Radio 3 Programmes September 2003
and Now (Ivan Hewett - Jose Evangelista and Lou Harrison)
Discovering Music (Charles Hazlewood - Mozart K 466)
I belong to
the generation which owed its chief musical education to the BBC's
Third Programme and Radio 3. Normally, as editor of Musical
Pointers (and formerly of Seen
& Heard) covering live music in London and elsewhere
leaves limited time for radio and TV.
A period of relative immobility with a broken leg has allowed more
time for the radio. I have previously suggested that
Music Web might have a more balanced perspective if they could recruit
contributors, who live far from easy access to concerts and perforce
rely for musical nourishment chiefly upon radio and recordings,
to come forward and offer regular evaluation of Radio 3 fare (as
did Music and Musicians in its time). .
Despite accusations of 'dumbing down' in all the media, there remain
excellent broadcast series which fulfil the BBC's original Reithian
aims to educate and enlighten as well as to entertain.
In the past week two quasi-educational programmes have particularly
delighted me with a combination of erudtion and unaffected presentational
excellence, both including memorable performances, available to
hear again on the BBC3 website. They raise inevitably questions
as to whether time may be better spent listening to the riches available
on line, rather than reading there lengthy reviews of concert performances
which have quickly receded into the past (though it is possible
to do both simultaneously, albeit with divided attention!).
Last week's Hear and Now
provided opportunities to listen to Ivan Hewett's discussion
with the Canadian 'monodist' Jose Evangelista, whose Merapi
caught my ear particularly in its UK premiere at the recent Spitalfields
Festival, and to hear again, from the same concert,
discussion and performances of music by the late Lou Harrison, all
of it sounding even better as broadcast. An excellent weekly programme,
Hewett's focused questions encouraging musicians and musicologists
to speak for themsleves.
put on the Saturday afternoon transmission of Discovering
Music, the second of four programmes focusing on Mozart
and the classical style, with no strong urge to have a lesson on
one of Mozart's most popular piano concertos. It was completely
Innovative conductor Charles
Hazlewood, (q.v. my reviews of Broomhill
Opera) with his period instrument orchestra Harmonieband
and forte-pianist Ronald Brautigam analysed and dissected the D
minor Concerto, K 466, with a disingenuous enthusiasm before giving
a complete performance which I would rate as equal to the finest
on record. Without pushing the point, just leaving it to receptive
ears, they found an unshowy, natural style that would have had no
one wishing it had been done with a Steinway and a modern orchestra.
No need for me to write more; listen to this programme on line any
time you wish during the current week ahead, with two more of Haslewood's
workshop programmes to follow on 4 and 11 October, each of them
remaining available when wanted for a week afterwards.
Peter Grahame Woolf
published on Seen&Heard]