FAQ: Matanya Ophee's Strange Arithmetic

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How did CP really record the prelude to BWV 1006a?

According to CP's secretary, CP recorded just two takes of the prelude to BWV 1006a, with a capo on the first fret, at the speed you hear. These two takes were then spliced together for the recording whose speed so impressed Mr Ophee.

Q: But doesn't Ana Vidovic play the Prelude from the 4th Lute Suite MUCH, MUCH faster than even CP?

Vidovic plays it in 3:24, CP in 3:35. That's 5% faster.

Q: Can Ophee explain the arithmetic in Vidovic's performance?

No. That might involve arithmetic.

Q: Why isn't Ophee accusing Ana Vidovic of fraud?

Ophee attributed Vidovic's speed to "a natural inborn facility". He had never met her, or heard her play, or listened to her recordings. He just knows stuff like that.

Q: So Ophee's hoax was just some kind of joke?

So he would now have us believe.

Q: Which of Ophee's assertions are jokes, which are serious, and how are we to tell the difference?

I have no answer to that, but here is Mr Ophee's own answer to a closely related question:

Once you lied to me, and to the general public at large, there is no reason for me to accept anything you say as true. Whatever the facts of the matter may be, I am not obliged to believe them when uttered by those who have lied to me.

--- Matanya Ophee, 11 March 2003, posted to rec.music.classical.guitar

Q: Isn't Ophee ashamed of himself?

Not so far as anyone can tell.

Q: Aren't you ashamed of yourself?

Yes, but we were consenting adults, and the goat insisted, and what does my private life have to do with Bach anyway?

Q: Seriously, please.

I wrote this up some while back, to inform those whom Mr Ophee was continuing to deceive, but held off on posting it so Ophee would have every opportunity to acknowledge his mistakes/lies/jokes. In retrospect, posting this narrative two years ago might have saved some aggravation.

To end on a lighter note:

Already in 1960, when I studied with [...], he warned me that the guitar has this power to attract all sorts of fringe elements whose only purpose in life is to meddle and impose their nonsense on real musicians. Not much has changed since 1960, 45 years ago, except that now these fringe elements are able to function with impunity on the Internet....The reason I get entangled with them...is that some of the information they disseminate is simply historically false...

The price we pay for telling the truth is that as soon as we say something publicly, we give these non-entities a chance to attack us. The only known remedy, is to either ignore them, which is, admittedly often difficult, or avoid posting in a public forum such as this.

--- Matanya Ophee, 19 October 2005, posted to the e-borneo newsgroup for classical guitar

Copyright 2005 William D Clinger.

Last updated 26 October 2005.