Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Slipped facts

'Jean-Rodolphe Kars was born in India to Austrian-Jewish refugees and was building quite a career, in the 1970s when, under the influence of Olivier Messiaen, he retired from playing in 1981 and, like Liszt, entered holy orders. Kars went one further than Liszt: he joined a monastery and was never heard from again.'
That is Norman Lebrecht reviewing a new Deutsche Grammophon release of Liszt's piano music and, of course, he has his facts wrong. If we overlook the fast and loose use of dates the statement that "Jean-Rodolphe Kars... joined a monastery and was never heard from again" is quite simply untrue. As my 2009 profile of Kars explained, having taken Holy Orders he continues to give occasional lecture recitals on Messiaen and in 2005 released the CD seen above of Hassidic Jewish piano music on the French Editions de l'Emmanuel label. Read the facts, as opposed to the fiction, about Jean-Rodolphe Kars here.

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4 comments:

Pliable said...

An entire blog could be devoted to chronicling Lebrecht's fictions.

As another example he says "Kars went one further than Liszt: he joined a monastery...".

In fact, as my profile detailed, Jean Rodolphe-Kars joined the Paray-le-Monial centre of the Emmanuel Community. This is not an enclosed order (monastery), it is a Catholic evangelical organisation that works in the community.

http://www.emmanuelcommunity.com/paray.html

Need I say more?

Pliable said...

I notice that in the July edition of The Strad magazine Lebrecht has a piece titled What do you expect of music critics?

Quite so.

Andrew said...

I recently posted a comment on his blog, gently needling a particularly self satisfied post of his, and, surprise surprise, it didn't make it through moderation.

The first time I remember looking at an NL column and thinking, 'er, no, Norman', was when he guffawed with faux incredulity when 'Naxos' announced distribution of a Berlin Philharmonic live label with an ‘oh how the mighty have fallen’ tone. He said:

“And in a snub to the elite music industry, the orchestra has licensed its anniversary CD set to the Hong Kong cheapo label, Naxos. If Simon Rattle had wanted to signal a Blairite agenda of access and education, he could hardly have struck a mightier chord.”

It was very insulting to the amazing work Naxos has done, and it was just plain misleading. He went on in the article to very clearly state that the discs would be released on the Naxos label, which they weren’t. It was handled by Select, the distribution company established by Naxos, I believe, who are hardly the cheapo nobodies he implies, but distributors of Chandos, Hyperion, Bis, CPO, Glyndebourne Festival Opera... the list goes on. His whole article was based on duff information and even I, at the time a 22 year old shop assistant from Basingstoke, could see he was wrong.

Pliable said...

'His whole article was based on duff information...'

Quite so.

http://www.overgrownpath.com/2006/11/norman-lebrecht-blusters-as-blogs.html