Thursday, 22 March 2012

1950s Radio

In an after-dinner red wine haze, I was idly flicking through the 962 digital TV channels in an anonymous hotel room in an anonymous Italian town when I came across the radio station channels And amidst a blizzard of EuroPop stations with the DJs in constant fits of hysterical laughter even as they hand over to the weather forecaster I found this little gem.
It's from RAI, Italy's BBC. Just go to the right hand side where the box is headed "Dirette Radio". Click on RAI radiofd 5 and step back in time. Straight classical music, no ads, no pleading for listeners' opinions via SMS/Twitter/email. No dumbing down. Just a terribly formal annnouncer who details the music in a wonderful deadpan voice and then they play the bloody stuff without telling you alla BBC Radio 3 with Rob sodding Cowan giggling that Bruckner never wrote anything worthwhile after his 9th because his piles got to him.
This is presuming that you like classical music of course.
Lord I am getting old and grumpy.


Vinogirl said...

One of the things I like about my visits home (and I look forward to now) is driving around with Thud with Classic FM playing on the car radio. Don't know about Rob Cowan, but the mellifluous voices of the presenters on this particular radio station make me feel all warm and fuzzy and English.

Affer said...

You actually stumbled into an Italian 'Brigadoon' - 'Brigadoonio' or similar. You were listening to La Casa Servizio.

Philip Wilkinson said...

I think Rob Cowan is badly used by the BBC. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of classical recordings and Radio 3 used to give him a regular slot to air this knowledge by playing all sorts of recordings one wouldn't normally hear. It was interesting stuff - often moving, usually entertaining. He now seems to have adopted a jolly breakfast-time persona that does little for me. Now this week Radio 3 are playing nothing but Schubert (whom I revere), but they can't seem to do it without bringing Viennese strudel into the studio or making jokes about the composer's short stature. How I pine for Patricia Hughes.

RAI sounds marvellous, but it seemed to want me to install something from Microsoft on my Mac, so I've resisted, so far. But I'll probably cave in later.