For my birthday, I was given the mega iPod video. I don't have any videos on it though because it is not yet possible to load a lawfully purchased DVD on to the iTunes store on my MacBook Pro and then import it to my iPod. So, I have been importing lots and lots of lawfully purchased CDs. When you insert a CD into your iTunes library, many things happen before you import it. A story in the New York Times on February 17th by Alan Riding, reporting from Paris, reveals an unexpected one.
The story, entitled "A Pianist’s Recordings Draw Praise, but Were They All Hers?," concerns the late British pianist Joyce Hatto, who Mr. Riding reports, "was rediscovered by a small group of musicians and critics who contended that her recordings of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Liszt and others ranked alongside those of the 20th century’s most exceptional virtuosos." He also observes, that "she may have been less prolific than she seemed. ... Ms. Hatto’s reputation for excellence and originality has been shaken by a charge of plagiarism. Gramophone, the London music monthly, has presented evidence that several of the recordings issued under her name were in fact copied from recordings of the same music by other pianists."
Here is where the iTunes angle comes in:
"Jed Distler, a composer and music critic who was among Ms. Hatto’s admirers, contacted Mr. Inverne [of Gramophone] with a strange story. When he put the Hatto CD of the Liszt études into his computer, Mr. Inverne recounted, “his iTunes player identified the disc as, yes, the Liszts, but not a Hatto recording.” Instead, it identified Mr. Simon as the performer. "
"Looking for scientific evidence of a hoax, Mr. Inverne then sent the Hatto and Simon recordings to Mr. Rose, a former sound engineer for the BBC. Mr. Rose said that the Liszt recordings were easy to identify as those made by Mr. Simon, but that the Nojima recording had been 'manipulated' to disguise its origin."
“'If all this is true,'” Mr. Inverne said, “'what strikes me is that this sort of piracy was made possible by technology, and later advances in technology uncovered it.