Turmoil over pianist's work

PUBLISHED: 10:42 22 February 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

THE classical music world has been thrown into turmoil after claims that a music producer released recordings of celebrated musicians under his late wife s name. William Barrington-Coupe of Tall Trees, Royston, released more than 100 CDs of performances b

THE classical music world has been thrown into turmoil after claims that a music producer released recordings of celebrated musicians under his late wife's name.

William Barrington-Coupe of Tall Trees, Royston, released more than 100 CDs of performances by his wife and admired pianist, Joyce Hatto.

But the authenticity of Ms Hatto's masterpieces, who died of cancer last year at the age of 77, has been brought into question after research by critics at Gramophone magazine is said to reveal some of her CDs are identical to earlier recordings made by other musicians.

In addition, the magazine also claimed that it found a track had been digitally manipulated.

Her performances were released by her husband on the classical music label Concert Artist.

Despite battling cancer for 36 years she mastered a range of repertoire which caused rumours to circulate on the internet, questioning the true origins of her recordings.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Barrington-Coupe 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."

Mr Barrington-Coupe is no longer selling the recordings in question.

When The Crow spoke to Mr Barrington-Coupe yesterday (Wednesday) he declined to give an interview.

But he promised that he would be talking to The Crow next week.

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