Friday, August 18, 2006

A classical education -- via podcasting

Ralph's rant on the state of classical programming on the satellite radio services is a bit off the mark, IMO. The real problem lies not so much in their choice of programming, but in the size of the repertoire they have to choose from.

The scope of Classical music is breath-taking in it's variety
of style periods, composers, ensembles, and compositions. That's one of the most stimulating things about classical music, but it can also be intimidating to the newcomer. It's difficult to know where to start, especially if you're just starting to put together a personal library of classical music recordings.

Podcasts can be a valuable tool in educating yourself about classical music. If you're just beginning to scratch the surface of (or looking to expand your horizons), check out these podcasts. Each has a different feel, but all of them will help you learn more about different composers, ensembles, recordings, and history of classical music.

Naxos Classical Music Spotlight Podcasts — One of the leading classical music labels, Naxos' podcast features musical selections and commentary that highlights recordings from their extensive library. It's well-produced and updated frequently. Great if you have a desire to learn more about classical composers and their music (well known and otherwise).

Classical ConnectionsBill Eddins is the music director of the Edmonton Symphony.
His personal podcast is (in his own words) "about Classical Music and the History of the World." Expect an interesting take on classical music, the classical music tradition in the West, and whatever else strikes his fancy. Bill loves film music and film composers, like I do, so this is one of my favorites.

WGBH Classical Podcast — Recordings of live performances and interviews from WGBH's Boston studios. Consistently high-quality music, performance, and commentary.

The Gramaphone Podcast — Self described as "A monthly window into the world's most authoritative classical music magazine, featuring an overview of the best releases, news, exclusive interviews with leading figures from the music world, and lots of great music." In essence, a slickly-produced advertisement for The Gramaphone magazine, but with enough starch to stand on it's own.

DCD Classical 'Cast — DCD Records is a small label specializing in producing recordings of regional artists as well as distribution of variety of other small labels. The podcast offers a well-balanced look at current offerings from their classical catalog. The host (some fellow named Ralph) does a nice job providing background for the excerpts.

No comments:

Post a Comment