Monday, April 20, 2009

Podcast Review: Naxos Classical Music Spotlight

The more you have to work with, the easier it is to produce quality content. And that's pretty much the case with the Naxos Classical Music Spotlight. Host Raymond Bisha takes a recent release from the Naxos catalog (and sometimes from one of their distributed labels) and showcases it in this podcast.

Bisha's an accomplished host and producer -- not surprising from a former CBC broadcaster. In the general course of the program, Bisha plays excerpts from the featured recording interspersed with helpful commentary (and sometimes interview segments with the artist).

Bisha has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of classical music, as well as finely tuned sense of humor. The result is a presentation that personable, informal, and packed with rock-solid information.

So what did I mean about quality content? Well, Naxos has been the number one classical record label in the world for some time now, and just celebrated the release of their 30,000th CD. And it's not multiple recordings of the same old warhorses (like the major labels). Instead, Naxos has been releasing CDs covering all style periods, as well as most countries whose composers write in a classical style.

"Naxos Classical Music Spotlight" isn't a hard sell -- Bisha talks about the recording, plays some excerpts, and lets the listener judge for themselves. Whether you know a lot about classical music, or want to get started, the "Naxos Classical Music Spotlight" is a great place to start.

Be warned, though, it can be expensive. I can trace at least 12 purchases directly back to this podcast!

(And remember -- you don't need an iPod to enjoy a podcast; just a computer.)

- Ralph

Day 15 of the WJMA Podwatch.

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