Monday, 21 July 2008

Making a bit of a mess of Messaien?

Something went awry on Monday night. Whether it was the FM transmitter I get my transmission from or the R3 engineers at the RAH, I don't know.

I'd really been looking forward to hearing that organ again, but in the thirty seconds of silence before it started, there was a shocking amount of hiss. There's always some microphone hiss comes through on live Proms transmissions, but after the first few bars it also sounded as though it was being miked from way back over the Prommers at the back of the Arena and a single stereo pair at that or just from those that are meant to catch the audience applause.

This sounded like a bad technical blunder, but I'll see what the repeat recording sounds like. Until then, I can't offer a review, it wouldn't be fair. Time was when there were BBC techs I could have talked to about that, but those days, thanks to John Birt, are long gone, and there's no point in talking to a PR person in the Secretariat who can't tell the difference between a podcast and serious audio . . .

It must have been some bizarre reception fault, for when I listened to the repeat, it wasn't as bad as that, though the organ did sound disappointingly flat. I wondered if the engineers had decided to tame it a little bit after the first time. But I won't review that performance, because I found it really a little too prissily academic and, well, flat.

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