Monday, October 31, 2011

Rich dad’s ‘frame & fortune’ forgeries

Himan Brown (front) was a pioneer in radio drama and suspense at CBS in New York in the 1940s, dying last year and leaving one last mystery to his son and daughter.
From New York Post: Rich dad’s ‘frame & fortune’ forgeries
Talk about an artless exit.

A legendary Manhattan radio producer with a vast collection of paintings and sculptures has given a final, cruel sign-off to his estranged family -- from beyond the grave.

Himan Brown died last year at age 99, after an illustrious career that helped him amass a $40 million estate, including artworks intended to go to his kids after his death.

But instead of leaving his son Barry and daughter Hilda priceless paintings, Himan swapped out nearly two dozen works by Degas, Manet, Renoir and others with worthless forgeries, a new lawsuit alleges.

The deception went unnoticed until December, when Barry Brown finally got the art his father promised him.

“Had these paintings been authentic, they would have had significant value,” Barry Brown claims in a $27 million Manhattan federal court lawsuit against his own dad’s estate.

Himan and Mildred Brown were married for 34 years as he pioneered golden-age radio dramas like Grand Central Station, Dick Tracy, and Inner Sanctum Mysteries.

The couple collected art by the masters until they split in 1967. Many pieces graced the walls of their Central Park West home, and some were gifted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mildred got $1,500 in monthly alimony, the 1966 Corvair, and possession of 34 artworks in the divorce, including the 1921 Pablo Picasso piece “La Maternit√©.”

There was just one caveat, Mildred insisted: the 34 paintings and sculptures, a fraction of the overall collection, must go to the kids once Mildred and Himan were both dead.

“Throughout [Barry’s] life, his father would discuss the artwork with [Barry] and his mother,” according to court papers. “Himan Brown would review the artwork, the signatures on the artwork, and would represent unequivocally that the artworks were the authentic works of named artists and were very valuable.”

Himan retook possession of the 34 artworks, including “La Maternit√©” and a Renoir work titled “Paysages √† Cagnes,” when Mildred died in 1974.

But the transaction did not go smoothly. In the years that followed, Barry, now 77 and living in Santa Rosa Valley, Calif., accused his dad of trying to sell off the inheritance Mildred secured for her kids. An ugly court battle ensued.

The 2002 case was ultimately dismissed.

The biggest clue: The forgeries all have the same stretchers -- the wood underneath the canvas -- which is an “inconceivable” coincidence, said lawyer Malcolm Taub.

As for what happened to the real paintings? Barry doesn’t know -- but he wants to find out where his dad hid them, or if they were already sold.

Only two significant works were real, according to court papers: The $10 million Picasso, and Armand Guillaumin’s “Rocks on Riviera,” which Barry and Hilda sold at auction last year for $120,000.

“At the end of the day, we have one painting,” Taub said.

His father’s betrayal is the final fracture in a decades-long family rift.

“There’s a lot of blood on the sand,” Taub said. “This is a tortured, tortured case.”

Peter Coke's Paul Temple radio ouvre

The serials starring Peter Coke as Temple, and Marjorie Westbury as his wife Steve (Steve being a nickname because as a journalist she'd used this name as her pseudonym.) (The earlier serials starring Kim Peacock as Temple no longer exist.)

I'll be reviewing the extant ones in chronological order.

All the serials - except the Geneva Mystery, are in 8 parts.

1. Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case (29th March to 17th May 1954). This story was remade in 1959, also starring Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury. Both versions are available.

2. Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery Another remake of a previous serial starring Kim Peacock as Temple. (Aired in June and July of 1955).

3. Paul Temple and the Lawrence Affair. (11th April to 30th May 1956).

4. Paul Temple and the Spencer Affair. (13th November 1957 to 1st January 1958).

5. Paul Temple and the Van Dyke Affair. Remake of a previous serial, in which Peter Coke played one of the villains. (1st January to 19th February 1959).

6. Paul Temple and the Conrad Case. (2nd March to 20th April 1959).

7. Paul Temple and the Gilbert Case. A remake of the 1954 serial. (22nd November 1959 to December, 1959).

8. Paul Temple and the Margo Mystery. (1st January to 19th February 1961).

9. Paul Temple and the Jonathan Mystery. A remake of a previous serial. (14th October to 2nd December 1963.)

10. Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery. (11th April to 16th May 1965) (Only 6 episodes..

11. Paul Temple and the Alex Affair. A remake of a previous serial. (26th February to 21st March 1968).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Theatre Music: The 39 Steps

I have not seen Patrick Barlow's play, The 39 Steps, but I have seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie, and apparently it is an adaption of the movie, rather than John Buchan's book.

I'm also familiar with Patrick Barlow's work - I love his Theatre of Brent offerings, which you can hear on BBC Radio 4 Extra every now and again.

In his Theatre of Brent stuff, two actors play multiple roles, and it is the same with The 39 Steps - where I believe 3 actors play multiple roles - only on stage rather than on the radio.

I know the play would be a lot of fun...but I sure as heck am not going to pay $100 for a ticket to Broadway to see it... even if I lived anywhere near Broadway. If Patrick Barlow were in the cast I would, admittedly, but otherwise....

Anyway, I love this soundtrack.

The music is not all from The 39 Steps, as you can see from the cover, it is "Music From & Inspired By West End."

So we've got:
1. The 39 Steps: The 39 Steps / Highland Hotel / Mr. Memory / Finale The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra -- 4:04 minutes

2. The Lady Vanishes - Prelude The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra -- 3:04 minutes

3. Dial M For Murder - Main Title / The Telephone / The Trap / Finale The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra 7:12 minutes

4. Psycho: Narrative For String Orchestra (prelude / The City / Rainstorm / Murder / Finale) The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra -- 7:24 minutes

5. The Man Who Knew Too Much: Prelude The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra -- 2:15 minutes

6. Vertigo: Scene D'amour The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra -- 5:08 minutes

7. Under Capricorn: Suite The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra -- 7:04 minutes

8. Stage Fright - Rhapsody The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra 4:58 minutes

9. Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Title Theme (funeral March Of The Marionettes) The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra 4:17 minutes

10. The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex: Love Theme The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra 1:39 minutes

11. Coronation Scot Queen's Hall Light Orchestra 3:01 minutes. [This is the theme to the Paul Temple radio mysteries]

12. The Devil's Gallop Queen's Hall Light Orchestra 1:20 minutes

13. Embassy Stomp -- Ambrose And His Embassy Club Orchestra 2:39 minutes

14. Love Is The Sweetest Thing Al Bowlly With Ray Noble And The New Mayfair Dance Orchestra -- 3.29 minutes