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CLASSICAL  September 2007

CLASSICAL September 2007

Subject:

Re: The Joyce Hatto Scam

From:

Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 28 Sep 2007 13:57:01 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (125 lines)

Anne Ozorio responds to me:

>>I only question the reviewers who thought a recording was so so
>>when first released, and the thought it was "great" when they
>>thought it was Hatto playing.  To me, it suggests that they are as
>>subject to the snake oil salesmen as the rest of us.  In this case,
>>the product was good, but somehow it became "better" with a
>>different label on it, even if the original label wasn't a generic.
>
>Can you give specific examples?

I believe the Morrison review cited in the New Yorker article is a good
example. As you point out, the two reviews are separated by more than a
decade, however, I believe that there is enough "objective" perspective
shared that it has me concerned that he was subject to the hype.  I have
been told that Morrison is an avid listener to piano recordings and I
have often encountered his informed writing in places like liner notes.

>>Not to disagree with you, but we have had claqueurs in the music
>>"biz" for a long time. The only difference now is that they have
>>become more sophisticated.
>
>But that is exactly the point I am trying to make, that frauds, trolls
>and the just plain deluded infest the internet.  That's all the more
>reason that we shouldn't be distracted by diverting attention from the
>scammers to the scammers.  Why?  It's unethical to blame those who were
>hurt instead of the perpretrators, in any branch of life.

I would like to know how many reviewers wrote negatively about the "Hatto"
recordings.

Also, I find it interesting to question who was hurt.  Those who bought
the recordings have discs they can still enjoy.  However, I wonder if
they had to pay more for them on the Hatto label.  As for the pianist's
ripped off, well maybe now they will be appreciated more for their
playing.  As for the record companies...would those discs have been sold
with the original artist's name on them?

>A friend of mine traded with him for years and through my friend
>I provided Lumpe with records over 20 years ago. His first article
>on the subject appeared in 1990. When did the Hatto hoax begin? I
>have many tapes which came from Lumpe's collection. While I don't
>know if he did or did not know what was going on, I can at least
>state that I do know he was (is) indeed a collector.

>The group of people behind Concert Artists, Saga and many others, was
>up to things from as early as the 1960's.  And of course they are
>collectors - how else do they get the material to scam?

While I don't know about Concert Artists or Saga, I am familiar with
things like the Eddie Smith Recordings.

  http://oq.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/17/1/103.pdf

I have often consulted the volumes which try to clear up his releases.
Then there was the doings of the likes of Elie Oberstein

  http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/arsclist/2006/01/msg00007.html

Not all were collectors.  Most collectors spend their money and time
collecting, not making records.

>Of course they trade.  It gives them credibility and they worm their
>way into credibility.  It is also how Hatto/WBC operated.  The reason
>these scams were so effective was "because" they mixed reality in with
>unreality, good products with the false.  Collectors aren't necessarily
>people to respect per se.  Many of those in the extended WBC/Hatto circles
>were most certainly collectors.  If Lumpe was legit, that's all the more
>reason why he should not have been so deeply involved in the scam and
>given it such support.

As I mentioned before, my experience with Lumpe was always positive.
The other day I was listening to a tape he made of the music of Einem.
I was able to verify from other sources all of the performer information
he supplied.

You can still view Lumpe's work on Royale at

  http://www.geocities.com/elumpe/

I do indeed respect collectors per se.  From my experience they have
done more to preserve our recorded history than all of the libraries and
archives on the planet.

>Chances are, you've been conned too, Karl.  Join the club with the
>maligned reviewers.  It's no disgrace.

I have been conned many times...my most recent realization was that
libraries have relatively little interest in preserving history...

  http://www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb/pdf/MillerStudy.pdf

>... The very fact that we've been sidelined into a discussion of
>reviewing instead of focussing on the frauds of cyberspace is pretty
>significant. Most people who know about the scam aren't interested
>in the "role" of "bad reviewing" for the very simple reason that
>it isn't an issue. ...

I believe that the influence reviewing has on the perspectives of others
is part of the equation.  We all live with the internet scammers every
day when we check our email.  Maybe we expect too much from our reviewers,
yet for me, the problem is that they do indeed serve as the gateway
between the artist and the public.

A former arts manager I know said that the "critic is a necessary evil."
I am not suggesting that critics are evil, but I know how important the
press can be in selling product.  I watched how one article in the New
York Times sold about 500 copies of one of our releases.  Did our music
critics let us down when they praised "Hatto." I think they did if they
stated she was the "best." I greatly admire the reviews Don posts to
this list.  He tells you the recordings he is comparing and goes into
great detail.  That is what I value.  Perhaps I need to read the past
reviews of the "Hatto" recordings.  For that matter, I think a compilation
of all of them might make for a fascinating volume. I would also enjoy
reading the internet posts which contributed to all of this.

Perhaps more importantly, I would like to hear a sample of the recordings.

Karl

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