WFMT Chicago shows the Brits a thing or two

Many, including this writer, have in the past blamed 'Americanisation of the media' for the remorseless decline in the quality of BBC broadcasting. But this week came startling evidence that the BBC has surpassed its transatlantic cousins to become the new gold standard for international radio awfulness.

BBC Radio 3 has been broadcasting recordings of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival made by Chicago's only classical music station WFMT. Presumably the tapes (audio files?) of the excellent Santa Fe concerts came with the WFMT presenter's voice inextricably mixed with the concert ambience, so Radio 3 had no choice but to broadcast them complete with American continuity announcements. And what a revelation they were.

Gone were the self-regarding BBC classical jocks elongating their vowels in a futile attempt to make the trite sound important, gone were the endless plugs for BBC house brands such as the 'new generation artists scheme', and gone thank heavens, but alas only temporarily, was Petroc Trelawny. And I am not even going to start on about Rob Cowan and colleagues daily pleadings for Radio 3 listeners to text in with details of their pet goldfish's breakfast.

Instead we had WFMT presenter Kerry Frumkin giving informative and low key continuity links which made the Santa Fe concerts a real pleasure to listen to. I suspect that, like me, the presentation team at WFMT revere Glenn Gould's radio documentaries, and in particular the opening line which should be a model for anyone privileged to sit in front of a microphone:
I am Glenn Gould and this programme is about Leopold Stokowski.
More on this story here. Are words the new music?
Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


Pliable said…
On An Overgrown Path: WFMT Chicago shows the Brits a thing or two

Everyone should be reading "On An Overgrown Path."

From Spukhafte Fernwirkung -

Recent popular posts

Classical music must woke up and smell the coffee

Scott Ross and the paradox of genius

Why is the classical music industry anti-vax?

'I dig Strauss and Wagner – those cats are good'

Mikis Theodorakis' Songs of Freedom

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good Slipped Disc story

Making the case for Wagner-lite

How classical music ignored the awakening electronic dream

Classical's elusive young audience wants chewy music

If this had been a Deutsche Grammophon session.....