On Radio: March 19, 2016by Fiona Rae
Including Uri Caine, Joanne Lunn and Sondra Radvanovsky.
SUNDAY MARCH 20
Opera on Sunday (RNZ Concert, 6.00pm). American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky’s quest to sing all three of Donizetti’s Tudor queens continues – she sang Anna Bolena in January in what was described as a flawless performance by the New York Times, and today takes on Maria Stuarda. South African soprano Elsa van den Heever is her rival, Elisabetta, and took the extreme step of shaving her head for the role to give her Elizabeth I’s high forehead.
MONDAY MARCH 21
Music Alive (RNZ Concert, 7.00pm). A hot-off-the-press recording of last night’s performance by American jazz pianist Uri Caine and the New Zealand String Quartet. In this collab, as the young folk say, called Reimagining the Classics, Caine and the NZSQ reinterpret Beethoven’s Harp Quartet, Op 74, and Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Plus, they play two of Caine’s compositions, Jagged Edges and String Theories.
Music for Good Friday (RNZ Concert, noon). Bach’s St John Passion is courtesy of Bach Collegium Japan, a group formed in 1990 to introduce Japanese audiences to music from the Baroque period. It was recorded here, however, during the 2014 New Zealand Festival and features German tenor Gerd Türk, Dutch bass Peter Kooij, Japanese bass Chiyuki Urano and English soprano Joanne Lunn. A more modern St John Passion can be heard in Sound Lounge at 7.00pm today – Arvo Pärt’s Passio, written in 1989, is performed by the Latvian Radio Chorus and many others. Thursday’s Music Alive (7.00pm) also has an Easter theme; the Tudor Consort performs Miserere – Music for Holy Week.
Your chance to comment on TV and radio
University Challenge (Prime) was great, except for the sound. I could hear clearly every answer from the students, but the quizmaster often dropped into a mutter. Sometimes it was only the answer that gave me a clue as to the question.
Could this be a fault of the microphone position? The students had theirs directly in front and they captured direct speech as well as their quiet consultations. I could not detect the quizmaster’s microphone and he appeared to be turning frequently side to side.
Hey, the producers of our TV news bulletins have forgotten to add sound effects like they have in all the other programmes to ensure we can’t hear what is being said. Is this an oversight?
COMEDY OF ERRORS
I don’t watch many TV quiz shows, but sometimes there can be bonus unintentional entertainment, such as in two consecutive quizzes on TV1 on February 17.
First, The Chaser contestant: “I love travelling, and I’d especially like to go to Hawaii and Tahiti. I love places that end in e.” Then, in Millionaire Hot Seat: “I’d love to go to Antarctica – I love the sea.”
TV1 treats its older audience with contempt. Many committed viewers of the long-running soap Coronation Street tend to go to bed early. But if they wanted to view a mere 30 minutes (less commercial breaks) of Coro on March 11, they would have to have stayed up until it started at 10.20pm. Interminable cooking programmes are deemed more important by the TV1 nabobs.
When I listen to RNZ through my TV, I’m [also] distracted by an endless display of pictures and scrolling text of items different from the spoken broadcast. (Talkback, Feb 27) I can either listen or read, it is impossible to do both. The strength of radio and its point of difference is that it is a listening medium. Unfortunately, the RNZ boffins driving these changes appear absorbed in this digital world and risk destroying what was an excellent public-broadcasting network.
(Karaka Bays, Wellington)
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