Following discussion elsewhere, inevitably raised by the last BAL, I am beginning to wonder if BAL is tacitly drawing a line under the 1990's and pretending that recording history started there for all practical purposes.
Over the weeks more and more listeners are raising versions of pieces untouched by reviewers. Now, of course, the longer the legacy stretches, the near if not total impossibility of collating a meaningful programme on, say, Beethoven symphonies is well understood, but...............
The history of recorded classical music now goes back well over a century, and in terms of R3 remit, we see the increasing need for a return of a regular CDM or Interpretations on Record as an urgent historical, cultural and educational resource.
The BBC has a HUGE role to play as custodians of arguably the biggest recorded music archive in Europe if not wider. Unless they accept this custodianship, make it available regularly to presenters and archivists, and the BBC's own programme makers eg Jonathan Swain etc, then that archive has no currency apart from the predictably fragile memories of people and those with extensive back catalogues of 78's, LPs and tapes in private hands.
How the musical heritage we now enjoy on record has evolved, the changing fashions and orchestral values and sounds etc [cf recent chat aout Russian brass of yesteryear and the homogenising of the sound of European orchestras] is as essential as books are to an evaluation of how a culture thinks of itself and its identity. I would like to urge the BBC to think very hard about its responsibility as curators and custodians in this field. At the moment, they seem to be re-defining what is 'relevant; and suggesting that the commercial imperatives of staying in bed with the industry's obsession with 'now' is more important than relating 'now' to context i.e. 'how did we get here?'
I wonder if others have similar thoughts?