Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fascinating fakery

About a year ago, a classical pianist emerged as a phenomina on the Internet. A woman, battling cancer, released a series of CD's produced by her husband. They were difficult to obtain, but caused such a stir that she was championed as a great artist by Gramophone magazine.

There were doubts, however. Some were skeptical she could have developed such a range and technique without being heard from before. Turns out the skeptics were right.

Someone at the magazine noticed that when he put one of her cd's in his computer, the CDDB (used to automatically put in track and artist listings in iTunes and other programs) identified it as a recording by a different artist. Indeed, it was an exact duplicate of a major label release. Other investigations revealed clumsy attempts to mask the true origins of her recordings by speeding them up or adding equalization.

Classical afficiandos and reviewers couldn't hear that the recordings were exactly like those by well known performers in the first place? Just how critical are these fanboys in evaluating performances?

article at Gramophone

analysis of the recordings at a classical music site

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