Since we do not have a TV at home we listen to a lot of radio programming. Lately I have been switching from CBC to Radio Canada, it is very interesting to observe that the same Crown Corporation has such different programming for two very different audiences, might as well live in completely different countries.
The CBC/Radio-Canada broadcast all across Canada to all regions over 6 time zones. Most of the programming comes either from Toronto for the English service and Montreal for the French service. Some of the programming is regional like here in the Maritimes to cater to local taste and offer regional news.
But the differences are deeper, discussion topics are also presented differently, in English care is given to a politically correct approach in what is said and in the presentation. Different cultures and different mentalities, the two solitudes 60 years later and despite 35 years of official multiculturalism, these differences between French and English communities remain.
This morning on Radio-Canada being 18 March and with Easter approaching, the host of the Sunday morning show was explaining how Sacred Music had little place on the radio nowadays if compared with some 40 years ago. It is true that even at Christmas time radio stations including State Broadcaster have a tendency to stick to the more secular pieces, they may do Messiah but not much else. Radio-Canada will play more French Christmas music of European and Canadian tradition and promote French culture at the same time. So the host told us that he wanted to play the work of J.S.Bach, the Saint Matthew Passion, a very reflective piece on the theme of Easter. It was a beautiful recording with great voices. We are still a few days away from Easter Week and Good Friday so in modern terms it was early for such music but on a Sunday it was the perfect moment. The CBC will also have Sacred Music on Sunday’s like Choral Concerts but may stick to a more restricted schedule of the actual Easter Weekend.
This does not mean that French speaking Canada is more religious not at all, it is more in the remembering of old traditions and how things use to be done or this is how the host of the program presented it.
The music of JS Bach’s sent me in a reflective mood again this being my Birthday week, I get like that each year.
On the other hand, in another completely different field of music, they were playing some Johnny Mathis songs last night and of course the 1957 hit Chances are came on. I can say that this is music for my generation and grew up listening to such music which I like.