Common User

Me rambling on.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Norman Lebrecht, Beethoven and culture at the BBC

Norman Lebrecht, in his weekly Evening Standard column reviews and analyses the recent groundbreaking experiment by my colleagues in BBC Radio and Music to offer internet downloads of Bach recordings alongside the recent Radio 3 Bach season. Although on the surface it looked merely an extension of broadcasting, the bold move to experiment with DRM free downloads and sharing resulted in over a million requests across the week. Taken completely by surprise (it was only meant to be a tiny add on to the week's events) the initiative had at a stroke demonstrated a demand/market for legal (free) classical MP3s (recorded in this case by one of the BBC's licence fee funded orchestras).

Lebrecht gives an update on figures he's had access to and although plagued with an almost after the fact deployment of my most hated phrase used by critics of the BBC "dumbed down", its such a stunning and passionate bit of rhetoric about my employers that I've (temporarily at least) published the full text of the article. (Its not currently available on either or

The Beeb needs more than Bach
The full text of Norman Lebrecht’s Evening Standard Column (Oct 19th)

(btw: I was not involved in this BBC project and views expressed here are my own not my employers).


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