NEW YORK — Audio Network (us.audionetwork.com), here, has just launched its “Classical Collection,” which features some of the world’s most iconic classical music. According to Audio Network’s Andrew Sunnucks, the project involved arranging, recording and mixing the key repertoire specifically for media use.
“We took a look at the classics through the eyes of an editor,” he explains. “We discovered that the ambient nature of many of the domestic recordings available doesn’t have the impact that orchestral movie scores provide and audiences are becoming increasingly used to that sound. We also recognized that cutting into and out of this kind of music can be very difficult indeed and generally requires some fairly clumsy and rapid fading. Clearly, the Classical Collection was a chance to do it differently.”
Sunnucks says they first went back to the original 18th and 19th century scores, then “turbo charged” the work by adding parts, building the harmonies and focusing on the big tunes. “This had to be done sensitively and carefully – the last thing we wanted to was remove the essence of what made this some of the greatest music in the first place.”
Some of the tracks had 160 channels. The big works were recorded in sections with two bar breaks between each phrase. “We joined them up for the main mix but provide the ‘gapped’ version as well which allows editors to use any section they want and still have a natural beginning and end to each phrase.”
Audio Network also recorded separate instrumental and underscore versions. The company chose the cavernous Abbey Road Studio 1 for the symphonic works, but decamped to Studio 2 (of Beatles fame) for the more delicate chamber and quartet sessions. After 12 sessions, they had a total of 48 cues.
“It was damn scary, to be honest, but we’re only ever going to do this once so we felt we may as well go for it and hold nothing back,” says Sunnucks. “I also dare to hope that the new arrangements, condensed forms and vibrant, modern recordings might serve as a great introduction to classical music for anybody who fancies a rollercoaster ride through a very broad spectrum of the finest tunes ever written. It’s all available to listen to for free on the Audio Network site so we hope it might be a valuable educational tool as well as a useful creative one.”