New classical recording becomes hot property

A classical record label suffered a major setback when master copies of its debut projects were stolen during a burglary in London. The files were stored on a laptop belonging to Court Lane Music, which was taken during a break-in at an apartment near London's South Bank.

The material included a choral disc scheduled for possible release on the Naxos label, and the final edit of a world premiere recording of Imogen Holst's string chamber music Imogen Holst was daughter of Gustav Holst and assistant to Benjamin Britten. The photo above shows Holst and Britten together in the 1950s. The Holst disc, which had already been previewed on BBC Radio, was due for release on October 22nd to celebrate the composer's centenary, but will now be postponed.

Thomas Hewitt Jones, producer at Court Lane Music, said: "We are absolutely devastated. This recording represented several months of work. Thankfully,the intruders did not take all of our backup drives, so we're hopeful we can salvage most of the disc from the original source files of the Imogen Holstrecording session. But we will have to re-record the choral disc in early 2008."

Thomas, a songwriter and TV/Film composer, also lost many original compositions that were stored on the stolen computers. Despite the loss, a promotional live tour of music by Imogen Holst and Frank Bridge will still be going ahead in November, with performances at the Holst Museum, Cheltenham, and the Britten-Pears Library in Aldeburgh.

Imogen Holst minitour November 2007
Cheltenham - 2 November, St Andrew's Church (in association with the HolstMuseum)Swansea - 3 November, St Mary's Church
Aldeburgh - 4 November, Britten-Pears Library
London Hampstead - 7 November, Burgh House
All concerts start at 7.30pm. Tickets online or by phone 020 7060 0607. Cheltenham tickets (2 November) from the Holst Museum on 01242 524846

More on the Imogen Holst centenary here.
Picture credit Britten-Pears Foundation. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


So, they'll spend ~$80K to make a recording but not $250 for an offsite backup?

Is this a joke and/or publicity stunt?
Pliable said…
Richard, true but somewhat harsh.

There are other examples of losses like this which may seem careless, but which are artistically disastrous. Here is another one with a Britten connection.

Other examples of lost manuscripts and recordings welcome.
Anonymous said…
Small suggestion - it would help if you could set links given inside a comment to open in a new browser window. Today, such links open inside the small comment window ... which can't be maximized and is quite useless for looking at a site.

Thanks ...
Anonymous said…
Too fast with "publish" ... I also meant to say that I know there are ways to force a link to open in a new window, but it's friendlier to do it on the user's behalf for the benefit of those who may not know the technique.
Pliable said…
Scott, my previous attempts to open links within comments in a new window have been blocked by Blogger - it won't accept the attribute "TARGET".

I was going to post the complete code and error message here to show what I tried, but Blogger won't let me!

If anyone cares to email me HTML that opens a new window from within Blogger comments I'll gratefully use it.
Anonymous said…
...HTML that opens a new window from within Blogger comments I'll gratefully use it.

Aha ... my sympathies! I'm no HTML whiz, and have no idea how one might fool the Blogger SW.

As a poor second-best, I suppose one could follow a link by something such as ... (Right-click link & open in a new window).

If computers weren't so useful, I'd take a sledgehammer to mine ...
rchrd said…
Ahh, blaming computers again.
I would roast the owner of that laptop first. Anyone dumb enough to have many hours of labor sitting on a laptop without multiple backups on CD/DVD or external hard drives should not be working in this field.

Back in the bad old days of tape, the tapes were so big and bulky the worst thing that could happen is leaving them in a car in the sun all day, or dropping a latte on them.

The laptop was stolen not for what was contained within, but for the laptop itself. In this digital age, people need to be trained properly on how to handle content. And in this case, it wasn't the computer's fault.

But tragedies do happen. Like the time Christian Wolff left his guitar in his car after a performance in San Francisco of a new piece for electric guitar that Morton Feldman wrote for him. He discovered later that his guitar was stolen, and in the case was the ONLY copy of Feldman's score.

Luckily, the performance was recorded (this was in the early 60's), but then the tape went missing for 40 years until it was found recently in the Other Minds archive of tapes from KPFA radio!

Always backup your data!

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