Monday, August 16, 2010

The bad side of Classical music.

I'm sure you never imagined there could be a "bad side" to Classical music. But note, it is not the "Bad Ass" side of Classical Music, just the bad, as in the rotten side.

And what is that side?
It's the CBC.
Yes (you read me correctly). Many readers out there are most likely aware of the fairly recent changes that were made to CBC radio 2's programming, notably their slashing of a) amazing DJ's (VJ's?), b) good quality music and c) impeccable programming.

Then they decided to change all the was good for all that is bad.
Then my heart died a little.
Then they decided to give the Asinine Julie Nesrallah a 5 hour time slot and call it Tempo.
Then the once wonderful Tom Allen sold his soul to the devil (aka CBC) in order to keep his job and program a terrible morning show of horrible music. It actually pains me to say such things about Tom, I really really enjoyed his broadcasting, but it's the terrible, and painful truth.

Actually, some of the music they play isn't so bad. For instance once I was driving to the library and heard Great Lake Swimmers. Another time my mom and I were driving up the escarpment and they played Sealion covered by Feist.
But what is bad is the programming. What was great about the CBC was the classic feel, the feeling of being at home with those familiar kind, knowing voices and the great music they played. That has all gone.
I think it all started when they canned Danielle Charbonneau, after demoting her to the middle of the night program from 11pm to 3am or something ludicrous like that. (*apparently she "retired", probably because she was given the worst slot in radio history to host.)

The CBC was a popular station among the young and the old. Now I don't know who it is popular with. But every time I hear Nesrallah call Mozart "Wolfie" or say something cringe worthy such as "Don't you just love Bach? He's totally my man, you know?" I cannot do anything but turn the radio off and stop myself from tossing it violently out my third story window. On their webpage describing Tempo they call it a "fresh, spontaneous and insightful look into the world of classical music." ... Not "do they" but can the people who wrote that really believe that? Maybe it's just that they are clinically insane.
I can't decide which is worse: the change in programming or the change in personalities. But even when I hear Feist or Great Lake Swimmers or whomever else, I think it feels out of place and whatever is said afterward, makes me wish I didn't even like what I had just heard.

Sure, they put in a classical music slot, and Nesrallah is there, day in and day out, playing classical music. And now even Tom Allen is too, but it's their personalities and their lack of creativity and thought in their programming which has made the big difference. Where Peter Tongi puts his heart and mind into what he plays, Nesrallah's choices feel like the Pop version of classical music. Nothing original, nothing off the beaten track, just the regular old stuff, that you've heard a million times, that you might really enjoy, like Dvorak's Symphony no. 9, or Debussey's Au Clair de Lune.

Simply put, there is something missing, and I think it might be soul.

I grew up on CBC radio 2. However, my children (if/when that happens...) won't even know it exists and they will grow up on Radio-Canada Espace Musique and Première Chaine. The VJ/DJ's whatever they are called are more interesting, and probably just as knowledgeable but they are missing all that makes the new personalities on the CBC make me want to hurl something across the room.

Voilà, my scathing review of the CBC.

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