Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Radio Canada Puts Classical Music on the Net

Now available at a computer near you: classical music from Radio Canada!

Radio Canada’s Espace musique—the equivalent of CBC’s Radio 2—has begun promoting a new service on the Radio Can website called Espace classique which is billed as an alternative to Espace musique’s new, varied musical programming which, everyone agrees, shortchanges classical music.

Supposedly all you have to do is go to the Radio Can website, follow the links, and you’ll end up with a choice of three kinds of programming, called Zen, Vitamine, and Noël. At least that was what France Davoine, the programming director, told the press this week, but I was unable to get any further than a rather nice Deutche Grammaphon recording of Beethoven’s Fifth. Perhaps this is just a temporary glitch: the site was launched last September, but wasn’t publicized. The current media attention here is supposed to draw attention to a new feature: the site now offers the chance to download works recorded for Radio Can, beginning a free one of pianist Louis Lortie playing Liszt

But, as Christopher Huss notes in the Le Devoir, Espace musique is broadcasting less and less classical music. Is this an adequate substitute? I really don’t think so, either for listeners or for Canada’s fantastic serious music world.

Don’t be surprised if Radio 2 begins a similar service though. The dumbing down of music programming was first tried out at Radio Canada 18 months before the big changes last spring at CBC’s Radio 2.

Note: it will be interesting to follow the ratings of CBC/Radio Can programming over the next several months. All parts of the Radio Can service in Montreal showed a jump in the last BBM rating, covering the fall. Can't imagine what this means without subscribing to BBM and getting the stats for individual programs.

7 comments:

Martin Langeland said...

More gloom and doom.
For me only Jurgen Goth and Tom Allen with the Sunday appearance of Howard Dick remain of what used to be a 24/7 devotion to CBC FM descending to Radio ME Too.
Now I listen much of the day to NDK streaming on Real audio from Oslo, Norway. Lots of 19th Century art song and symphonies. And Norwegegian is such a lyrical language to listen too.
--ml

Martin Langeland said...

Sorry. That's NRK in Oslo.
--ml

Mary Soderstrom said...

Must check it out. But of course, that's only good for when you're workng at the computer. None of the internet programming is easy to get when you're in the car or in the kitchen, which is when I do a lot of my listening. (Can't write with music in the background: must be something wrong with me.)

Cheers

Mary

Martin Langeland said...

It's called focus. I think.
Also forget to hat tip Rick Phillips of Sound Advice.
Your Luciasbrod sounds good.
Happy Solstice!
--ml

Mary Soderstrom said...

The St. Lucia buns are about gone and my husband says I should make more. But not until Christmas Eve: it's what we have for Christmas breakfast.

May the light of the sun return to you and yours, too.

Mary

EmilyG said...

I'm a former McGill music student. I stopped listening to CBC Radio 2 in March when they took most of my favourite programs off the air in one fell swoop. I like classical music a lot, and sometimes I miss listening to it on the radio. But I'm lucky that Montreal has many good live concerts.

Thanks for telling us about classical music on the Radio-Canada website. I should check it out.

Mary Soderstrom said...

You are very right about Montreal being a great city for music--live music. Thanks goodness that the choice of classical concerts is so wide.

BTW my daughter did music at McGill: what a very good program! But what a hard life! She's making a living as a musician but it's not the roads to millions, for sure.

Cheers

Mary