Monday, October 27, 2014

We all make mistakes


Norman Lebrecht recently asked* whether Forbes is aware that Barrett Wissman, who is writing arts reviews for the magazine, has a fraud conviction. Which prompts me to ask if Sinfini Music (aka Universal Music), to which Norman Lebrecht contributes reviews and interviews, is aware that subsequent to a civil action being brought in London's High Court of Justice in 2007 alleging "inaccuracies" in the text, Lebrecht's publisher agreed to recall and destroy all copies of his book "Maestros, Masterpieces & Madness"? Here are extracts from the New York Times report:
The book, “Maestros, Masterpieces & Madness: The Secret Life and Shameful Death of the Classical Record Industry,” was released in Britain in July. [Naxos founder Klaus Heymann] sued the publisher, Penguin Books, in the High Court of Justice, saying the book wrongly accused him of “serious business malpractices” based on false statements. He cited at least 15 statements he called inaccurate. In a settlement with Mr. Heymann, Penguin issued a statement in court saying it apologized for “the hurt and damage which he has suffered.” It agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for legal fees and to a charity. “Penguin Books has also undertaken not to repeat these allegations and to seek the return of all unsold copies of the book,” the statement said.

In a telephone interview from Hong Kong, where he lives, Mr. Heymann said: “For me it’s beyond belief how any journalist in five pages can make so many factual mistakes. It’s shocking. Also, he really doesn’t understand the record business.” ... Reviewers have cited inaccuracies in previous books by Mr. Lebrecht, who is a columnist for The Evening Standard of London and has a BBC radio program. In his 1997 book, “Who Killed Classical Music?,” Mr. Lebrecht said 750,000 people had heard Pl├ícido Domingo sing in Central Park when the number was closer to 100,000, and called the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager Rudolf Bing a public servant.
We all make mistakes, and it is understandable that both Barrett Wissman and Norman Lebrecht have made differing errors of judgement in the past. But blatant hypocrisy is less understandable.

* All links to 'Slipped Disc' are indirect to avoid page rank inflation; the reference sited should appear at the top of the Google search results. Header photo was taken by my friend and Moroccan resident Brendan Hynes. - we rented one of Brendan excellent apartments in Tamraght a few years back. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).

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