BAS Message
August 2021

1. I’ve been enjoying casual classical listening on WFCR FM in Amherst MA --- FM in my workshop, HD Radio HD2 at home. Only recently did I realize they are completely different. The FM (and HD1) have a mix of classical music, news, talk radio, jazz etc. HD2 is 100% classical.

It has Peter Van De Graaff as a genial host, seemingly 24 hours a day, who provides background commentary on the pieces played. It turns out the program has nothing to do with WFCR. It is produced at WFMT Chicago as the Beethoven Satellite Network and sold to stations around the country. It has 1 hour segments. Programming is varied and often by thematic groups. (It never identifies itself as BSN).

All the time I am hearing pieces I have never heard before, which is certainly not the case with WCRB FM. The sound is compressed (dynamically) . I don’t know if it is done at the source or at WFCR. I tuned in one day and heard some interesting music obviously from 78s. It turned out to be 4 Tone Poems after Arnold Böcklin conducted by Hermann Abendroth from the Concertgebouw live in 1941, from Radio Nederland.

The playlists are at

Between almost every outro and intro there are clicks. This says that it is the product of an editing suite and not live. One evening I was listening to some music of Sousa and suddenly the music started rapidly repeating, maybe 100 times in 30 secs. Then the sound muted for a minute, and then the music resumed. Peter acted as if nothing had happened.

Occasionally the sound mutes for a few seconds for no apparent reason.

His pronunciation seems impeccable, sometimes giving the native language pronunciation, then the Anglicized version. He pronounced Glazunov’s Raymonda Ballet as “Rye-munda” with the “u” as in “put”. I can’t confirm this.

email me here


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updated 8/14/21