in: News & Features

June 24, 2011

WCRB’s Extensive Live Tanglewood Coverage

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This summer WCRB will not only be broadcasting every BSO Tanglewood concert live but will also be expanding their coverage to include many of the performances at Seiji Ozawa Hall.  According to Ben Roe, manager of classical services for WGBH, “From Ozawa’s debut to Bernstein’s farewell, musical memories are made every summer – and indeed, at every concert – at Tanglewood. There is no festival in the world that equals Tanglewood’s special combination of great musical art made in such a beautiful natural setting.”

The broadcasts, which will include pre-concert interviews and special features, will air Fridays and Saturdays from 7-11 pm and Sundays from 1-5 pm.

Listeners in some parts of Boston and to the south may still need to listen on-line or through the HD-2 feed,  but there’s good news for other locales: public radio stations WFCR in Amherst, MA; WMNR Fine Arts Radio in Monroe, CT; and WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, NY will be simulcasting. In addition WJMF will be mirroring the WCRB signal beginning in August, so Providence, RI listeners will then be able to tune in.

Ron Della Chiesa will continue as broadcast host, though other WCRB personalities will also participate. Ben Roe will make his debut as executive producer of these broadcasts, and Brian Bell will once again serve as producer.

18 Comments

  1. This is wonderful news! Let us pray that the quality of the broadcast signal from Tanglewood is equal to the task. Kudos to Ben Roe for facilitating this significant improvement over the status quo!

    Comment by John W. Ehrlich — June 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm

  2. The greatest new same from Boson MF over quite long time!!! Thank you, Ben Roe!!! Meow!!!

    Comment by Romy The Cat — June 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  3. great news what radio frequencie?

    Comment by guy elliott — July 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm

  4. 99.5 FM

    Comment by Joe Whipple — July 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm

  5. It was Friday around 11.30AM and I was sitting in my downtown office, watching live NASSA-TV broadcast from Cape Canaveral of the Atlantis’ launch. As the Shuttle took off from the launching platform the commentator said “America will continue the dream.” In context of everything that is going on with NASSA I felt that it was such a phenomenal thing to say, the dream will continue…

    As last night BSO proceed with opening the Berlioz’s Requiem (a wonderful performance BTW) I felt very much the same about the recent development with WCRB. Those 3 live broadcasts from Tanglewood per week – we, the New Englanders, are back in the celebrated Boston radio broadcast haven! The dream of all those people who started and supported the BSO broadcasts in 50s, even before the FM era came, is certainly continuing. It was depressing to observe for the last 2 years how the former WCRB moronic-management vandalized whatever was built-in in Boston for years. With Ben Roe arrival it looks like the whole attitude of the station begin to change and now we have 3 concerts from Tanglewood!

    Well, the least that I can do at this point is to call to on Monday to WCRB and to donate money, something that I did not do since WGBH moved to WCRB. The BSO broadcasting dream is continuing, so the support to the radio station that is makeing is possible…

    Comment by Romy The Cat — July 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

  6. For some reasons the Tanglewood performances do not find the BMI coverage but I think someone has to mention the elephant in the room. I do not know what happening under BSO’s hood but did anybody notice that BSO suddenly has begun to play significantly better since they open at Tanglewood? In fact, in my estimation they sometimes play now as well as I ever heard them. I wonder what is happening.

    Those feelings were growing in me but last night the Jaap van Zweden truly surprised me. BSO, as most of the USA orchestras, never was great Beethoven orchestra. They do not have the sophistication of tone; the celebrated acoustics in Symphony Hall is just an unfortunate hype, BSO regrettable very seldom (if ever) able to play proper for Beethoven most Sound and so on and so on…
    Under Levine there were 2-3 concerts when they were “trying” to do something with it. The result was OK but it felt too contrived and more remind not a naturally-beautiful woman but an unattractive woman with a lot of makeup…

    And you know what – for whatever reasons the “tone” of BSO began to change. The last night Beethoven 7 – I was listening and was VERY surprised. The BSO last night at time sounded so moist, so wonderfully-slow and with such atypical for BSO classiness of woodwind and brass that it sounded as if it was played by a good orchestra from the lands where Budweiser is not consider to be an American bear.

    Whatever is happening now in BSO and to whoever drives the changes I would like to express my appreciation. Great direction to go, BSO! Bravo!

    Comment by Romy The Cat — July 24, 2011 at 6:45 am

  7. I would like to note that WCRB, without any big hooplas and announcements of “perestroika”, kind of surreptitiously, is turning out to be a truly fine classical station. There are ton of things that they do nowadays that is very welcoming in my view, which makes the FM junkies like me immensely happy.

    Comment by Romy The Cat — August 13, 2011 at 7:49 pm

  8. I very much agree. Bravo Ben.And their website is great too.

    Comment by Flee — August 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm

  9. Why hasn’t the BSO cancelled/rescheduled their Sunday afternoon concert! I think expecting audience members, staff, and musicians to drive and attend an outdoor concert is extremely irresponsible at best!

    Comment by Stacy — August 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm

  10. I feel quite opposite, Stacy, and I very much like the fact that BSO did not cancelled the concert. BSO’s Beethoven with the season last concert is habitually very boring, boring to the point that it well worth to be sabotaged. So, I think that dreadful whether and a few flying chairs over the shed would give some spice to the event and who know, perhaps even give to use some exciting and stimulating performance. Let it blow!

    Comment by Romy The Cat — August 27, 2011 at 8:45 am

  11. My first direct encounter with Tanglewood was in 1960 when my folks took me to hear Munch conduct Berlioz’ “Damnation of Faust”. I hate to say it, but I think this was the most boring Tanglewood season since then. Over 50 years – yikes!

    Comment by duvidl — August 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  12. Well, they up and cancelled. I wonder if this afternoon’s conditions are worse than any in which they actually played. Or do we just let ourselves become terrorized by fearmongering meteorologists and politicians? What ever happened to the spirit of the pioneers? Nowadays, the show must go on unless we decide to call it off.

    Comment by Joe Whipple — August 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  13. hundreds of chorus members staying in ancient rickety motels, hundreds of staff and public safety officials helping people cross the street instead of taking care of their towns, and of course only 5% of the audience would attend.

    I am certainly biased, but I think they made the right call this time.

    Comment by Josh Nannestad — August 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  14. I think the world “hurricane” was brought in New England vocabulary by those wily salesmen from Bernie and Phyl’s Furniture. I will not be surprised if we learned that they had huge fans atop of their building that span the wind and in their mind helped them to sell those ugly sofas and tables…

    Anyhow, since this is a thread about the WCRB’s Tanglewood Coverage then as the season is done I would like to note that it was great summer on Boston Classical FM dial. Sure, the BSO program was in way “idiosyncratic” but it was not WCRB fault. I think BMI might want to review the WCRB offers nowadays as WCRB today is not the same station as it was six months back.

    Comment by Romy The Cat — August 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

  15. From the WCRB site: ”… 60 year relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra continues and deepens, with live broadcasts of every Saturday evening performance by the BSO … now repeated on Sunday afternoons at 1pm, following New England Summer Festivals.”

    So, I guess bye-bye the Brian Bell’s BSO on Record program and hello the rebroadcast of the Saturday concert.

    Hm… this is good and bad.

    Bad is that we lost Brian Bell’s programming. Also it was in a way annoying lately with endless repeat of the same material but I would rather much prefer to cancel extinguished “BSO on Record” and to have Brian Bell to start some kind of new, more diverse program, something like “The greatest performances on record”. Having Brian Bell encyclopedic knowledge of recoded materiel and his ability to sell the performances the new Bell’s program, might become the most celebrated show at the Boston classical radio horizon. I do feel that with new setting the Brian Bell’s talent will be greatly underused.

    The repeat of the Saturday concert if a good thing but I would rather to have the repeat of the Friday concert. Most likely Brian will do his usual things by mixing the best movements from Friday and Saturday that is mixed blessing in my view.

    Anyhow, I am not sure if I like the new arrangement. I like the re-broadcast but I do not want to lose the Brian Bell’s spot. I do like to have 1-2 hours in week his own show with material of his selection. Would WCRB realize that the “authored program” is more stimulating for listeners than another spin of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons?”

    Comment by Romy The Cat — September 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm

  16. The mixed blessing again. The WCRB did not broadcast live this week Anne-Sophie Mutter’s Mozart program with BSO. Instead they pushed a compilation of Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra concerts. The program was wonderful and in my feline estimation the performances of Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra routinely put BSO play in Tanglewood in shame. Anyhow, I do not know what the cause was but I would be very surprised if the artist of Anne-Sophie Mutter caliber would chicken out to play live for air. It was said that next week the most successful today Mozart programs will be aired, so I guess something did not “click” in there. Did anybody hear them live in Boston today? Was any any bad blood dripping?

    Comment by Romy The Cat — October 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

  17. Well, Romy, there are drawbacks to just about any time they might have scheduled the rebroadcast. I had been expecting it to fill the 3:00 slot, which would have been more convenient for me most of the time. But to me the fact that they are doing it at all is a very good thing. One good by-product of the timing is that it makes it easier for listeners in Europe and the Middle East to hear it, with a starting time between 6 and 8 p.m.

    I share your surprise at the failure to broadcast last evening’s concert. When I see that there will be no concert on October 8, the decision makes some sense, and I’m really glad that they decided to broadcast the Thursday evening concert on the 6th.

    Comment by Joe Whipple — October 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

  18. “…there’s good news for other locales: public radio stations WFCR in Amherst, MA; WMNR Fine Arts Radio in Monroe, CT; and WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, NY will be simulcasting…”

    WAMC/Albany did NOT carry additional concerts from Ozawa Hall or the old Theater in Summer 2011. They carried just the weekend BSO programs from the Shed. I know, because I live in the Albany/Saratoga region.

    Comment by Don Drewecki — October 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

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