BBC Radio 3 Interview with Nikolaus Harnoncourt

I mentioned this last Saturday at the Spring Concert session in Seamus’s, and bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t set up streaming audio on our weblog. Now I realise that I was being silly, since I’ve already done that with a number of blog posts previously. So, here goes …

Poor old Radio 3 is now but a poor shadow of what it used to be. Roger Wright, the idiot Controller, is hellbent on tearing this once great radio station apart, especially in the morning when Breakfast and Essential Classics plumb the depths of the current wretched dumbing-down trend, unbelievably manage to out-ClassicFM ClassicFM, and make a pig’s whatever of any resemblance to the once great Radio 3. And yet, one or two decent moments still survive, and the interview with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, broadcast in the Music Matters series on Saturday 14th April, definitely kept up the old standard of excellence.

This is the programme blurb from the BBC web site: Suzy Klein presents this week’s edition of Music Matters, which features a rare interview with the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. One of the great musical figures of the 20th and 21st Centuries, renowned as a pioneer in the world of conducting, Harnoncourt was a key player in the development of the ‘period performance’ of classical, baroque and early music, in particular the music of JS Bach. The conductor is as feisty today as ever – now in his 80s, Harnoncourt is still performing, writing and thinking about music from Bach to Berio, Beethoven to Gershwin. He reveals to Suzy the conductors whose style he hated and why he can’t stand dogma of any sort; his thoughts on those early days of his musical revolution and why he continues today to make demands of his audience.

So, all that remains is to have a listen. Just click on the Play button below and yiz should be laughing. The interview is 45 minutes long, and worth every listening minute.