References

double quotes left double quotes right Rachel Smith is one of the very finest producers I have worked with during the course of an extensive recording career. She has an excellent and quick ear – one of the most important attributes for a producer – and she is warm, decisive, authoritative and calm in her management of sessions. Her editing is first class and, all in all, I can recommend her without and hesitation or reservation.

Howard Shelley

Howard Shelley

double quotes left double quotes right I am delighted to write a letter of recommendation for Rachel Smith. She is a superb record producer – calm, collected, concentrated, thorough, and, it seems, tireless. My experience recording a CD with her was wholly positive in every way, and I would recommend her to anyone without the slightest hesitation.

Stephen Hough

Stephen Hough

double quotes left double quotes right Rachel Smith has been the producer and editor of the Chilingirian Quartet’s recent recordings for Chandos. This includes three CDs of J. B. McEwen and one of music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley. Our collaboration has been extremely positive, particularly with respect to Rachel’s excellent critical ear combined with a sensitive understanding of the needs of performers in such a testing environment.
She is a fine musician and has a calm and practical approach to the art of making recordings. She senses when more takes are needed and immediately identifies the versions which would provide the basis of the edited performance.
I am very grateful for her invaluable role in producing CDs of often complex music with such professionalism and accuracy. The other members of the Quartet join me in praising her work and in our appreciation of the high standards she sets.
I recommend her very highly indeed as she moves on from Chandos to what I am sure will be a very bright future.

Levon Chilingirian OBE

Levon Chilingirian OBE

double quotes left double quotes right I have worked with Rachel Smith in the last decade, during which time she must have edited almost 100 CDs that I have conducted for Chandos. In all my time for Chandos, and previously for EMI, Decca, Virgin, etc., I can honestly say that Rachel has been the most thorough and talented editor with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work.
Many editors take the easy way out and simply splice together a tape made from the markings of the producer at the time of the session. Although of course this is a good first guide, she actually listens to all the material again so that she can make sure that these really were the best takes and if not, make her own judgements. I have found that when first edits arrive, there is far less to comment on than with any other editor I have worked with. She takes a real pride in producing a finished and musical tape and when there are issues to address, she is most co-operative.
I’ve also had the pleasure, on a few occasions, to work with her as a producer. She has a fine pair of ears and her professional and charming manner make her an able producer as well. I have absolutely no hesitation in thoroughly recommending her to you.

Richard Hickox

Richard Hickox CBE

double quotes left double quotes right I have worked with Rachel Smith on a number of occasions in the past few years and it has always been a great pleasure. She is calm and reassuring, unfazed by all the small annoyances that come with the territory when we record in historic churches; she has excellent ears, such that as a performer I know I can trust her to let me live in the moment, giving my musical instincts full rein, without the inhibition that can come from too much self-inspection; any problems she will find, and tactfully help to resolve! She has a sense of humour and a good sense of proportion; in short, all the qualities that are vital to this work.

Emma Kirkby

Emma Kirkby

double quotes left double quotes right I’m always delighted when I hear that Rachel Smith will be producing one of my recordings.
Together we have collaborated in very different recording projects for Chandos: an opera (Dido and Aeneas), a Lieder recital with Eugene Asti and a forthcoming Handel duets album with Rosemary Joshua and the English Concert.
In all situations, Rachel made herself familiar with the music in advance of the recording sessions and I was particularly impressed that she made it her business to understand the German for the Schumann Lieder disc, Songs of Love and Loss. Her hard work and dedication to the editing process and superb ‘ears’ makes me feel confident to recommend her to anyone.
During the crucial recording process, Rachel never chivvies or offers insensitive criticism. Instead she is an oasis of calm control, ready to respond to the artist’s creativity. She is also easy to get along with and everyone I have collaborated with on the above recordings likes and respects her.

Sarah Connolly

double quotes left double quotes right I Fagiolini has worked with Rachel Smith for several years now in their series for Chandos Chaconne. She has an unfailing ear for detail yet a very easy manner, allowing a good atmosphere in sessions, which is so important. Her editing skills are fantastic and her patience endless. When we came to record the soundtrack to The Full Monteverdi (a non-Chandos production), I asked her to produce and edit as I knew she would understand the rather unusual circumstances of what we were trying to achieve.

Robert Hollingworth

Robert Hollingworth

double quotes left double quotes right After recording the complete Shostakovich quartet cycle with Rachel, I have nothing but praise for her extreme professionalism, fabulous ear, unfailing sense of humour and expert diplomacy, which kept our sessions relaxed and stress-free.

Gina McCormack

Gina McCormack, leader of the Sorrel Quartet

double quotes left double quotes right As I used to say, Rachel makes me perfect (at least on cd!)! It is so agreeable to work with her and to be able to rely on her musical judgement. Also, during recording sessions, sometimes one forgets that the artistic director and the sound engineer are most of the time the only people for whom you play. Thanks to her calm, attentive and co-operative presence, the whole recording process is a real creative musical experience.
Many, many thanks, Rachel!

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet

double quotes left double quotes right Rachel has been employed as producer and editor at Chandos Records for eight years, during which time she has collaborated with the Peter Moores Foundation, editing several recordings in the Opera in English series.
Although I am not professionally qualified to comment on the technique of her editing, the recordings she has edited for the Peter Moores Foundation have always received very favourable reviews. As a colleague, Rachel has been intuitive and helpful; I have been able always to rely on her to find good solutions to my requests. The fact that this whole collaboration has been carried on over the telephone is further proof of her understanding.
Rachel has produced CD samplers for us and very soon in our working relationship I was able to leave her to make decisions about what tracks to select and how to cut them at the start and end. I found her to have an instinctive skill for the right edit to bring out the drama in the music and to retain the integrity of the piece.
I would have no hesitation in recommending her.

Sir Peter Moores CBE DL

Sir Peter Moores CBE DL

double quotes left double quotes right It has been my very good fortune to work with Rachel Smith as a producer and editor of every single CD that I have recorded for Chandos label.
In the course of our collaboration she would inevitably impress me with her solid musicianship, unerring intuition and the refined ear for the smallest detail both during the recording sessions and the editing. I have never had the reason to disagree with her judgement.
It is my conviction that if it hadn’t been for the depth of Rachel’s expertise, the recordings that have resulted from our collaboration would not have enjoyed half the critical acclaim that they did.
I do hope we shall work together on many more projects to come.

Rustem Hayroudinoff

Rustem Hayroudinoff

double quotes left double quotes right Rachel has produced and edited a number of recordings in recent years in which I have participated – most notably Bach cantatas with The Purcell Quartet and Britten’s opera Death in Venice with Richard Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia. We have had a relaxed and therefore productive atmosphere under her guidance.
She has a very keen ear to spot moments of waywardness or lack of balance and is flexible with changing conditions and personnel to achieve a natural and exciting sound.
I am sure she will prosper in the freelance arena and would, of course, be happy to collaborate with her again.

Michael Chance

Michael Chance

double quotes left double quotes right Rachel Smith has worked as one of The Purcell Quartet’s producers for Chandos for the past three years, during which time she has built both a supportive and enabling relationship with the group.
The critical yet supportive role of a producer is crucial to the success of any recording, and Rachel’s combination of these assets has always been reassuring, resulting in a number of highly acclaimed discs.
We wish her well and recommend her for similar work in the future.

The Purcell Quartet

The Purcell Quartet