Chandos Records
Chandos Records is an independent classical music recording company based in Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

, Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, in the United Kingdom, founded in 1979 by Brian Couzens.


Chandos Records arose from a band music publisher Chandos Music, founded in 1963, and Chandos Productions, a record production company which produced LPs for Classics for Pleasure, and, especially, RCA
RCA Records
RCA Records is one of the flagship labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The RCA initials stand for Radio Corporation of America , which was the parent corporation from 1929 to 1985 and a partner from 1985 to 1986.RCA's Canadian unit is Sony's oldest label...

's work in the UK. Its first record was Bloch's Sacred Service (ABR1001). Important early recordings were made with Mariss Jansons, Nigel Kennedy and the King's Singers – before they moved to bigger contracts with EMI.

In 2005, Chandos Records was the first classical label to offer mp3s on its website. They now run The Classical Shop with over 45 labels on offer, including Naxos, LSO Live, Coro, Avie, Onyx and many rarer European labels, which are not available in physical format in the UK.

The current managing director of Chandos Records is Ralph Couzens, son of Brian Couzens.

The name "Chandos" refers to James Brydges
James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos
James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, MP, PC was the first of fourteen children by Sir James Brydges, 3rd Baronet of Wilton Castle, Sheriff of Herefordshire, 8th Baron Chandos; and Elizabeth Barnard...

, the first Duke of Chandos (1674-1744), at whose Palladian-style house, Cannons
Cannons (house)
Cannons was a stately home in Little Stanmore, Middlesex built for James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos between 1713 and 1724 at a cost of £200,000 but which in 1747 was razed and its contents dispersed....

, Handel
HANDEL was the code-name for the UK's National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. It consisted of a small console consisting of two microphones, lights and gauges. The reason behind this was to provide a back-up if anything failed....

 was engaged as a composer-in-residence for approximately a year (1717-1718). In addition to the eleven "Chandos" anthems, Handel also wrote other works, including Acis and Galatea, at Cannons.


The Chandos catalogue contains a range of classical music - for example, much orchestral, choral
A choir, chorale or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus...

 and chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 by such lesser-known British composers as Herbert Howells
Herbert Howells
Herbert Norman Howells CH was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music.-Life:...

, Gerald Finzi
Gerald Finzi
Gerald Raphael Finzi was a British composer. Finzi is best known as a song-writer, but also wrote in other genres...

, Charles Villiers Stanford
Charles Villiers Stanford
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer who was particularly notable for his choral music. He was professor at the Royal College of Music and University of Cambridge.- Life :...

 and Arnold Bax
Arnold Bax
Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax, KCVO was an English composer and poet. His musical style blended elements of romanticism and impressionism, often with influences from Irish literature and landscape. His orchestral scores are noted for their complexity and colourful instrumentation...

, conducted by eminent conductors including Richard Hickox
Richard Hickox
Richard Sidney Hickox CBE was an English conductor of choral, orchestral and operatic music.-Early life:Hickox was born in Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire into a musical family...

, Gianandrea Noseda
Gianandrea Noseda
Gianandrea Noseda is an Italian conductor. He studied piano, composition and conducting in Milan. He furthered his conducting studies with Donato Renzetti, Myung-Whun Chung and Valery Gergiev....

, Neeme Järvi
Neeme Järvi
Neeme Järvi is an Estonian-born conductor.-Early life:Järvi studied music first in Tallinn, and later in Leningrad at the Leningrad Conservatory under Yevgeny Mravinsky, and Nikolai Rabinovich, among others...

 and Vernon Handley
Vernon Handley
Vernon George "Tod" Handley CBE was a British conductor, known in particular for his support of British composers. He was born of a Welsh father and an Irish mother into a musical family in Enfield, London. He acquired the nickname "Tod" because his feet were turned in at his birth, which his...

. They also specialise in early music
Early music
Early music is generally understood as comprising all music from the earliest times up to the Renaissance. However, today this term has come to include "any music for which a historically appropriate style of performance must be reconstructed on the basis of surviving scores, treatises,...

, on their label Chaconne, with performances by artists such as the Purcell Quartet, Collegium Musicum 90
Collegium Musicum 90
Collegium Musicum 90 is an English baroque orchestra playing on period instruments. It was founded by violinist Simon Standage and conductor Richard Hickox in 1990 and was jointly directed by them until the death of Hickox in November 2008.Collegium Musicum means something like musical guild and...

 and Sophie Yates. Chandos is also known for its Movies series, preserving previously lost film scores. In 1990 they launched the Opera in English label, in association with the Peter Moores Foundation, which has resulted in over 80 recordings.

Series include:
  • Complete symphonies of Alwyn, Vaughan Williams, Mahler, Arnold, Shostakovich, Bax
  • Tone poems of Liszt
  • Film Music series includes: Arnold, Shostakovich, Vaughan Willams, Bax, Korngold, Coates, Addinsell, Addison


Recordings released by Chandos have won many awards including 'Gramophone Record of the Year' for Vaughan Williams's A London Symphony
A London Symphony
A London Symphony is the second symphony composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The work is sometimes referred to as the Symphony No. 2, though it was not designated as such by the composer...

with the London Symphony Orchestra, and 'Gramophone Choral Recording of the Year' for Hummel
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Johann Nepomuk Hummel or Jan Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.- Life :...

 Masses. In 2008 they received two Grammys for 'Best Opera Recording' and 'Best Engineered Classical Album'.


Soloists and conductors who have recorded for the label include Sir Charles Mackerras
Charles Mackerras
Sir Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras, AC, CH, CBE was an Australian conductor. He was an authority on the operas of Janáček and Mozart, and the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan...

, Rebecca Evans, Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber is a British solo cellist who has been described as the "doyen of British cellists".-Early life:Julian Lloyd Webber is the second son of the composer William Lloyd Webber and his wife Jean Johnstone . He is the younger brother of the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber...

, Sir Thomas Allen, Alan Opie, Tasmin Little
Tasmin Little
Tasmin Little is an English violinist.She studied under Pauline Scott at the Yehudi Menuhin School and later at the Guildhall School of Music, coming to prominence as a string section finalist in the 1982 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition...

, Bruce Ford, Barry Banks, Christine Brewer, Lesley Garrett, Horacio Gutiérrez
Horacio Gutiérrez
Horacio Gutiérrez is a Cuban-American virtuoso classical pianist.-Early life and education:Gutiérrez was born in Havana, Cuba, the eldest of four children, to Tomás V. Gutiérrez and Josefina Fernandez Gutiérrez. His mother was his first piano teacher, and was herself, an accomplished pianist. His...

, Neeme Jarvi
Neeme Järvi
Neeme Järvi is an Estonian-born conductor.-Early life:Järvi studied music first in Tallinn, and later in Leningrad at the Leningrad Conservatory under Yevgeny Mravinsky, and Nikolai Rabinovich, among others...

, and Simon Keenlyside
Simon Keenlyside
Simon Keenlyside CBE is a British baritone who has had an active international career performing in operas and concerts since the mid 1980s.-Early life and education:...


They have an exclusive recording partnership with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Richard Hickox (many times Gramophone winner with Chandos recordings) and pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

External links

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