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Over the years Classical music has shunned Film music for the most part, but with the growing inclusion of Concert composers joining the film music ranks we have started to see that gap between these two worlds narrow. Many Classical record companies have allowed scores into their hallowed halls – none more so than Chandos. Chandos 30This year sees the 30th anniversary of Chandos and film music is very much in their blood – founder Brian Couzens started his career in music as a copyist and arranger for composers like Ron Goodwin (orchestrating the scores to 633 Squadron and Where Eagles Dare, both release by Film Score Monthly). To celebrate this milestone in their career the label has released a 30 CD box set of full length albums spanning the company’s catalogue. Why should film score fans take note of this? Well, included are two CDs of film music. First is a recording of Sir William Walton’s score for Henry V – despite the inclusion of narration (wonderfully recited Shakespeare by Christopher Plummer), the recoding reproduces the harrowing Brass Fanfares as well as delicate string writing performed immaculately by The Orchestra of St. Martin in the Fields (conducted by Sir Neville Marriner). This CD was the 3rd volume in a series of four, and Chandos has been a champion of recording film music as evidence of their Chandos Movies series – with collections of works from some of the most well known (Dmitri Shostakovich, Erich Korngold, Ralph Vaughan Williams), and lesser know (Stanley Black, Lord Berners, Alan Rawsthorne) composers. The first Volume of the Film music of Ralph Vaughan Williams is presented in the Box set and this collection includes wonderful selections from Scott of the Antartic, Coastal Command, and The People’s Land. The best part of this collection is the fact that it’s very affordable allowing film music to get to people who might not listen to it as we do.  Also I would urge any film score fan interested in exploring classical music further to pick this up as it contains a great overview of classical music from Baroque (Albinoni) to 20th Century works (Shostakovich); as well as Solo Piano and chamber works to Large scale Orchestral and Opera works.  There are discoveries to be had; case in point was the playful Symphony, g2 by Johann Baptist Vanhal from their Contemporaries of Mozart series and the beautiful, Grammy winning, choral CD of Alexander Grechaninov. For film score fans who listen to a little classical music there great works like Holst’s Planets, and Harty’s An Irish Symphony. While the collection reproduces all the CDs original covers in card-stock slip cases, it does not contain liner notes (only a catalogue and a few remembrances), but on Chandos’ website are PDFs of every one of the CDs original booklets ( http://www.chandos.net/30thboxset1.asp - where you can also see all of the CDs in the set). 30 CDs for the price of 3 - I only wish every Record company could celebrate like this!

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Chandos is amazing...they have introduced me to a whole world of music I had never heard of...so many composers who fell into obscurity for little or no reason (save that their music went out of style after a time). I started listening to a few composers, and over time have come to appreciate so many others...it's really amazing, the amount of music that is out there...make the jump...you won't be sorry!

I think the 30 cd Chandos box-set would be a very specialized item for me, but the individual Chandos releases of British film music and their composers---and there must be nearly 20 of them by now---are an indispensable record of the history of British film scores from the 1930s onward.

I try to buy a few each year, and I've got a nice collection of them now which I love.

This has been a very worthwhile and necessary ongoing music project and Chandos should be congratulated and supported for doing it.

The Chandos box set is in the $65.00 price range an inexpensive price for a 30 CD set.
Thomas

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