June 02, 2005
Download the BBC's Beethoven

For a weeklong tribute to Beethoven, BBC radio will not only be broadcasting his music non-stop, they're offering all nine symphonies for download. Brilliant!

As a column in The Scotsman notes, this is a terrific way for the BBC to introduce a new audience to classical music -- an audience for which its recordings, not Karajan or Bernstein, are the standard.

It may turn out that Noseda's Beethoven becomes the household version to computer-literate millions in China, India or Korea who have never heard of Karajan or Klemperer and could, in any event, never afford the price of a DG or EMI set.

To them, Noseda and the BBC Phil are the bringers of light and arbiters of art. When, two or three decades hence, China is the world's largest industrial power, it will be Noseda's Beethoven that couples recall as their formative revelation, as our grandparents once savoured Toscanini's.

The BBC recordings will apparently be offered for download for a week after they're played on the radio next week. No no word yet on format or license, but I have high hopes for an organization that understands its role as promoting culture, not just commerce. (For more Beeb coolness, see also Creative Archive and BBC Backstage.)

Thanks Danny!

Posted by Wendy at June 02, 2005 09:46 AM | TrackBack

And they say American's don't *do* irony?

ps am heading onto the site!!
pps will place a trackback on my blog when I get the chance to blog

Posted by: Cyberbug on June 3, 2005 07:58 AM
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