Mystery score

Mystery score

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

KDFCization of WQXR?

Today's Times has an article about programming changes expected at New York City's WQXR. Read it and weep: they're keeping the Met broadcasts, but expect less vocal music and (ahem) less music that might be deemed challenging. Here are a few paragraphs:
A mission statement prepared by WQXR’s new programmers said, “There may indeed be times when the more radical and unfamiliar pieces work, but we will not favor them over the work that speaks directly to the needs of uplift, beauty and contemplation.”
...

The programmers also provided a sample list of “core composers” and the works that would most likely play on the radio versus the Internet. They stressed that the list was but a guideline.

Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Wagner were there. So were Copland, Janacek, Gershwin, Satie, Sibelius and the ever-popular Vivaldi. Mahler was missing.

Schubert symphonies were deemed radio-worthy but not the piano trios or songs, which were reserved for Q2. Radio received Ravel orchestra music but not solo piano works; Sibelius’s symphonies but not his tone poems; Janacek chamber works but not operas; Brahms symphonies but not choral works; Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos but not the late piano sonatas, songs or chamber works.

Vivaldi had sweeping approval. Except for “shorter sacred works.”

10 comments:

Will said...

kdfc.com in San Francisco? I love that station!

Lisa Hirsch said...

All Vivaldi, all southing, all the time, you mean? Chacun a son gout is the only thing I can say.

Michael Walsh said...

Southing? As in "going south"? I'm forced to agree.

calimac said...

"Schubert symphonies were deemed radio-worthy." Oh, surely not the Unfinished? That's dangerous music!

Paul H. Muller said...

Even if Bach was on the list I bet it would a bunch of different Brandenburg Concertos. I give KUSC credit here - they will play a Bach Passion on Good Friday and often air one of his church cantatas.

Mahler may be out because of the length of his works...

Widh I could have been part of the focus group that came up with the 'approved composer' list. Accountants all, I expect.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The Times article could have been more detailed; I now have a press release in hand that has more information, some of it pretty interesting. Look for an eventual update on the situation.

Joe Barron said...

“There may indeed be times when the more radical and unfamiliar pieces work, but we will not favor them over the work that speaks directly to the needs of uplift, beauty and contemplation.”
...
The "needs of uplift, beauty and contemplation" is programer-speak for market research.

The best classical programing in the Philly area is on WPRB Princeton, which can he heard at their Web site, wprb.com. Marvin Rosen hosts a couple of great contemporary programs, one of which focuses strictly on the avant garde. They play classical only in the morngin, from about 5 to 11, but the playlist is varied and imaginative, even on the nonspecialist programs. I've heard Webern pairs with Saint-Saens.

mitrich said...

Joe Barron has it completely right. Marvin is the best. I never cease to learn from him.

>>RSM

Geo. said...

At least you in the Bay Area still have a station to wail on (even as appalling a station as KDFC). In a few months, barring a real miracle (and miracles, violations of natural law, do not happen), St. Louis is set to lose its only full time classical station, KFUO, next year. Sarah Bryan Miller in the Post-Dispatch has part of the lowdown here.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I am sorry - you have my sympathies.