Saturday, February 14, 2004

Not much to report on the stream weather report front, but here goes with what's new this week:

KLASSIKARAADIO's stream is again up and working, although it took quite a while to load (and one still must set one's transport preferences in Real Player to "HTTP Only").

I could not even get the KPBX stream to load earlier this evening, so one must assume that this stream will be down for the remainder of the weekend at least.

The KUSC stream is working again, but is only playing at 32K (instead of 56K).

The stream from RADIO TRE (RAI) is still very distorted. I have had trouble getting this stream to play in my (old) Version 8 Real Player, but I hear from one correspondent that Real One plays the stream just fine, albeit with the same awful distortion that has been plaguing this stream for WEEKS.

UNIVALLE ESTEREO's 32k Real Player stream is totally distorted - not even listenable. We have writtne to the station, but have so far not heard back from them about this problem. We will keep you posted on developments.

WCLV's MP3 stream is working again, but not playing at full strength - so far I have only gotten it to stream at 24K stereo (with 12K sampling) - not really up to our fidelity standards.... but I guess one should be grateful for small favors.

WUFT's stream is again exhibiting distortion on audio peaks, a shame because this 320K Windows Media 9 stream otherwise sounds SO good....

Chief among listening pleasures over the next couple of days:

The Met Broadcast this week features Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame (and RADIO BEETHOVEN will be playing the studio recording of the same opera with Wieslaw Ochman on Sunday).

LATVIA RADIO KLASIKA will be airing the Pierre Boulez 1969 studio recording of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, with a sublime cast including Elisabeth Soederstrom, Donald McIntyre and Yvonne Minton (I don't usually feature studio recordings in these highlight listings, but this one is a gem and one of my all-time favorite opera recordings).

WCLV will be repeating one of the choice Met Broadcasts from last season: Mozart's Don Giovanni, with Peter Mattei as the Don, Sondra Radvanovsky as Donna Anna, Melanie Diener as Donna Elvira and the wonderful Anna Netrebko as Zerlina.

WFCR is now running the Met Broadcasts one week behind the regular schedule, so if you missed last week's Rigoletto (not a particularly memorable one, in my opinion), you can catch it again Saturday afternnoon.

ESPACE 2 in Belgium will be broadcasting Braunfels' Les Oiseaux (after Aristophanes), an opera that is thoroughly unfamiliar to us, but that, from its subject matter, sounds interesting.

At 9PM on Saturday evening, New York time, WQXR will be broadcasting Marilyn Horne’s 70th Birthday and Horne Foundation 10th Anniversary Gala Benefit Concert (or at least highlights from it) that took place a week or so ago at Carnegie Hall. Featured are Isabel Bayrakdarian, Stephanie Blythe, Olga Borodina, Barbara Cook, David Daniels, Denyce Graves, Marvin Hamlisch, Ben Heppner, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Lang Lang, Audra McDonald, Bejun Mehta, Thomas Quasthoff, Twyla J.Robinson, and Frederica von Stade. I am particularly looking forward to this item, as I was too sick to attend the actual concert....

CONCERTZENDER's De Diva op de Erwt program will be carrying a 2- hour portrait of Inge Borkh.

On Sunday, BBC RADIO 3 will be featuring a delayed broadcast of a concert performance of Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle, from Glasgow, with Andrea Melath and Peter Fried (singers I am not familiar with) and conducted by Ilan Volkov.

Happy listening,


Friday, February 06, 2004

After a hiatus of several weeks, we are again trying to monitor the streams that we list, or at least SOME of them...

AUDITORIUM (Italy) used to be weak in the RIGHT channel; now they seem to have overcompensated and the stream seems weak in the LEFT channel - let's get this right, guys!

All three streams for DR P2 (Denmark) are still playing at much too low a level.

The stream for KLASSIKARAADIO (Estonia) is currently DOWN.

A visitor to the OperaCast site wrote me a day or two ago to let me know that KPBX's stream played...nothing... during its broadcast of Hansel & Gretel last week. Well, the stream is STILL playing dead air...

When I had last checked KUSC(California) a week or so back (it had been down for some while), its stream was playing again, but only at 32K (not it's described 56K), but now the stream is again down. KUSC has said that they are aware of the problem and have been working to fix it.

The stream for KXLU (California) is still dawdling along at 24K instead of its described 56K.

A few weeks back we had reported that both streams from MDR KULTUR's (Germany) were suffered from a high-pitched whine, but that the station was working to fix it. I am happy to report that the whines are gone and both streams are healthy again - ENJOY!

RADIO TRE (RAI) (Italy) refused to play until I went to the station's home page and clicked the link from their site. But it's hardly worth the effort to get this stream to play. It still suffers from the same gross distortion it has been suffering from for WEEKS! We urge all our visitors who wish to complain about this to email RAI IN ITALIAN with their complaints. (I have heard tales of folks emailing them only to get the email back because RAI's mailbox was full, but please keep trying. This station broadcasts important performances, mostly live, so it is worth pursuing them to get this distortion fixed.)

Since our staff has been cut from three people to two in the last several weeks, it will not be possible for us to monitor ALL of the streams we list. So we will be trying to keep tabs on certain known "problem" streams. If you become aware of a problem with a specific stream, please write us about it and we will follow up with the station and mention the problem here if it persists.

Happy listening this weekend...

I will probably be most interested in listening to RADIO 4's Iolanta (Tchaikovsky), an opera I love, with a cast of singers only some of whom I am familiar with.

Also of interest:

+ Camilla Tilling in Pelleas et Melisande from SVERIGES RADIO P2
+ Jules Massenet: Le jongleur de Notre-Dame - a 1985 performance from Netherlands Radio being broadcast by NRK ALLTID KLASSISK
+ Antonin Dvorak: Vanda - a performance from the Concertgebouw from May 2003, being aired by RADIO OESTERREICH INTERNATIONAL
+ Gluck: Alceste - coming direct from Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, with Katerina Karneus among others, being aired by MUSIQUE 3

Those who were frustrated by technical difficulties when WDAV tried to broadcast this past summer's Bayreuth Siegfried (as part of NPR's World of Opera series), will be pleased to learn that they are rebroadcasting it again this Sunday....

Happy listening,