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Franz Liszt - 200th Anniversary

Today, October 22 2011, marks the 200th birthday of Franz Liszt, the greatest piano virtuoso of his time, inventor of the modern piano recital and one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. Piano Street here presents a collection of material and links to resources for you to enjoy in order to commemorate the great Franz Liszt. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Joyce Hatto  (Read 30665 times)
ramseytheii
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« on: July 15, 2006, 09:58:25 PM »

Has anyone heard of the British pianist Joyce Hatto?  I was flipping through some old Gramophones and saw a page-long blurb of her and her apparently underground recordings by pianophile Jeremy Nicholas.
He writes;
"I have no hesitation in saying that Joyce Hatto is one of the greatest pianists I have ever heard."
"Just when one has heard her in Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert... and decided, 'yes, that is exactly how I play those pieces in my dreams,' one has a similar reaction to her Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff."
:Not a bar of music is less than lovely."

I've never heard of this pianist, but apparently she has recorded "the complete Beethoven sonatas (and 27 Bagatelles), the complete piano works of Brahms and Mozart, 12 volumes of Chopin, seven each of Liszt and Rachmaninoff, six of Schubert, four each of SChumann and Scarlatti, and the complete Prokofiev sonatas.  Perhaps the most unexpected is the Chopin-Godowsky Studies." (which she apparently recorded at age 76).

Has anybody heard this pianist, or can share any other information?

Walter Ramsey
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iumonito
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2006, 01:37:38 AM »

Yep,

She's fabulous.  If you don't have the Godowsky studies, I would suggest get hers rather than Hamelin's or Sherbakov's.
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ahinton
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2006, 09:23:29 AM »

She died a few weeks ago.

Best,

Alistair
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Alistair Hinton
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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

kreso
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2006, 12:51:16 PM »

I remember that I red in Grammophone magazine a critic from her collection. Apparently she recorded so much (I think about 90 cds!!) during her life, because she didn't gave a lot of concerts (don't know why). I especialy remember that critics praise her Chopin-Godowsky Etudes and she is first women (and first ever) who recorded complete set..
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ahinton
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2006, 05:39:49 PM »

She gave up giving concerts some 30 years ago because she was afflicted with cancer; somehow, this far from trivial condition didn;t stop her from continuing to make recordings. The fact that she put down the complete Chopin / Godowskys at all in that condition - let alone in her 70s - is remarkable almost beyond belief. She was not at all well known in UK for most of her life; she was evidently extremely averse to the kind of publicity and marketing machine that afflicts so many performers, but that didn't stop her getting on with what she wanted to do. She didn't play any contemporary music, as far as I know, but her repertoire was nevertheless quite substantial.

Best,

Alistair
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mephisto
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2006, 04:49:23 PM »

She didn't play any contemporary music, as far as I know, but her repertoire was nevertheless quite substantial.

Best,

Alistair
Quote

Shouldn't Messiaen count as a contemporary composer for her?
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mikebechstein
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2006, 03:19:49 AM »

I have also read about how fantastic Joyce Hatto was.

Afterwards I went to try and hear some samples on the net. I managed to find a couple of CDs (although that was not easy) but none on sites with samples available so I gave up. After reading about how wonderful she is it would be lovely to hear something by her (before buying any CDs).

Does anybody know how I could do this?
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Piů Vivo


The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

pianalex
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2006, 08:11:10 AM »

I think her husband made many of the recordings, may be even at home(?), and that he worked in the industry.  Not sure who distributes them.  Heard some on cd review a few months ago - sounded rather wonderful.
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pianolist
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2006, 11:17:30 AM »

If you want to obtain Joyce Hatto's CDs, visit:

http://www.concertartistrecordings.com

There is full information on the site on how to order CDs, with lists of recommended dealers, including those who deal with mail order for countries other than the UK.

Joyce Hatto's husband, William Barrington-Coupe, runs the record company from his home in Cambridge, and was involved with a number of budget LP companies many years ago.

Beware of their CD of Busoni on Duo-Art, however. Busoni's rolls of the Chopin Preludes are amongst the worst Duo-Art classical rolls ever produced, for reasons too complex to go into here. They give a false impression of Busoni's playing, and I question the wisdom of anyone who is prepared to issue them on CD.
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2006, 10:19:35 PM »

Mr. Ramsey, I have been meaning to get you this link, but time and attention-span got away from me.  The American pianist, Ivan Davis, has a website and he discusses Hatto's playing at length.  Ivan is no slouch, believe me.  Friends of mine studied with him in Miami.  He competed in international competitions with many pianists who are well-known artists today, two of which, Argerich and Freire, remain close friends.  He's rather well known for appearing on The Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts as a commentator and quiz participant.  Well-rounded musician whose opinion is highly regarded.

He has almost single-handedly brought Hatto's colossal pianism to the attention of US pianists.  He's in close contact with her widower and has become a great promoter of her CDs.  She is, indeed, phenomenal.  I've never heard better playing by anyone.  Ever.

Check out Ivan's website for more info:  http://ivandavis.com/

Best,

Michael
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 12:29:24 AM »

Mr. Ramsey, I have been meaning to get you this link, but time and attention-span got away from me.  The American pianist, Ivan Davis, has a website and he discusses Hatto's playing at length.  Ivan is no slouch, believe me.  Friends of mine studied with him in Miami.  He competed in international competitions with many pianists who are well-known artists today, two of which, Argerich and Freire, remain close friends.  He's rather well known for appearing on The Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts as a commentator and quiz participant.  Well-rounded musician whose opinion is highly regarded.

He has almost single-handedly brought Hatto's colossal pianism to the attention of US pianists.  He's in close contact with her widower and has become a great promoter of her CDs.  She is, indeed, phenomenal.  I've never heard better playing by anyone.  Ever.

Check out Ivan's website for more info:  http://ivandavis.com/

Best,

Michael

Many thanks for the links!  I wonder if there is any place where I might hear her play, none of the CDs on the label for which she recorded seem to have samples on the internet.

Walter Ramsey
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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 01:17:36 AM »

I know, that's a real drawback, but I can't tell you how amazing she is.  If you love the Prokoviev War Sonatas, then please order that.  Or, the 75th Anniversary recording of the Chopin Etudes.  It's her second recording of these works not long before her death.  They are transcendental.  I promise you, regarding the Prokofiev especially, you will not only be NOT disappointed, but you will hear these pieces for the first time.  I mean that.  Even Richter pales, and I admire the man beyond all reason.

--Michael
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jakev2.0
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2006, 07:23:09 AM »

Can someone upload some MP3s?
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daniel patschan
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2007, 06:57:29 PM »

I own a few of her CDs since four days (including the Godowsky studies - which she recorded at the age of 76 !!!) and i must say i think she is among the 5 greatest pianists in history.

Here are my reasons:

1. One of the biggest repertoirs imagineable - complete piano music of the following composers: Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Ravel

2. lots of additional stuff, including the Liszt-Beethoven transcriptions, the three sets of the transcendental studies, the Paganini studies, more and more and more Liszt ... Debussy...Prokofiev...Balakirev...

3. And here comes the most important point: such a musical grace and elegance, such a technical control - in the Godowsky studies she is completely head by head with Hamelin, she doesn´t show any sign of fatigue, any sign of difficulty (as oposed to Carlo Grante, Ian Hobson and yes, as oposed to Berezovsky). So much natural elegance and sensibility in the Chopin studies, mindblowing Paganini variations by Brahms !!!

What do we have to learn from the fact that an artist like her, at the same level (if not above) with Richter, Horowitz and ABM, was almost completely unknown ? I can´t believe it.
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2007, 01:43:35 AM »



3. And here comes the most important point: such a musical grace and elegance, such a technical control - in the Godowsky studies she is completely head by head with Hamelin, she doesn´t show any sign of fatigue, any sign of difficulty (as oposed to Carlo Grante, Ian Hobson and yes, as oposed to Berezovsky). So much natural elegance and sensibility in the Chopin studies, mindblowing Paganini variations by Brahms !!!


Yikes!  I don't want to go against your evaluation of Joyce Hatto because I never heard her, but where in Chopin-Godowksy etudes does Berezovsky have trouble?  I heard him play several live (more than he recorded), and I've heard his recorded version several times.  It sounds pretty effortless and brilliant to me!  And much better than the Hamelin Smiley

Walter Ramsey
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daniel patschan
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2007, 01:53:38 AM »

No no, you are right, it was a little bit misunderstanding. I once read an interview with him and he confessed that he had really some trouble to learn the ones he played. He furthermore told the interviewer that he greatly admired Hamelin for being able to play them all. That´s the way it was meant.
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jakev2.0
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2007, 01:58:50 AM »

Berezovsky is easily better than Hatto and Hamelin for Chopin-Godowsky. He actually plays them contrapuntally.
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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2007, 02:26:33 AM »

get out. we've been over this a thousand times.
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jakev2.0
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2007, 02:27:54 AM »

Your blind Hamelin idolatry prevents you from hearing properly. Take off those rose colored ear-muffs.  Roll Eyes
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jre58591
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2007, 02:30:48 AM »

Your blind Hamelin idolatry prevents you from hearing properly. Take off your rose colored ear-muffs.  Roll Eyes
it isnt idolatry. i actually dont like a handful of hamelin recordings. i dont like eevery single ounce of his output. i just appreciate him much more than the average person, mostly because of all the research and listening i have done. yes, he does have faults, but the chopin-godowsky studies are certainly not one of them. anyone who listens to berezovsky's chopgods and then hamelin's will agree that hamelin nails them. contrapuntally, berezovsky's are one big pedaled mess. check ignis fatuus for the biggest exhibit of evidence. nuff said.

btw, sorry guys for hijacking the thread.
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jakev2.0
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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2007, 02:36:22 AM »

Hamelin's playing lacks bite and often sounds quite murky (listen to his frankly DISGUSTING Alkan on Youtube); I can assure you that this is not the way to play contrapuntal music. Berezovsky makes excellent use of the pedal in his Godowsky. It is for textural and tonal effects - not to cover anything up. If you listen to Godowsky's own recordings of his Schubert transcriptions you'll notice how obsessive he is about voicing and tone. Berezovsky does this superbly. I'm totally won over by his sensitivity to the lines in the musi. It's clear that Berezovsky has prepared the pieces very well ...hell, the album is a live concert that was distributed internationally. Hamelin should be lauded for playing obscure music that would sit on the shelf otherwise...but his performances of the Godowsky are perfunctory in character.
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jre58591
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2007, 02:44:26 AM »

i wont even bother replying to all that. youre impossible.
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jakev2.0
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2007, 02:45:07 AM »

Just keep an open mind to new pianists.
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jre58591
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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2007, 02:51:31 AM »

Just keep an open mind to new pianists.
ask any of my closer friends on this forum about how open my mind is to new pianists.

and actually, that statement should be redirected to you. you need to watch out for new pianists. youre too caught up in pianists from the so called "golden age" (yes, i know you have a few exceptions).
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2007, 03:04:00 AM »

. check ignis fatuus for the biggest exhibit of evidence. nuff said.

btw, sorry guys for hijacking the thread.

I'm actually shocked, his recording of Ignis fatuus is one of my favorite on his whole disc (also have it bootlegged from live recital, before he recorded it).  You can hear every note.  I will listen to Hamelin's again to compare them, but I've enjoyed every second of Berezovsky's playing of these etudes.

Walter Ramsey
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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

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« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2007, 03:06:34 AM »

well, i havent listened to the bootleg (i have it), actually, but the studio one is a bit muddy compared to hamelin, hatto, or grante. i cant hear that bottom voice in the left hand as clear either. in all fairness, i will reconsider and listen to the bootleg and studio recs in depth.
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2007, 03:50:09 AM »

well, i havent listened to the bootleg (i have it), actually, but the studio one is a bit muddy compared to hamelin, hatto, or grante. i cant hear that bottom voice in the left hand as clear either. in all fairness, i will reconsider and listen to the bootleg and studio recs in depth.

But do we have the same bootleg?  Mine is from Darmstadt, in 2004 or 2005 I cant remember.

Walter Ramsey
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jakev2.0
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« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2007, 03:56:15 AM »

Hi. Ramsey, can I trouble you to Sendspace-me the Berezovsky bootleg?
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jre58591
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« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2007, 04:45:18 AM »

seconded! i dont have the darmstadt one. id appreciate it very much and can offer you something in return if you wish.
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etudes
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« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2007, 11:22:45 AM »

Just keep an open mind to new pianists.
you should open your mind for upcoming greatest pianist ever...Ingolf Wunder  Cool
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« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2007, 11:33:58 AM »

you should open your mind for upcoming greatest pianist ever...Ingolf Wunder  Cool

He sure tickles those chromatics!  Cheesy
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« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2007, 11:42:50 AM »

EXCUSE ME! I thought this was a Joyce Hatto appreciation thread.  Its a bit bad mannered to steal the womans glory by discussing these wanabes in her thread. The woman was mistreated by the musical establishment during her lifetime and didnt recieve anything like the attention she deserved. At least give her the honour of your attention here. She was stunning in the classics. In my mind easily the equal of Haskil who was also cut off with a debilitating disease.  Though no competition named after Hatto. At least yet!
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daniel patschan
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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2007, 02:37:24 PM »

EXCUSE ME! I thought this was a Joyce Hatto appreciation thread.  Its a bit bad mannered to steal the womans glory by discussing these wanabes in her thread. The woman was mistreated by the musical establishment during her lifetime and didnt recieve anything like the attention she deserved. At least give her the honour of your attention here. She was stunning in the classics. In my mind easily the equal of Haskil who was also cut off with a debilitating disease.  Though no competition named after Hatto. At least yet!

Thank you !!!

Really guys, if you seriously listened to Joyce Hatto you would immediately recognize that she sticks little Wunder boy in her right pocket while playing some Godowsky studies with her left hand.
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« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2007, 05:16:24 AM »

In light of several of the above statements, this link is going to make an exceedingly amusing impact, I think:

http://www.pristineclassical.com/HattoHoax.html

Apologies if it's already been posted here (I got it off PW); here's the second link:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/newsMainTemplate.asp?storyID=2759&newssectionID=1

It's the real deal: Hatto was a hoax. I know that it won't mean anything right now since it's been exposed for all to see, but I personally have always been slightly suspicious of her recordings...not to mention uninspired by them...turns out, "her" Chopin-Godowsky recordings are actually Carlo Grante's, albeit sonically modified. It reminds me of that one guy who "plays" Alkan--Nanasakov, the REAL computer player...
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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2007, 06:13:47 AM »

Though no competition named after Hatto. At least yet!
ahahahah it's true. i can't wait for the skepto/thierry/araeth barber/busoni/finnisy concerto finals showdown  Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2007, 01:51:05 PM »

Fascinating!  I love it.  But, if she recorded concertos, surely the orchestra is credited.  Why doesn't somebody just ask someone who was in whatever orchestra?  There must be a conductor.  And how would her husband have engineered the concerto recordings?  It takes more than one person for such a task.

Walter Ramsey
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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2007, 02:41:56 PM »

I am speechless !!! That´s a story ! If this is true, i apologize !
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The New Concept: Scores for All Stages of Learning

On the recent Music Education Expo in London, Piano Street presented a new concept for sheet music publication. Depending on your own level of experience and where you are in the learning process of a particular piece, you may need fingering, pedal markings, practice and performance tips, or perhaps the right opposite - a clean Urtext score. Read more >>

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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2007, 03:17:19 PM »

In light of several of the above statements, this link is going to make an exceedingly amusing impact, I think:

http://www.pristineclassical.com/HattoHoax.html

Apologies if it's already been posted here (I got it off PW); here's the second link:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/newsMainTemplate.asp?storyID=2759&newssectionID=1

It's the real deal: Hatto was a hoax. I know that it won't mean anything right now since it's been exposed for all to see, but I personally have always been slightly suspicious of her recordings...not to mention uninspired by them...turns out, "her" Chopin-Godowsky recordings are actually Carlo Grante's, albeit sonically modified. It reminds me of that one guy who "plays" Alkan--Nanasakov, the REAL computer player...
It doesn't remind me of "Michael Nanasakov" - aka Junichi Nanasawa - at all, because he has never pretended that his products are anything other than what they actually are.

Best,

Alistair
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cmg
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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2007, 04:32:50 PM »

In light of several of the above statements, this link is going to make an exceedingly amusing impact, I think:

http://www.pristineclassical.com/HattoHoax.html

Apologies if it's already been posted here (I got it off PW); here's the second link:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/newsMainTemplate.asp?storyID=2759&newssectionID=1

It's the real deal: Hatto was a hoax. I know that it won't mean anything right now since it's been exposed for all to see, but I personally have always been slightly suspicious of her recordings...not to mention uninspired by them...turns out, "her" Chopin-Godowsky recordings are actually Carlo Grante's, albeit sonically modified. It reminds me of that one guy who "plays" Alkan--Nanasakov, the REAL computer player...

I haven't bothered to give this assinine and offensive rumor credence -- until now.  I KNOW (and have known) personally Carlo Grante AND Joyce Hatto, along with her widower William Barrington-Coupe.  Joyce's playing is the real thing and undoctored.  As much as I admire Carlo's ability, it doesn't compare to Joyce's and he himself would agree to that.  She is, quite literally, the greatest pianist in the history of recorded music.  Every leading critic in the UK and US has now been closely reviewing her recordings and pronouncing them nothing less than "benchmark recordings," outstripping Hamelin and everyone else.  Not one leading critic in an established, respected musical publication anywhere has detected a hoax.  And, yes, they've heard this stupid rumor, too, and have had too much intelligence to even bother mentioning it.  It's THAT absurd and ridiculous.

Not to mention cruel.   

Another great talent I know personally who knew Joyce personally -- especially in the last year of her life when she recorded an enormous bulk of her repertoire -- is the American pianist and Horowitz student Ivan Davis, who lives in Miami where he is (and has been) artist-in-residence with the University of Miami for years.  He has many letters and emails from Joyce, parrticulary in the last weeks of her life when she was sadly commenting on this hoax rumor and other issues. He also has recorded radio interviews from earlier years done for New Zealand broadcasts. 

All her life, the British musical estalishment shunned her, and now, even in death, people like you are trying to destroy her reputation and recorded legacy with patently absurd rumors.  What motivation could you possibly have for spreading this stupid and vicious rumor?  Because she's a woman?  Because she isn't a "Brand Name" like Hamelin who has had recording company PR departments behind him "sellling" him to you as the greatest pianist alive?  Why?

Beyond the stupidity of this rumor is the technical question of how ANY computer program could effectively doctor (and therefore IMPROVE) any pianist's playing where it would capture the extreme subtlety and refined and varied stylistic nuance that Joyce brings to her vast recorded output.  I'd think you'd be embarrassed to even suggest that this woman's recordings are a hoax based just simply on this technical impossibility.  Have you even LISTENED to any of her recordings? 

This Forum has reached a new low and you should be ashamed to spread this outrageous rumor on such a site.  I'm appalled, quite frankly. 
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daniel patschan
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2007, 05:22:51 PM »

I haven't bothered to give this assinine and offensive rumor credence -- until now.  I KNOW (and have known) personally Carlo Grante AND Joyce Hatto, along with her widower William Barrington-Coupe.  Joyce's playing is the real thing and undoctored.  As much as I admire Carlo's ability, it doesn't compare to Joyce's and he himself would agree to that.  She is, quite literally, the greatest pianist in the history of recorded music.  Every leading critic in the UK and US has now been closely reviewing her recordings and pronouncing them nothing less than "benchmark recordings," outstripping Hamelin and everyone else.  Not one leading critic in an established, respected musical publication anywhere has detected a hoax.  And, yes, they've heard this stupid rumor, too, and have had too much intelligence to even bother mentioning it.  It's THAT absurd and ridiculous.

Not to mention cruel.   

Another great talent I know personally who knew Joyce personally -- especially in the last year of her life when she recorded an enormous bulk of her repertoire -- is the American pianist and Horowitz student Ivan Davis, who lives in Miami where he is (and has been) artist-in-residence with the University of Miami for years.  He has many letters and emails from Joyce, parrticulary in the last weeks of her life when she was sadly commenting on this hoax rumor and other issues. He also has recorded radio interviews from earlier years done for New Zealand broadcasts. 

All her life, the British musical estalishment shunned her, and now, even in death, people like you are trying to destroy her reputation and recorded legacy with patently absurd rumors.  What motivation could you possibly have for spreading this stupid and vicious rumor?  Because she's a woman?  Because she isn't a "Brand Name" like Hamelin who has had recording company PR departments behind him "sellling" him to you as the greatest pianist alive?  Why?

Beyond the stupidity of this rumor is the technical question of how ANY computer program could effectively doctor (and therefore IMPROVE) any pianist's playing where it would capture the extreme subtlety and refined and varied stylistic nuance that Joyce brings to her vast recorded output.  I'd think you'd be embarrassed to even suggest that this woman's recordings are a hoax based just simply on this technical impossibility.  Have you even LISTENED to any of her recordings? 

This Forum has reached a new low and you should be ashamed to spread this outrageous rumor on such a site.  I'm appalled, quite frankly. 

I can only tell you: check out the SDC page. A clever guy analyzed Hatto´s Godowskies in comparison to Grante and Hamelin. You know what ? They are PERFECT MATCHES ! Very sad.
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ahinton
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« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2007, 05:36:17 PM »

Another great talent I know personally who knew Joyce personally -- especially in the last year of her life when she recorded an enormous bulk of her repertoire -- is the American pianist and Horowitz student Ivan Davis, who lives in Miami where he is (and has been) artist-in-residence with the University of Miami for years.  He has many letters and emails from Joyce, parrticulary in the last weeks of her life when she was sadly commenting on this hoax rumor and other issues. He also has recorded radio interviews from earlier years done for New Zealand broadcasts.
And Davis was, I believe, one of Grante's teachers. I'll return to him in a moment.

It's perhaps a pity that there's more than one thread about Joyce Hatto on this forum; maybe they should be merged somehow.

You may have read my piece in the other thread earlier today. In this, I tried to keep a balance view and present the few facts and possibilities of which I am aware. I would be most distressed to think that these recordings are indeed hoaxes and I am certainly not suggesting that they are; what I would say in more general terms, however, is that such things are technically possible to such an extent now that no one can ever guarantee that what they hear on a recording is what it is advertised as being on the package. Some people have used this story as an excuse to say that DVDs should become the norm as a consequnce, but this, too, is fatuous, in that it's simply harder, rather than impossible, to fake a DVD - and, inevitably, it will become easier with every second that goes by.

I have known Carlo Grante since the early 1990s, although I've not seen him since he played the Busoni Concerto in Rome almost 11 months ago. I did not know Joyce Hatto and have never met William Barrington-Coupe. I had not realised until you mentioned her letters to Ivan Davis that she was actually aware of hoax rumours during her final days.

Have you discussed the Hatto C/Gs with Carlo Grante and do you know if he has them and has heard them? (I've written to him today and sent him the relevant Gramophone and Pristine Audio URLs in case he has not already heard about this). I know that Marc-André Hamelin (whom I've known since the 1980s) has them, as has Jonathan Powell and each has spoken highly of them. OK, I admit that the first thing that either of them did when starting to listen to them would not have been to think "ah, I wonder whose recordings these really are?", but one would nevertheless conclude that one distinguished pianist who has recorded them all and another who has practised many if not all of them would very soon have begun to smell a rat had there been one to smell - and neither has revealed any suspicions to me or, as far as I know, to anyone else.

There remains far too little that is known about Hatto's life and career and this fact has, I think, helped to create a climate more easily amenable to the accusers' accusations. I see that her Scarlatti is also now being called into question in certain circles and the name of Carlo Grante (in the context of his own  truncated Scarlatti series for the now defunct Dante label) is being associated with this. What seems obvious is that, now that the journalists are gagging for it, this is going to run and run unless and until either Mr Barrington-Coupe admits to wholesale fraud on a vast scale or it is eventually proved in a court of law that the recordings are all genuine and he is accordingly wholly exonerated; if the latter is the case, the damages he will receive could be immense.

I disagree with you on the question of reference to this case on this forum; it is, after all, a piano forum and this is piano news, however unseemly it may be. Where I do agree with you, however, is in that people ought not to jump to conclusions to which they are hopelessly unqualified to jump and then present those conclusions on this forum as though they are incontrovertible fact.

Best,

Alistair
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2007, 05:39:28 PM »

I haven't bothered to give this assinine and offensive rumor credence -- until now.  I KNOW (and have known) personally Carlo Grante AND Joyce Hatto, along with her widower William Barrington-Coupe.  Joyce's playing is the real thing and undoctored.  As much as I admire Carlo's ability, it doesn't compare to Joyce's and he himself would agree to that.  She is, quite literally, the greatest pianist in the history of recorded music.  Every leading critic in the UK and US has now been closely reviewing her recordings and pronouncing them nothing less than "benchmark recordings," outstripping Hamelin and everyone else.  Not one leading critic in an established, respected musical publication anywhere has detected a hoax.  And, yes, they've heard this stupid rumor, too, and have had too much intelligence to even bother mentioning it.  It's THAT absurd and ridiculous.

Not to mention cruel.   

Another great talent I know personally who knew Joyce personally -- especially in the last year of her life when she recorded an enormous bulk of her repertoire -- is the American pianist and Horowitz student Ivan Davis, who lives in Miami where he is (and has been) artist-in-residence with the University of Miami for years.  He has many letters and emails from Joyce, parrticulary in the last weeks of her life when she was sadly commenting on this hoax rumor and other issues. He also has recorded radio interviews from earlier years done for New Zealand broadcasts. 

All her life, the British musical estalishment shunned her, and now, even in death, people like you are trying to destroy her reputation and recorded legacy with patently absurd rumors.  What motivation could you possibly have for spreading this stupid and vicious rumor?  Because she's a woman?  Because she isn't a "Brand Name" like Hamelin who has had recording company PR departments behind him "sellling" him to you as the greatest pianist alive?  Why?

Beyond the stupidity of this rumor is the technical question of how ANY computer program could effectively doctor (and therefore IMPROVE) any pianist's playing where it would capture the extreme subtlety and refined and varied stylistic nuance that Joyce brings to her vast recorded output.  I'd think you'd be embarrassed to even suggest that this woman's recordings are a hoax based just simply on this technical impossibility.  Have you even LISTENED to any of her recordings? 

This Forum has reached a new low and you should be ashamed to spread this outrageous rumor on such a site.  I'm appalled, quite frankly. 

What a passionate topic.  You are jumping to all sorts of conclusions (the hoax chatter is "cruel," people trying to "destroy her reputation," inventing all kinds of "motivations," etc.)  But I notice in all your reminiscience of Joyce Hatto, and Ivan Davis', you don't mention anything about hearing the playing live.  If you have, or if he has, please, tell us about it!  That is th eonly way to counteract these rumors: not mentioning letters or interviews, or passing personal acquaintances.

You ask how it is possible for a computer program to doctor playing - well, go to the pristine classics website and listen for yourself.  There they doctored published recordings, told us exactly what they did, and psoted the results.  I think it's compelling evidence.  But if it is true that someone doctored Carlo Grante recordings to make him sound like a great pianist, that person must be a genius for the ages, so someone deserves credit.

Walter Ramsey
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ahinton
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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2007, 05:50:17 PM »

if it is true that someone doctored Carlo Grante recordings to make him sound like a great pianist, that person must be a genius for the ages, so someone deserves credit.

Walter Ramsey

In one sense, that is indeed true. The producers at Altarus did it, however. The only problem is that it was so easy for them to do, because a great pianist is precisely what Carlo Grante demonstrates himself already to be in those recordings from the 1990s - and I can tell you that the only reason why editing them took so long was because the producer/engineer had to wade through a whole raft of complete takes to find the best material to stitch together in what were in most cases only two or three pieces per study - it was certainly not put together in that revoltingly contrived manner of stitching together this quaver to that semiquaver and Carlo Grante would almost certainly have walked out of the sessions if his work was to be treated in that appalling fashion.

Best,

Alistair
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« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2007, 08:55:14 PM »

What a passionate topic.  You are jumping to all sorts of conclusions (the hoax chatter is "cruel," people trying to "destroy her reputation," inventing all kinds of "motivations," etc.)  But I notice in all your reminiscience of Joyce Hatto, and Ivan Davis', you don't mention anything about hearing the playing live.  If you have, or if he has, please, tell us about it!  That is th eonly way to counteract these rumors: not mentioning letters or interviews, or passing personal acquaintances.

Walter Ramsey

I was rash and uninformed about the revelations regarding this very possible Hatto hoax.  I've been traveling for the past two weeks and pretty much out of touch with this controversy.  I should have read the links describing the evidence of a hoax before I responded, but such rumors have been floated for months now, but mostly from disgruntled, cynical pianists who pretty much detest everyone's playing but their own.  So, I dismissed it.

And, no, I have not heard from anyone who has actually heard Joyce play live.  Odd, isn't it, now that I think about it.     

My apologies for attacking those who presented this very convincing evidence.  I stand corrected.  And, I must say, very upset at this turn of events. 

Clearly, the alleged hoax involves ripping off the work of obviously very brilliant pianists, so at least I'm not embarrassed by my admiration of the recordings involved.

My question -- as it must be yours as well -- is why would anyone bother to perpetuate such a hoax?  Concert Artists is such a tiny label with no distributor, as I understand it, outside of the UK.  So, the alleged hoax couldn't possibly be for commercial reasons, right?  In fact, ordering from them is next to impossible.  Never once did a shipment arrive.  No loss to me, of course, since their policy is to ship first and ask for payment only upon receipt.  I have ordered, in the past, over 15 CDs -- none of which have ever arrived.  I have had to use other UK distributors. 

I would like to offer the anecdotal evidence I have that might possibly offer information that would refute the hoax, but it's private, privileged information.  And, even at that, it's not that substantial.  I can only say that Hatto and Barrington-Coupe's appearance of earnestness, honesty and integrity in email communications with me and others has been so convincing that even I am shocked that it could be otherwise.  Both have presented themselves as thoroughly guileless and honorable, motivated in these recordings only by a wish to document Hatto's mastery of a vast repertoire that cancer and critical disinterest prevented her from putting on display in public recitals.

But the evidence of a hoax is frighteningly persuasive.  Even in Hatto's last days -- in email communications to people other than myself -- she offered no hint whatsoever that something sinister was brewing.  In fact, I have seen transcripts of these emails in which she discusses her most recent recording projects, her deep gratitude for finally getting some recognition for her accomplishments, her stoicism in the face of cancer, and a total lack of bitterness at her fate.  Of course, only now does it occur to me that she herself may never have written those emails.  I find that to be horribly depressing.

And, yes, it occured to me months ago that a woman in her seventies suffering from cancer would be hard pressed to perform such difficult works.  Yet . . . I don't wish to be so cynical as to rule out such an eventuality.

But why would anyone do this?  An elaborate trick on the critics who dismissed her years ago?  Perhaps.  Worse, something pathological that even I don't want to think about.  I wonder if recording engineers will analyze her Dukas recording.  Here, too, is a chance to narrow it down.  I only know of two recordings of that sonata, the best being Hamelin's, and already said to pale before hers!  It's very confounding, isn't it?

I suppose if I hadn't had personal contact with the late artist, her husband and others who thought they had known her well, I wouldn't be so passionate about this topic.  If this truly is a hoax, it would be very hard not to feel betrayed.
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« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2007, 10:14:47 PM »

read here for more sense on this topic:

http://www.dasdc.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8631&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Quite an interesting technical analysis was made on these recordings.
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« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2007, 01:00:55 AM »

I have still seen no credible eveidence that the recordings claiming to be hers are fake.  I think the discussion here is distasteful. If it must go on could it transfer to another thread.
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« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2007, 03:56:51 AM »

Dear cmg,

Sorry to hear about your disappointment.  Here are two thoughts.  When you said

I KNOW (and have known) personally Carlo Grante AND Joyce Hatto, along with her widower William Barrington-Coupe. 

You could have said more clearly that you had email exchange that you believed to have been with Ms. Hatto.  I would love to know more about your relationship with Carlo Grante.

And by the way, email contact and direct mail made it very easy for me to get my copy of the Hatto Chop-Gods.  I really like the recording, I find the musicianship quite elegant and I like the sound.  If the recording has been doctored, oh well, at least it was done in good taste.  The CDs have a respectable place in my collection regardless of whether such performances ever occurred beyond the digital realm.

The CDs were expensive, though, but then, not so much when you factor in the very nice sampler with some Bach-Liszt and a very respectable Verdi-Liszt trovatore.

Add to your list of Dukas a very nice recording by Hubal (whom I never heard live either).  Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2007, 05:41:25 AM »

I have still seen no credible eveidence that the recordings claiming to be hers are fake.  I think the discussion here is distasteful. If it must go on could it transfer to another thread.

Look at the post above your own frickin head.
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Please, at the very least credit me with the humility it requires to partake in discourse with lesser individuals for the sake of their enlightment. I am afterall a charitable being Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2007, 07:16:10 AM »

If Hatto is truly a fake, then the piano queens who drooled and creamed over "her" recordings are going to feel like prized horses' asses! (Especially "critic" Jed Distler--what a tool.)
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« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2007, 08:04:01 AM »

A game:  identify the source recording of the ton of repertoire that would be subject to this.

C'mon, fess up.  You got some too.  I got some Mozart sonatas that sound pretty dry.  Those may be harder to spot, as there are so many choices, but there is some obscure repertoire there.

Maybe the final result of all this will be attention drawn to a bunch of pianists who made excellent recordings that are not so well know.

Yefim Bronfman, did you also record the war sonatas?
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