First, correcting an unfortunate typo, the URL of Andrys Basten's link
page to Hatto news is http://www.andrys.com/hatto.html
Now it gets better. Barrington-Coupe has now confessed to the scam in
a letter to Robert Von Bahr of BIS, the letter quoted in an article on
the Gramophone website.
One presumes that B-C has been following the firestorm on the internet,
and it looks to me as if he is indebted to net commentators for the
substance of his confession. Principally, the pseudo-exculpatory "I
did it for my sick wife" explanation matches up with one of Christopher
Howell's speculative scenarios (Scenario 4) offered in his long piece
on MusicWeb (cited in an earlier post). B-C spices up his story with a
bit of Norman Lebrecht, who cited the Schwartzkopf/Flagstad dubbing fraud
in his Hattogate commentary.
B-C's claim that "his wife knew nothing of the deception" is untenable.
It's just barely conceivable that Hatto didn't know her husband was
selling CDs with various pianists' recordings substituted for the unusable
studio sessions she performed, but she would certainly know of the fraud
when she saw he was selling CDs of concerto sessions that never happened!
This one deserves to rank with the Hitler Diaries and Clifford Irving's
Howard Hughes bio.
I know it's nasty and cruel to hope for such a thing, but I'm holding
out hope that there's an instance or two where a critic reviewed one of
the source recordings, then later the purported Hatto CD, and came up
with wildly differering evaluations. What fun!
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