The News from PRM (aka MPBR)
As a fan of Peter van de Graaf, I was curious when I heard new
names at my regular listening times - about 9:00 P.M. Upon inquiring,
I learned the following: MPB is broadcasting a new service in the evenings and
overnight, "Classical 24," with live announcers around the clock - Bob
Christiansen, Alison Young, Ward Jacobson, Scott Blankenship and John
Zech. Other announcers of "Classical 24," including Julie Amacher and
Jeff Esworthy, will be heard mid-day during the week when Greg Waxberg is
not on the air. The announcers of "Classical 24" provide background
about the music, including one minute at the beginning of every hour
when they promote a specific piece.
Sometimes there are awkward moments, when a piece will be announced,
begin, and then after a few bars fade out abruptly, when a new piece
will be announced. I was told that those moments are "fills", that that
space is really for local stations to use. I hope that that gets smoothed
out somehow. On the other hand, the selections have been good and
the comments interesting; an example: a piece by
a Massachusetts composer Byrd (didn't catch his first name) was
followed by the comment that Byrd had studied abroad with Franz Liszt.
After he returned to the U.S., Liszt wrote him that a German music critic
had said that Byrd must be crazy and should be committed. Liszt then
said that if Byrd deserved to be committed, then he (Liszt) deserved
it, too, and would be happy to join him.
It is too soon to tell if "Classical 24" will have the broad variety
that van de Graaf did, but I am hoping. Meanwhile we are fortunate to
have Greg Waxberg, and in particular his "Mississippi Concert Hall",
which is of incalculable value to our local classical musicians.
Glenn A. Gentry