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I have the same problem with WDR3, Ralph. I don't give a flying fuck whether Cornelius van den Gorkink was choir director to the Margrave of Thuringia when he wrote the oboe concerto we're about to hear, and I certainly don't want to listen to his cheeky letters begging the Margrave for payment for his recently-composed Mass. More rock, WDR3, LESS FUCKING TALK!

I think the problem is that the fuddy-duddies who run these stations are almost certainly proud Internet-illiterates, and haven't yet absorbed the reality that anyone who wants to learn more about van den Gorkink can just Google his ass. Even Hollywood has begun to realize that voice-overs provifing background information are as superfluous as they are annoying in the digital age.

Fortunately, though, nobody's constrained to radio anymore. I bought a Sonos a while ago, which makes finding and playing thousands of Internet stations absurdly easy.


Subsidies for classical music performances? From my point of view, most assuredly a public good; but as someone who spends hours daily listening to and playing classical music, admittedly that point of view is biased.

Subsidies may or may not work; the cash has to be spent wisely. Case in point: the only classical FM station that I can listen to in my local area is WDR 3, but most of the time not classical music is broadcasted but tedious announcements, musicological discussions, and general blah-blah. WDR 3 is financed by the much-detested fee collection service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio (formerly known as GEZ) and funding, I imagine, is ample. Why not simply broadcast classical music on a 24-hour basis, briefly interrupted by an illuminating comment or two? Wouldn't that be less expensive and serve the public interest better?

The alternative is DAB, but here the situation is even more dismal and is a persuasive argument against commercial radio: specifically, that abomination "Klassik Radio" with its soppy programming.

As a result, though I reside in the country that is arguably the home of most of what is best in classical music, my station of choice is New York's WQXR over an Internet link.


From what I see, a limitation on a "classical" canon usually has devastating results on the cultural landscape, be it about music, painting or literature. It discourages young talent by leaving the impression, everything worth creating has already been created. Restricting orchestras on certain instrumentations, harmonic styles or even composers leads to a museal scenery, where talent is equaled with recreating the classicals the most precisely.
Being considered "high" arts does not mean to exclude progress, and with sufficient subsiding, open-mindedness would not be only a possibility but a duty from my point of view.

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