Mystery score

Mystery score

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Beethoven Awareness Month?

WQXR has decided that November is Beethoven Awareness Month. I've heard about it in their email newsletter and heard about it from the station's publicist. If you want to hear more about it, here's their declaration.

Do I ever think this is a bad idea. The Mostly Mozart Festival and the spread of Mozart on radio have contributed to making Mozart's music ubiquitous and overexposed. Beethoven is already well-known and somewhat overexposed, to the point that it is difficult for a modern listener to realize just how explosively original his music was in its day.

And there are so many composers who could use a little, or a lot, more exposure: almost everyone who composed before J.S. Bach; almost everyone who composed after Stravinsky. British composers. Scandinavian composers. Central European composers. Italian composers who aren't Vivaldi, Verdi, and Puccini. Serialists and modernists.

Can't we treat the radio audience as though it's composed of curious adults who don't all want more of the same?

13 comments:

John Marcher said...

Here, here Lisa.

John Marcher said...

or should that be "hear, hear"?

Lisa Hirsch said...

One of those. :)

Michael Walsh said...

When you have at most one classical station per market (unless it's in a college town) the rush to bland and safe seems inevitable. Frankly, XM radio's classical station has much more adventurous fare than most of its radio siblings.

Maybe the internet is the solution. Streaming audio or podcasting could satisfy several niches that radio no longer can afford. (Would love to put something like that together. Need more spare time.)

Lisa Hirsch said...

The Internet already provides vast riches of online radio (see OperaCast for a great list of classical-music-playing stations worldwide) and streaming radio (for example, from Naxos). A couple of people run contemporary music streaming, etc.

calimac said...

Let me know when I can get them in my car, which is the only place I listen to radio. Until then, I'm stuck with KDFC, which actually is measurably less crappy since it went non-profit.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Click here for an Amazon search that has portable internet radio and auto internet radio.

calimac said...

Well, that's certainly a collection of baffling devices. I need to go to Circuit City and have someone explain them to me.

Oh, wait.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ah, yeah. There's Fry's but I would not count on them to tell you the truth. Maybe someone on your LJ friends list knows something about mobile Internet radio.

calimac said...

Employees at Fry's know nothing, or less than that. I once asked a question about an electrical device, concerning its consumption of watts, and the confused employee looked at his wrist WATCH.

The Unrepentant Pelleastrian said...

This may sound odd but as for recognition, I think that Debussy is in general underrated as a composer with the general public.

I know many people who don't feel any great enthusiasm towards his music.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I think we all know what you think. :)

The Unrepentant Pelleastrian said...

I think we all know what you think. :-)

********

Well ok..

:-)