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Hallé graphic

The Hallé Orchestra's
Own Label

It's a particular privilege to be asked by the Hallé Orchestra to produce the sessions for its new in-house label.

The orchestra is clearly in wonderful form under Mark Elder, its Music Director since September 2000.

The sessions are of remarkable concentration and passion, and the reviews (below) speak for themselves.


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CD HLL 7500 CD HLL 7501 CD HLL 7502
ELGAR: Symphony No 1 in A flat ELGAR: Enigma Variations NIELSEN: Symphony No 5
"This is superior in almost every regard to the recent highly praised version by the LSO under Sir Colin Davis on the LSO's own label; it is far better recorded and is better conducted...The recordings, produced by Andrew Keener, are very good..." (Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, June 2003)

"This is a magnificent beginning for the Hallé's record label...I doubt if [the First Symphony] was ever better played [under Harty and Barbirolli] than it is here...The performance of In the South is equally resplendent." (David Cairns, Sunday Times, 13 April 2003)

"Terrific Cockaigne... production and engineering (Andrew Keener and Simon Eadon) top-notch." (Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone, July 2003)

"The producer is Andrew Keener, a guarantor of sensitive recording...The Variations are given a magnificent performance.  If you want to sample what Elder is achieving with the Hallé, listen to Troyte with its thunderous timpani and cutting-edge strings."  (Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph)

"A stupendous performance...The astonishing side-drum outburst is brilliantly recorded and played..." (Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph)

"...a performance of strong character and palpable dedication." (Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone, July 2003)

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ELGAR: Symphony No 2 in E flat ELGAR: Cello Concerto ( Heinrich Schiff); Romance for Bassoon; Falstaff
"The clear inner lines - beautifully recorded by Andrew Keener - allow the dark complexities of the first movement's development to unravel." (Stephen Pettit, London Evening Standard)

"Mark Elder has emerged as an Elgar conductor of the first rank ... the sound is superlative." 
(Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph)

"A gorgeous disc, beautifully recorded, and a must for all Elgarians."
(Hugh Canning, Sunday Times Classical CD of the Week, 26 September 2004)

"If any more evidence were needed that the Hallé Orchestra has attained a level of excellence not heard since the Barbirolli era, this latest of its own-label discs is it."
(Matthew Rye, Daily Telegraph Classics CD of the Week, 9 October 2004)

"The account of Falstaff makes a powerful case for the "symphonic study" as one of Elgar's most captivating and brilliantly inventive scores."
(David Cairns, Sunday Times)

Click Here to be transported to a website dedicated to these discs


Takacs logo

The Complete
Beethoven String Quartets
played by the Takács Quartet

This Award-winning set (2003 Grammy for Early Quartets; 2005 Gramophone Award for the Late Quartets) has been greeted with universal acclaim.
Recorded in St George's Bristol with Simon Eadon engineering, these sessions are among the most rewarding I have ever produced.

"Just wanted to say thanks again for the whole project - you have transformed the way we record. It always used to be the least effective part of our game, and your handling of sessions is masterly. You always create an atmosphere which encourages one to do one's best".
Edward Dusinberre, Leader of the Takács Quartet


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Beethoven: Early String Quartets Beethoven: Middle String Quartets Beethoven: Late String Quartets
  "...readings which make one think anew about this great music ... recording of the finest quality." (Penguin Guide Yearbook 2002/3)

"The recorded quality is high ... this promises to be among the very finest complete Beethoven quartet cycles." (International Record Review, June 2002)

WINNER, Chamber Music category, Gramophone Awards, 2002
WINNER, Chamber Music category, Japanese Recording Academy

"As in the previous issues, these CDs, recorded in Bristol and produced under the unostentatious yet meticulous direction of Andrew Keener, are models of sensitive yet full-blooded chamber music-making."
(International Record Review, February 2005)

"This performance (Grosse Fuge) is the climax of a superlative set that all lovers of this sublime music will want to acquire."
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times Classical CD of the Week, 23 January 2005)

"Probably the finest modern set of these great quartets."
(Stephen Johnson, BBC Music Magazine, March 2005)

Click Here for more about the Takács Quartet


Further Recent Productions

sicc225_a5a.jpg (246522 bytes) TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto, etc. (Joshua Bell/Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas)   Sony Classical
Engineer: Arne Akselberg

"Makes me wish I'd been there." (Andrew McGregor, CD Review, BBC Radio 3)

67501-2_a5a.jpg (189803 bytes) RACHMANINOV: Piano Concertos/Paganini Rhapsody (Stephen Hough/Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton   Hyperion
Engineer: Jeff Mee
"You always bring with you that air of the 'special' to your work and your ease of demeanor is universally admired in my orchestra." (Emanuel Borok, Concertmaster, Dallas Symphony Orchestra)

"As fine as anything Hough has done on disc to date." (Andrew Clements, The Guardian)
"... no recordings of the concertos have the sonic allure of these, recorded live in concert at Dallas' Meyerson Center by top producer Andrew Keener." (Bradley Bambarger, NJ.com, December 2004)

psc1184_a5a.jpg (233812 bytes) BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral); Leonora Overtures 1-3 (Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard)   Simax
Engineers: Geoff Miles & Andrew Hallifax

"A large part of the success of this release must go to the recording team led by Andrew Keener." (Laurence Vittes, Audiophile Audition)

camerata_a5a.jpg (149352 bytes) MAHLER: (arr. Erwin Stein): Symphony No. 4 in G major (Manchester Camerata/Douglas Boyd)   Avie
Engineer: Simon Eadon

"Andrew Keener's production is the crispest, most immediate the score has received on disc." (David Gutman, The Gramophone, August 2005)


cda67331-2_a2c.jpg (57184 bytes) SAINT-SAËNS: The Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra (Stephen Hough/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo)   Hyperion
Engineers: Tony Faulkner & Mike Clements

RECORD OF THE YEAR, Gramophone Awards, 2002

"...demonstration sound quality."  (Penguin Guide Yearbook 2002/3)

470 847-2_a2c.jpg (30222 bytes) BEETHOVEN: String Quartets, "Razumovsky" Op 59, 1-3; "Harp" Op 74   (Takács Quartet)   Decca
Engineer: Simon Eadon
WINNER, Chamber Music category, Gramophone Awards, 2002

WINNER, Chamber Music category, Japanese Recording Academy
"...readings which make one think anew about this great music ... recording of the finest quality." (Penguin Guide Yearbook 2002/3)
"The recorded quality is high ... this promises to be among the very finest complete Beethoven quartet cycles." (International Record Review, June 2002)
471 331-2_a2c.jpg (56590 bytes) CHAMINADE: Songs and Music for Two Pianos  (Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano/Bengt Forsberg, piano/Peter Jablonski, piano)   Deutsche Grammophon
Engineer: Andrew Wedman

WINNER, Vocal Music category, Gramophone Awards, 2002
"A totally entrancing CD from two of the greatest explorers of repertory."  
(Gramophone, February 2002)

Other Recent Productions

cda67373_a36.jpg (55939 bytes) MOZART: Two Piano Quartets  (Paul Lewis and the Leopold String Trio)   Hyperion
Engineer: Simon Eadon

"When these musicians played these quartets at the 2000 Edinburgh Festival, I wrote that 'every bar sounded fresh-minted in the hands of these wonderful young artists...'. Almost four years on, their performances retain the same youthful freshness."  (Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, 18 May 2003)

0895052000_a2c.jpg (46239 bytes) BEETHOVEN and MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concertos  (Joshua Bell/Camerata Salzburg/Sir Roger Norrington)     Sony Classical
Engineer: Arne Akselberg

"A strong, distinctive reading."  (Penguin Guide Yearbook, 2002)

cda67351-2_a2c.jpg (35699 bytes) MESSIAEN: Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant- Jésus   (Steven Osborne, piano)   Hyperion
Engineer: Tony Faulkner
Critics' Choice 2002, Gramophone
"Hyperion's presentation, like the recorded sound, complements Osborne's magnificent grasp of the music." (International Record Review, November, 2002)
"The recording is ideally responsive to the sheer range of sound that [Osborne] draws from the instrument."  (Gramophone, October, 2002)
cda67347_a2c.jpg (37518 bytes) SCHUBERT: Piano Trio in E flat major, D929  (The Florestan Trio)   Hyperion
Engineer: Tony Faulkner

"Another superb performance ... as before, the recording is completely lifelike and well balanced."
(Gramophone, November, 2002)

psc1181_a18.jpg (49003 bytes) BEETHOVEN: Piano Concertos 1 and 2 (Boris Berezovsky/Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard)   Simax Classics   Engineer: Erik Gard Amundsen
"The recordings are beautifully focussed and refined and I can scarcely wait to hear this superlative young pianist and his warmly sympathetic companions in music-making in the three remaining concertos." (Gramophone, July 2001)
"The recording is gorgeous: beautifully balanced, wide in range and utterly natural in timbre."
(International Record Review, July/Aug 2001)
ode990-2t_a_a18.jpg (63886 bytes) BRAHMS: The Four Symphonies (Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Paavo Berglund) Ondine
Engineer: Eberhard Sengpiel
I produced these recordings in Baden-Baden, Germany, half way through the COE's spring 2000 tour. The size of orchestra is similar to that with which Brahms would have been familiar in Meiningen. In Baden-Baden we recorded 'live', with just a single day (scarily intense but stimulating!) after the two concerts to 'patch' all four works. A review by the Gramophone follows -
ode990-2t_b_a18.jpg (69306 bytes) BRAHMS: The Four Symphonies (Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Paavo Berglund) Ondine
Review: "A good example [of this set's care for balance] occurs at around 4'58" in the first movement of the First Symphony, where rising cellos soar above descending staccato violins.  When the process is reversed a few bars later, you can actually hear the change in perspective, which scotches any notion that it's all been manipulated from the recording console (not that producer Andrew Keener would ever countenance such a thing!)."  (Gramophone, August 2001)
cda67270_a18.jpg (75635 bytes) HOLST: The Planets: Pluto (Colin Matthews/Women of the Hallé Choir/Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder) Hyperion
Engineer: Tony Faulkner
This premier recording of Colin Matthews' imaginative addition to Holst's suite was recorded in Manchester's Bridgewater Hall by the orchestra which commissioned the work.
"...this has few rivals as a performance, even fewer in terms of outstanding natural sound."
(International Record Review, June 2001)
bwv 988_a18.jpg (39800 bytes) BACH: Keyboard concertos, Goldberg Variations (Anthony Molinaro/Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields/Andrew Litton) AMD
Engineer: Arne Akselberg
These sessions, at Abbey Road Studios late in 2000, were an ear-opener for me. Equally at home in jazz, romantic and classical piano music, Molinaro presents Bach as a vital force, abounding in strongly projected counterpoint and rhythmic strength. Refreshing.
74321 85856 2_a_a18.jpg (25685 bytes) ELEGY: Encores for violin & piano (Diana Yukawa/Nigel Clayton) RCA
Engineer: Arne Akselberg
This talented 14 year old Anglo-Japanese violinist, whose father died in the terrible crash of Flight JAL 123 a month before she was born, here makes her debut recording.
"Her intonation is remarkably fine ... gorgeous sound." 
(International Record Review, July/Aug 2001)
cda67411.jpg (64743 bytes) GODOWSKY: Etudes after Chopin (Marc-André Hamelin, piano) Hyperion 
Engineer: Tony Faulkner
Winner in the Instrumental category, 2000 Gramophone Awards
"Enjoyable sound, too: Tony Faulkner working with producer Andrew Keener" (International Record Review, December 2000)  - "The best of the Year".
(This recording was chosen by three other of the magazine's critics in the same "Best of the Year" section).
cda67208.jpg (79763 bytes) STANFORD: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 74; Suite for violin & orchestra, Op 32 (Anthony Marwood/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins) Hyperion
Engineer: Tony Faulkner
"Hats off... to the production team who balance warmth and clarity to
perfection" (International Record Review, January 2001)
"...and a recording that is both clean and spacious". (Gramophone, February2001)
cda67200.jpg (52255 bytes) BRUCKNER: Symphony no, 3 (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä) Hyperion Engineer: Tony Faulkner
"The recording, too, is very fine, spacious yet focused with the acoustic of St Mary's Church Haddington, East Lothian, capable of accommodating both gauntness and warmth". (Gramophone, February 2001)
"Superbly recorded with a wide, though realistic, dynamic range, this is an account to recommend alongside Haitink..." (International Record Review, December 2000)