David Harbin writes:
>The real question this raises for me is the validity of reviews in the
>light of the Hatto scandals. What does all this say about the standard
>of reviews and knowledge?
Generally, I find that the knowledge of reviewers is quite good. The
standard of reviews is somewhat askew, because new discs are often given
exaggerated ratings with a level of praise not warranted. We see this
in most of the review magazines and internet review sites.
My personal opinion is that this inflated mind-set is part of the reason
that the Hatto praise got so out-of-hand. I did not happen to acquire
any of the Hatto recordings, so it would be easy for me to say that I
never would have been fooled, that I know the difference between great
and mediocre music-making, and that I'm well aware that no pianist could
be as versatile as Joyce Hatto seemed to be. Yes, easy to say, but
perhaps not so easy to do after hearing some fine performances under her
name and with every other person in the know praising her to the sky.
There are certainly lessons to be learned from the Hatto fiasco:
1. If something seems to good to be true, it likely isn't true.
2. Artists are human - they are not perfect.
3. A crook in the 1970's (Hatto's husband) is probably still a crook
dozens of years later.
4. Don't believe that a crook's intentions are admirable or altruistic.
5. Don't become part of the herd - do some free thinking and reach your
What I would like to see at this point is every copy of a Hatto disc
destroyed and those reviewers who lavished praise on Hatto to stop making
excuses for themselves and simply admit they were conned and move on.
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