faith, and the eventual judgment awarded was considerably greater than a settlement offer made by the plaintiffs. I recall asking the senior partner (we were representing the plaintiffs) "Why the hell didn't they settle and take the offer?" and being told that he couldn't understand it either.

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Post by ch1525 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:43 am

And so it begins with people trying to cash in on their recordings of Joyce Hatto's "playing"...

Hatto: Chopin Etudes

Even mentions the hoax in his listing!

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Post by pizza » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:01 am

Modernistfan wrote:True, perhaps "slam dunk" might be a bit too glib, but it would be very difficult to counter an affidavit or declaration by Mr. Rose. The evidence that presents a triable issue of fact needs to be credible. Remember that summary judgment has been granted for the plaintiffs in cases of patent infringement, and the quantum of factual evidence required to support a judgment of patent infringement is probably somewhat greater than for copyright infringement in the present situation (each element of a patent claim needs to be present in the allegedly infringing device for literal infringement to exist).

Summary judgment appears to be available in British courts.

We shall see where this goes.
I haven't seen Concert-Artists CDs and I don't know what information the liner notes contain. Any that state recording dates prior to the recording dates shown on the liner notes of the alleged copied recordings would present triable issues of fact. Any that show no recording date at all and are the subject of affidavits alleging prior recording dates would also present triable issues of fact.

If scientific evidence establishes precisely the same recording on the opposing litigants' CDs, the question of fact then becomes: who copied whom? There is no legal presumption that Hyperion or any other company is more credible than Concert-Artists and it would require a trial to determine issues of credibility.

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