Unicorn-Kanchana


Unicorn-Kanchana

Unicorn-Kanchana [In Hindu and Buddhist mythology, the female name "Kanchana" means an Apsara, a spirit of the clouds and waters.] is an independent record label.

Originally known as Unicorn Records, it specialised mainly in classical music and film soundtracks. Artists signed to the label included Andrzej Panufnik, Jascha Horenstein, Jennifer Bate, Henry Herford and Peter Maxwell Davies.

The label also released several recordings of lesser-known British composers, including Havergal Brian, George Dyson and Cipriani Potter.

The Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra made the very first commercial recording of Havergal Brian’s music. Symphonies Nos. 10 and 21, conducted by James Loughran and Eric Pinkett respectively, were recorded at the De Monfort Hall, Leicester in 1972. The producer was Robert Simpson and the LP was released by Unicorn Records to great critical acclaim in 1973. A special edition of the television programme "Aquarius" gave considerable coverage to the recording session(see video links below).

Bernard Herrmann was also a Unicorn artist and released several albums of his own film soundtracks as well as a symphony and an opera based on the novel "Wuthering Heights".

Horenstein's legendary Mahler recordings (Symphonies 1, 3 and 6) were released by the label, as well as his readings of the music of Carl Nielsen.

The television composer Laurie Johnson recorded film scores on Unicorn-Kanchana, as well as an album of his own music from "The Avengers", "The New Avengers" and "The Professionals". Like Herrmann, he also released a symphony (for jazz orchestra, subitled "Synthesis") for the label.

Unicorn-Kanchana was one of the labels which released recordings using Ambisonic recording technology during the 1970s and 1980s. One of the most celebrated was Laurie Johnson's re-recording of Herrmann's "North by Northwest" score.

The label ceased producing CDs in the 1990s. Since then, much of its classical output has been re-released on the budget Regis label, the film music being licensed to several other small labels. Several of the recordings (including the Herrmann opera) have not however reappeared. However in 2008 several long-unavailable Unicorn recordings started to re-emerge via music download sites.

References

Videos

"The Unknown Warrior" A documentary featuring the LSSO recording session of symphonies Nos. 10 and 21 and an informal interview with the composer
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsHbjY8HbcE part 1]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh92aJJOw_Y part 2]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfM0X77MH2I part 3]

ee also

* List of record labels


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