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A kick up the classics

When Radio 4 gets boring (which sadly is quite often), I tend to flit over to that airwaves resort of the middle-aged, Classic FM. They even occasionally play a piece I haven't heard and like, which is nice. And worryingly, I quite often find myself agreeing with David Mellor's taste. But I have to agree wholeheartedly with a whingeing person on the Now Show a few weeks ago (probably Marcus Brigstocke), in saying that I get really depressed with Classic FM's obsession with classical music being relaxing.

Yes, of course it sometimes is relaxing - but equally it can be exciting, thrilling, energizing, heart-pumping, inspiring and more. Though my terminology has mellowed with age, I still agree with the sentiment in the way I considered my favourite classical music as a student to be 'orgasmic.'

By all means, Classic FM, have your relaxing moments - but give us some fire, some passion too. Listen to something like Barber's Agnus Dei, and hear pure angst for the condition of humanity. Listen to the finale of Stravinsky's Firebird and hear sheer energy. Listen to a tudorbethan church music composer and hear spiritual fire. Relaxation is definitely not what it's all about.


  1. I must admit, I'm not a big fan of Classic FM. It's too much like the Classical version of Top of the Pops, and it drives me nuts to only hear one movement of a piece instead of the entire thing.

  2. I tend to think of it as a sampler, Sue - I've bought a couple of CDs as a result of hearing a bit on Classic FM. I only tend to listen to the radio in the car, so typically hear snippets anyway.

    Incidentally, elsewhere Emma Darwin kindly recommended listening to Radio 3 instead. I don't know if I'm jinxed, but every time I turn to Radio 3 they're playing a 12 tone string quartet, or something equally so far out of my interest zone that I don't stay for more than a few seconds. Maybe I've been unlucky.

  3. I listen to radio 3 every morning. Sometimes it's horrible, but often it's wonderful. But actually, I'm often either too sleepy or too distracted to really pay attention anyway :-)


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