Video wonders!

RTÉ, and yes, even the once-great BBC, should be ashamed of themselves. Mediocre coverage of the Dublin Piano Competition every three years if we’re lucky here at home, and a few Proms on BBC4 (provided they’re not too challenging, of course), and that’s about the extent of serious music on TV from these two broadcasters.

And then just look to our Continental neighbours and see what’s on offer there! Ron regularly keeps us in touch with the content he has access to thanks to his satellite and the Arte channel, and it’s difficult not to feel just a little bit jealous of what he can watch while we’re stuck with the likes of Strictly Come Dancing. Well now, thanks to the dear old internet, we can rid ourselves of some at least of our jealous feelings thanks to Arte’s web presence at Arte Live Web.

The site is only available in French and German, but that’s a small price to pay for such wonderful material so readily available. Among current offerings are the following: Veronique Gens in a concert titled Romantic Heroines (a promo tie-in to her CD of the same name); the gala performance of Russlan and Ludmilla from the refurbished Bolshoi Theatre, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in a programme of works by Rossini, Berlioz and Mendelssohn, and even a complete Ring cycle (a ‘pared-down’ version, with just 18 musicians rather than a full symphony orchestra).

I’ve only just stumbled on this myself, and haven’t had time to do any more than dip into a few of the offerings, but I thought it right to share with you guys. Well worth a look, and perhaps an address to add to your browser bookmarks.