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Classical Music on the Radio

Joe Offer 22 Jan 12 - 02:21 AM
Manitas_at_home 22 Jan 12 - 02:44 AM
Marje 22 Jan 12 - 04:30 AM
Leadfingers 22 Jan 12 - 04:38 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 22 Jan 12 - 05:03 AM
Will Fly 22 Jan 12 - 05:18 AM
JennieG 22 Jan 12 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,999 22 Jan 12 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,999 22 Jan 12 - 06:02 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Jan 12 - 06:32 AM
Manitas_at_home 22 Jan 12 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,PeterC 22 Jan 12 - 09:21 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Jan 12 - 09:43 AM
The Doctor 22 Jan 12 - 11:33 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Jan 12 - 12:26 PM
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Subject: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 02:21 AM

I went to our local symphony tonight and heard Bruckner's Fourth Symphony. It's a long symphony, but every moment is a pleasure - especially the third movement.

It made me think about hearing classical music on the radio as I drive, and how much I enjoy it. Now, most of the time in the US, you can find classical music only on public (listener supported) FM radio stations. I've always thought that I was in a really classy city if I could find a commercial station that played classical music. Usually, those commercial classical stations were on AM radio. The sound quality wasn't as good, but there was something about those stations that I really liked. I remember working in Los Angeles, listening to one of their two classical AM stations, going out of my way to visit the many pockets of the area that had amazing architecture. I may not have been as totally efficient a worker as I should have been, but I sure had a good time.

I don't know if any of those old classical AM stations are around any more. I suppose the public radio stations have stolen away the classical audience. But there was a magic to those AM stations. Even the advertisers were classy.

Also, they seemed to be far less pretentious than the public radio stations.

Anybody else remember those AM classical stations? What is classical music radio like in the rest of the world?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 02:44 AM

In the UK we have Classic FM which is a commercial station. It tends towards the lighter end of the classical spectrum but has outlasted Jazz FM.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Marje
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 04:30 AM

Yes, Classic FM is very popular and succsessful in the UK. The adverts can be a bit irritating, but that's what you get with a commercial station. My other dislikes about it are the number of film scores that they play - I don't find most of these work well away from the films the were meant to accompany - and the constant emphasis, in the afternoons, on how "relaxing" their classical selections are. I may want to be relaxed, but if I'm driving, I may want to be invigorated, or thrilled, or at any rate kept awake by music, not just endlessly relaxed.
They play full-length concerts in the evenings, but the daytime output is mainly short pieces such as songs, or single movements or excerpts from larger works. For most casual daytime listening - in the car, around the house - this is what listeners enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 04:38 AM

And , of course , Auntie Beeb radio Three has predominantly Classical music and NO adverts !


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 05:03 AM

Radio 3 has some brilliant stuff, but it's usually on at some inaccessible part of the day. It also has an awful didactic streak to it- you MUST listen to this, it's good for you. Usually expressed by putting on some dreary squeaky door stuff at 6.15, just as the alarm clock goes off and I want to stay awake. Switching to Radio 4 doesn't help- that's the time for the misery slot (i.e. economics news).
It's also noticeable that when they are armtwisted into putting on other stuff, they are as clueless and repetitive as Classic FM.

Joe, you have my full sympathy, a classical music lover and a cheese lover- in the USA. I bet you like good tea and real chocolate as well.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 05:18 AM

I don't think either Radio 3 or Classic FM are perfect but, on the whole, I prefer Radio 3. The main problems with Classic FM - for me - are that they just play "bleeding chunks" of music to fit between the ads, the ads themselves, the inclusion of film scores (just a personal antipathy) and the emphasis on the less demanding end of the musical spectrum.

The main thing I hate about it - quite apart from all that - is the constant harping on about relaxing with "cool" classics - "relax! relax!" It's as though their view of classical music is to see it as a deep, comfy sofa, thick pile carpets and soothing wallpaper. Nothing wrong with that now and then, by the way, but no sense that music can be demanding, stimulating, infuriating, complex, fun, quizzical, whimsical, etc.

If you try the experiment of listening to the programme solidly for a week, you'll hear the same soothing, bleeding chunks endlessly recycled. If you phone in a request for Bartok's String Quartets, don't expect to get any of them played - the station has advertisers to think off. What other programme would - every time - play the first part of Britten's "Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra" and then fade it out just as the wonderful fugue at the end is about to make its appearance... Classic Crap!


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 05:25 AM

We're lucky in Oz to have Classic FM which plays a good (I think so, anyway) selection of music for 24 hours a day. While there are occasional news bulletins on the hour, the only commercials we hear are for their own programs.

Right now the music being played is "Daughter of the Regiment" by Donizetti.

While I don't like everything they play it's still an opportunity to learn....and after all the world would be a dull place if we all liked the same piece of music.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 05:39 AM

http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/channels/


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: GUEST,999
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 06:02 AM

I used to listen to classical music years ago when I lived in Edmonton. That lasted for a few weeks. Then I got tired of the snobbishness and often pointless commentary.

"So, get settled in a comfortable chair and enjoy some Blechkuchen while you listen to . . . ."

I thought at the time, I'm going to university, eating peanut butter sandwiches and listening to THIS? That was it for me until CBC Radio 2 came along.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 06:32 AM

Will is right about Classic FM and its bleeding chunks, but at least we've got it, and they do some evening progs with complete works. The major issue for me is the incredibly clumsy compression they apply to all their output, pandering, I suppose, to car drivers. It can be very hard listening to Radio 3 in a moving car as the quiet bits get drowned out, but at home Radio 3 wins hands-down for refinement of sound. I don't want to listen to a flute concerto in which the flute is twice as loud as a whole symphony orchestra! I'd take issue with Paul about Radio 3's alleged didacticism. That was the case in the past far more than today. The morning programmes these days are a pleasure, inhabited as they are by unstuffy presenters and with a definite bias toward the more lyrical end of the spectrum. There are still one or two places though... I don't see the two channels as competing with each other. I'm glad we've got 'em both. If you want a good swipe at the Beeb, have a go at the dire Radio 2...


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 06:49 AM

The trouble with excluding film scores is that an awful lot of 'classical' music written nowadays is for films. The studios have replaced the wealthy as patrons of music and this has been happening since sound was added to films.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 09:21 AM

The usual complaint about Radio 3 is that they keep slipping in unsuitable material such as folk music.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 09:43 AM

I think you're out of date.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: The Doctor
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 11:33 AM

When Classic fm launched, 20 years ago now, they trumpeted the fact that their programming would be computer-contolled, to ensure that the same piece did not get played twice in one week. Now they are so audience and request driven that I have even heard the same piece twice on the same day, and I don't listen to that much of it. Apart from the various complaints listed above my biggest criticism is that the same chunks, bleeding or otherwise, get played over and over again, and new works tend to creep in by accident rather than design.


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Subject: RE: Classical Music on the Radio
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 12:26 PM

Agreed. Mozart's clarinet concerto used to be a big event in my life. Something to sit down with every now and then for a quiet half-hour and really savour. Now I seem to hear at least a snatch of it every day. Mendelssohn's violin concerto suffers similarly. But I have at least learned, from its incessantly-repeated airings, that Elgar's cello concerto is actually crap. Except when Jacqueline Du Pré plays it, of course.


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