Dear WGBH: This. Totally. Blows. (II)

So the hardworking staff repaired to the Global Worldwide Headquarters ’round midnight to do a little ruminating and construing, and – resignedly – flipped the radio on to WCRB (since WGBH radio has abandoned jazz for a bunch of yack yack yack).

Here’s the problem:

1) The hardlistening staff isn’t smart enough to understand classical music;

2) The classical stuff is nice, but it doesn’t propel us the way Anita O’Day could or Clifford Brown could or Thelonious Monk did.

To cop from Wordsworth:

JACKSON! thou shouldst be spinning at this hour:

Boston has need of thee: she is a fen

Of stagnant music . . .

Not to say Jazz Paradise Lost, but close.

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3 Responses to Dear WGBH: This. Totally. Blows. (II)

  1. Laurence Glavin says:

    I checked WCRB’s playlist for midnight and thereafter on Tuesday, 07/10. The selection at that hour was Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, a gloriously melodic and Romantic Symphony in the grand style earlier personnified by Tchaikovsky. There’s an entry at Wikipedia for the work that mentions that at times the scherzo (a term for a fast movement) Is “vigorous to the point of abandonment”. LKike Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, it opens with lower-pitched strings in the bass clef, leading later to exalted major-mode recapitulations of the opening. Oh, (here doing my famous Peter Falk-as-Columbo imitation): and another thing…early in the twentieth Century, orchestras would drastically cut the timing of the work down to a little over a half-hour. But now it is SO POPULAR that nobody dream of doing such a thing today. It’s customarily performed in its nearly-one-hour length and nobody complain one whit!

  2. I was one of the musical protesters last week, but know that such displays will never carry the weight of NPR consultants. That’s just real politik. What does surprise and piss poor little me off is that none of the GBH personalistas, even on a show like Beat the Press, have had the guts to even bring it up.

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