Tony Faulkner writes... Few collectors of recorded classical music will not have at least one great and memorable recording in their collections with the name “James Mallinson” on the back as producer. Sadly James passed away late on Friday 24th August in Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital after a short illness. James was born in 1943.
After a remarkable and award-rich twelve-year production career at Decca, in the mid-1980s James embarked on an equally remarkable and award-rich career as an independent producer – including many productions for Telarc, BMG/RCA, EMI, Sony Classical and LSO Live. I had the privilege to work with James on many historic recordings both in the UK and overseas, including two major projects this year.
James’s respect for the integrity of recorded musical performance in the sense of all three words had been fundamental in his success. It made his work stand out above the wash of many current-era over-produced, over-engineered and over-edited recordings which may be note-perfect and squeaky-clean for OCD spellcheckers, but lack the individuality, spirit and electricity of what performance is about.
I believe James Mallinson held the record for the most Grammies for classical producing. If you Google “producing” Grammies, the only people who hold more than James appear to be Quincy Jones and Kanye West.
James will be missed by family, friends and colleagues, but his legacy will live on in the collections of so many music lovers.