Newest Review: ... likely to here music by Carl Jenkins, John Rutter or Leonord Bernstein as Mozart or Beethoven! Shows The radio station plays 24:7 and ha... more
More middle class than Hyacinth Bucket but I love it!
Member Name: Renza_e
Date: 30/12/09, updated on 31/12/09 (94 review reads)
Advantages: Great music and introduces you to new music.
Disadvantages: Unavoidable adverts and I am still waiting for my prizes! :P
Classic FM - It appears more middle class than sculpted cul-de-sacs, doilies, Hyacinth Bucket and a weekly shop at Waitrose (it even has Waitrose as a sponsor). And it probably is middle class, in terms of appearances. The presenters are all very well-spoken and respectable. There's none of the crude, informal banter that you'll hear on Radio One. You probably wouldn't even call it banter - you'd call it polite conversation -what you might speak about should you rather remarkably and weirdly have tea with the Queen. They're all very pleasant and knowledgeable. The presenters really know their stuff - even that bassist from Blur, Alex James. In fact, he presents the A-Z of Classical Music, a programme that has actually won some awards and rightfully so. It is an intriguing, interesting show where you learn a lot about music whilst getting to hear many wonderful pieces.
As a big fan of classical music, this station is terrific for treating my ears to some well-known classics, new interpretations of classics and new artists. It also has enlightened me to a whole host of classical music, new and old, that I'd never heard of before. It strengthened my love of Saint-Saens and if it wasn't for this channel I may have never have tracked down such beautiful pieces such as Sibelius' Symphony No 5 and Goreski's Symphony No 3. Additionally, Classical FM is a great 'study' station - great for students and great background music when you want to cosy up on the couch with a good book. Although, I must admit that it does get a bit annoying when that is disrupted by the adverts and some of the dialogue (I usually end up muting it for a minute or two although getting a news update between studying can sometimes be refreshing and reminds you of the outside world for a moment, even if it is somewhat depressing)...
*~MY PROGRAMMES OF CHOICE~*
There a whole range of fantastic presenters on the station. Here are a few which I very often listen to.
1) Alex James - As I said, you learn a lot and he's actually a very good presenter. It's also on at 11am-1pm and 11am is shamefully the time I tend to wake up nowadays (I often work late).
2) Smooth Classics at Six - Presented by Margarita Taylor from 6pm to 9pm- This is my prime studying time and I do find her voice and her choice of pieces very soothing and she helps ward off deadline panic.
3) Natalie Wheen's Full Works Concert - This can be a bit hit or miss. As the title suggests, you are served up full works and if you don't like a particular composer then it can be a bit annoying to have to listen to his or her music for so long. Again, I very often listen to her programme because it runs from 10pm to midnight and, when I'm not working, I'm very often studying at these hours.
4) Night Time Programming - Dear The Graveyard Shift Presenters, you make all-nighters less painful. Not only do I thank Nick Bailey but also the other lady who covers for him when he's off (I forget her name). Thanks to them for transmitting classical music at ungodly hours.
As you can guess, I'm not really a morning person so I can't really deliver an opinion of lauded shows such as that of Mylenne Klass and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, amongst other morning presenters. Now I am trying to become more of a morning person so maybe in the future I will treat myself to the delights of their shows. Nevertheless, I have heard good things about them and should I get up early enough in future on their specific presenting days I would definitely give their shows a listen.
*~IS IT ALL MUSICAL DELIGHT?~*
I actually have very few criticisms of the station. It is inevitably going to appeal most to middle-class persons and I'll even admit that I strive to be a little middle-class myself (in terms of money primarily - It would be nice not to wince at the prices at John Lewis). But of course I'm propagating stereotypes. And part of me hates throwing about class terms. I mean my dad is pretty 'working-class' and he loves classical music - He even introduced me to this station when I was in my teens.
Anyhow, calling the station middle-class is never really going to be a criticism. Really, I'm just jesting. What really is a little bit irritating is the constant repetition of particular pieces around the festive period. That's a little bit annoying I suppose. That and no matter how many times I enter the Classic FM competitions, I'm never going to win anything. C'mon, I'm a poor needy student. Quit giving the free holidays to families that shop at Waitrose! (Of course I'm kidding...sort of)
All in all, Classic FM is one of my favourite radio stations. Not only do I listen to it on my laptop but my iphone has a free application which you can use to tune in. That's rather handy as it means I can get my classical music fix in various locations (when the application decides to function). So if you like classical music, I'd give the station a listen. If you are unsure if you like classical music, at least give it a try and open up your mind. Some classical music may be a bit staid but there are some beautiful works out there that may very well move you.
*~Thanks for reading my review - I'll hopefully be 'BACH' with more soon! (Well, the festive season isn't complete without crap 'Christmas cracker' style jokes, is it? :P)~* :)
*~Also published on Ciao - December 2009~*
Summary: Take a break from Radio One!