Krenek: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-3 - "From the quiet opening notes to the loudest crescendos, the sound appears smooth, well focused, dynamic, broad and well extended. [...] The engineer always keeps the piano well integrated with the orchestra, too: just slightly forward of the other players but not in your face. [...] there is a genuine sense of depth to the ensemble"
John J. Puccio
Prokoviev: Eugene Onegin—"It must have been a difficult task to balance voices against orchestra in this lively and atmospheric acoustic without obscuring either. That it has been achieved with complete success is a tribute to the engineer, Ben Connellan."
Suk: Asrael Symphony—"I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Czech Philharmonic better recorded."
Novak: piano music—"One of the best piano recordings that I have heard from this venue"
Börtz: orchestral music—"The recording is absolutely state of the art . . . it should be heard in every hi-fi demonstation room, for in terms of clarity, presence and detail and at the same time naturalness of balance, it is quite outstanding."
"Nearly all my recordings for the past 15 years, whether in Britain, Europe or Australia, have been engineered and, in most instances, also produced by Ben and Annabel Connellan of Giraffe Productions. For many years before that, I worked regularly with Ben when he was one of the top sound engineers for Chandos Records.
The levels of expertise and experience Ben and Annabel bring to their work simply could not be bettered.
They apply these qualities to a very complete service, from planning, through provision of first class recording equipment, the smooth running of sessions, to comprehensive editing and production of the final master.
Over and above all that, there is a personal, warm concern that any stress should be shouldered and dealt with by them, not by the performer, and they will go to whatever lengths necessary to ensure that this is the case.
Utterly reliable and absolutely committed to excellence, they are a joy and a pleasure to work with."
Howard Shelley OBE
"Ben is not only a gifted and very experienced engineer and editor but a wonderful colleague as well. His unfailing friendliness, humour and enthusiasm, his level-headedness in difficult situations, his discretion and willingness to please, coupled with his unsurpassed engineering and editing skills ensure that he is held in great esteem by all who work with him.
Nothing is too much trouble for Ben. I have been working with him for many years now on a variety of CD recording projects, ranging from solo instrumental and small-scale chamber and song to large-scale orchestral and in many different venues. I always enjoy the sound he gets, as do the musicians we work with, which means that much valuable time is frequently saved at recording sessions. Ben is so dedicated, always well-prepared, everything is set up and ready to go in plenty of time and he is relaxed and alert to what might be needed; often one step ahead, making drinks or numbering bars and so forth.
Ben is also an outstanding editor and his keenness to work and the speed and skill with which he turns edits round after receiving marked-up scores is unique in my experience and greatly appreciated by all involved.
I recommend Ben without reservation and look forward to many more years of collaboration with him."
“Ben and Annabel are a top team—professional, warm, good-humoured and patient. They make recording—which has every chance of being a horribly fraught process—into a creative treat. Our sessions were truly collaborative: everyone striving for the best result. Ben and Annabel showed great enthusiasm for, and understanding of, the repertoire we were recording. I knew we were on the same wavelength artistically, in terms of what we wanted the recording to be. As producer, Annabel was efficient and patient. Her tact and good humour when addressing technical problems, such as intonation, were much appreciated by the choir. Her editing work is painstaking and detailed—no shortcuts!—always preserving the essential spirit of performance. Ben, who engineered our recording, was discreet and unflappable. Our recording is beautifully balanced thanks to him. The choir Treasurer appreciated Giraffe too—Cantores strives for professional standards on limited finances, so we valued the security of signing up to a fixed-cost, ‘all-in-one’ production and editing package. We embarked on the project knowing our final budget—no nasty surprises later on. Ben and Annabel are lovely people to work with, and they certainly brought out the best in Cantores. We will work with them again."
Dr David Allinson
Director of Cantores
"I’ve worked with Ben and Annabel of Giraffe Productions for over six years on all sorts of projects ranging from a cappella vocal music, string quartet and chamber groups, through to large ensembles and full orchestra. In this specialised business you need complete confidence in the production team, and with Giraffe I feel I’m in safe hands. It’s more than a knowledge that we’ll get a great sound and an ability to deal with technical issues; it’s seeing the whole project through, a thorough competence with the highest-calibre equipment, an efficient and painstaking attitude in post-production, and an ability to help develop the relationship between musicians and production team, which is essential. I look forward to many future collaborations with them."
"Annabel and Ben Connellan are a terrific production team—I enjoyed working with them both. Annabel could always be counted on to keep calm—even in the face of airplanes, haymakers and whatever else making noise! She provided excellent feedback and kept recording schedules on-track. Ben’s brilliant engineering skills continue to impress everyone—I look forward to working with ‘Giraffe’ again soon."
"As a producer, Annabel sees both the wood and the trees. She possesses not only an uncanny ability to get straight to the heart of a piece of music, but also the necessary communication skills to enhance any performance. Coupled with Ben’s technical expertise they make a remarkable team."
"Ben Connellan is an ideal sound engineer for me to work with: efficient, versatile, musical, panic-proof, consistent, reliable, and possessing a medium-dry sense of humour."
Record producer, viola player
"I have known Ben and Annabel Connellan for a number of years and have worked frequently with them. They are an outstanding team who bring the whole gamut of experience to bear on a project. They combine real recording experience in as big or small a situation as required with the outstanding ears necessary to make it work well right from the start. They also have all the care needed at the often problematical ‘afterbirth’ stage of editing. More than that, however, they are two of the nicest people I know—and that’s really important when the stress factor is often high on location. Once you have worked with these two, you will return to them—often! I can’t recommend the Giraffe team strongly enough. Head and neck above the competition!"
Record producer, composer, conductor