Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Musical Signature of WCRB-WGBH Conversion
Monday morning I flipped through the radio stations and heard the unmistakable sounds of Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in a. It was my first indication that 24-hour classical music station WCRB is really being bought by WGBH to continue as a 24-hour classical station -- but with WGBH's broader mix of music, not WCRB's mostly light classical (all Vivaldi and Mozart, all the time).
The Boston Globe reported this morning that the Federal Communications Commission approved the $14 million purchase of the station last week -- although the WGBH format is not supposed to change until December 1 and WCRB announcers have yet to move to the Brighton studios.
WCRB's annoying stamp, er, "branding," on their station was still in evidence Monday: the piano trio's conclusion was immediately followed by a chirpy-voiced, "Casual, comfortable classical."
No. This piano trio is neither casual nor comfortable. It is dark, tragic, dramatic, and pathos-ridden -- written in memory of the great 19th century Russian pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein who had died in the preceding year.
I'll be delighted when WCRB transitions to WGBH musical fare like this piano trio but drops the idiotic branding verbiage.
Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in a, Op.50, 1st movement, played by Sviatoslav Richter (piano), Oleg Kagan (violin), and Natalya Gutman ('cello).