Claudio Records, Dedicated To Sound
Claudio Records is a family business founded by Colin Attwell in 1978 and was originally called "Attwell Audio". The first LP (AA101) was released in 1982 and was manufactured by "Nimbus". As a pupil of Wandsworth school, which in the 60's was famous for its choir and association with Benjamin Britten, Sir Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink and many others, Colin was able to develop his fascination for capturing the magical wonder and beauty of sounds and love for music by exploring the techniques of recording. The BBC where frequent visitors to the school and, during one afternoon rehearsal of Carmina Burana with Lucia Popp, Colin heard a "sound" from the school hall which remained in his heart and imagination and which the BBC had almost captured. It was this one single event that impassioned him on his life long obsession to find ways of reproducing sound so that all its emotional impact in every dimension could be kept faithfully and eternally!
In 1967 Colin joined Decca and went on to study electronics and graduated as a research engineer with music as an additional subject. He became responsible for the further development and construction of a professional (TRD) reel to reel tape machine and, on one particular session with a famous harpsichord builder and technician, he was complemented by the words "if only Decca could make such a wonderful sound". This came as a surprise and inspiration, further compounding "the obsession". It wasn't until the eminent critic Angus McKenzie finally gave him a glimmer of hope that he decided to "turn professional" and start his own business!
With the help of friends and family and the university of Southampton acoustics department, a small recording studio with a Steinway piano was constructed underground in Putney, London where many now famous artists (Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Michael Chance, Helen Shapiro, Alexander Baillie, and many others) came to make their recordings. Productions for TV and radio drama where also made at the studio. As a result of an association with the record producer Charles Haynes, Colin became responsible for much of the output of the historic record label "Pavilion/Pearl", which was highly commended by EMI's chief engineer Keith Hardwick. During this same period, Colin went on to teach Radio drama both in the studio in Putney with ex BBC producer Gordon Gardener and latterly with Joe Dunlop Sean Cotter executive producer for RTE TV and now at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Colin has taught at The London Theatre School, Weber Douglas, and the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts.
During the 80's Colin had the pleasure of working with John Shuttleworth, the owner and producer of Meridian records, whose purist approach to recording coincided with that of Colin himself.
Our first CD release in 1985 with the artist Peter Katin was an immediate success and the catalogue has continued to grow in a diverse and varied direction with the addition of a further two labels, Claudio Contemporary and Claudio Bohema.
The company, with the invaluable help of William Attwell and Ian Attwell has now expanded to include Claudio Recording Services which specialises in "live" concert recordings of both sound and vision, sessions and demonstration recordings with working experience of most of the worlds major Artists, Orchestras, venues and studios including London's Wigmore Hall, St. John's Smith Square, South Bank, Westminster Cathedral, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican and outside the UK.
Working intimately with the piano over many years has bought its rewards and, intuitively, Colin has developed and entirely new approach to recording the sounds made from a grand piano. This has made a remarkable improvement on both the clarity and range of colours available to the artist. In a testimony to this discovery (which we call "OLAB") that Vladimir Ashkenazy recently wrote a personal letter to Colin enthusiastically expressed that "I must say I like it very much" and "basically I think you found a very valid concept for a lot of piano music sounds". Naturally, with these words one can build mountains and so we at Claudio will remain Dedicated to Sound and to try and give satisfaction to our artists and customers!