Harpsichord Music on the Radio

This afternoon, at 2 pm I was surprised, indeed almost shocked, to hear on the car radio the beginning of a piece of harpsichord music. It was a nice rich-sounding instrument, well played by the Sicilian Daniela Dolci and well-recorded by Pan Classics (510 121-2). The music was Jacquet de la Guerre’s Suite No. 3. I am ashamed that I did not know this piece, but I shall explore it.

The station was Radio Stefansdom, funded by the Catholic Church here, and usually playing short light orchestral music that is quite enjoyable without causing road accidents. The recording company is based in Vevey, Switzerland.

This is the first time I have heard solo harpsichord on this station. I wonder how often members of this forum hear harpsichord on their local radio stations (as opposed to the keyboard music of JSB on the piano).


This is a very nice CD that, except for the hpd suite, comprises chamber music by JdlG. Perhaps the DJ accidentally selected the one work on the disc that was a hpd solo. :grin:

1 Like

Well, we have a nice classical music station in Ireland called Lyric FM (part of RTE; also streamable and internationally playable) where one of the presenters, Vlad Smiskevitsch, regularly plays early music incl. early keyboards, particularly in his Sunday morning slot, Vox nostra. Jacquet de la Guerre figures there not infrequently, too. Maybe we are spoilt in Ireland.

1 Like

I think the fact that it lasted 14 minutes may have had something to do with it! :slight_smile:


1 Like

Unfortunately, my radio tuner with its typical FM antenna inside my house picks no radio station.
Better fares my mobile phone, yet it only picks local FM radios.
I also have in my Sky Q thing dozens of radios in my TV set, but so far I have failed to find a single one broadcasting classical music …

Hi Michael, Oh I remember very well Lyric FM, which I listened to in the car when going to work. For years on end they broadcasted always the same 40 or so records, so much so that I intended to make them a gift. Another awful thing they did was, instead of announcing (as every other classical radio I know in different countries) piece and player both at the beginning and at the end, they transmitted pieces in pairs (sometimes mixing, say, Brahms and Josquin) and then the announcer read: “We just heard xxxx played by yyyy, now we will hear zzzz pled by tttt”. Then tttt would follow, then another piece … An abominable practice indeed, hope they have progressed so far …

1 Like

In Austria, like Germany the concept of having a DJ for such a program is anathema. Nothing is left to chance: the detailed schedule is mapped out well in advance and published on the website.

1 Like

Dear Michael,

“We just heard xxxx played by yyyy, now we will hear zzzz pled by tttt”

Sounds like an automated station. The announcements are all done at once and then a computer just plays everything. This is particularly fun when something gets out of sinc and the announcements are wrong all day.



1 Like

Perhaps the Obergruppenführer accidentally selected the one work on the disc that was a hpd solo

Well, if you class Internet streaming radio stations as radio, there is, for one:

CALM RADIO - Harpsichord radio stream live and for free

You can get it on your phone. The audio quality is superb.


Do you you know what harpsichord was used for this recording?



1 Like

Nothing new or hi-tech about this format: I believe it is still cheaper to instruct graduate students to follow it in real time.


Unfortunately, the liner notes do not tell us what sort of hpd was used, nor is there a photo. The recording was made in 1999 and was re-released in 2015. I have sent a message to Daniela on Facebook asking if she recalls the instrument used in this performance. I will let you know if she replies.

If want online classical music with a choice between: old muziek, baroque, classical, gregorian chant, etc. use Themakanalen | Concertzender.nl :: Radio

Most important of all: you won’t be annoyed with commercials or any other inane chattering :slight_smile:

1 Like

Like, I hope, the vast majority of members of this forum, I do not personally need to listen to harpsichord music on the radio very often – I have plenty of recordings for when the need strikes me.

My concern is rather for the general public, who are largely deprived of harpsichord music on the radio because those who make up the programmes seem to have decreed a long time ago that this should be so. Bach or Fr. Couperin on a model D Steinway adds insult to injury!


Hi David,

Some people listen to radio at home, but so much has moved to internet streaming now. Also, in relation to car radios, it turns out that automobile makers have determined that electric car electronics and battery systems can interfere with AM radio receiver quality and especially in Europe they are leaving them out altogether in new models. So that leaves DAB mostly and FM, but they seem to be leaving out radios altogether.

So, we have two nice streaming stations here in this topic with lots of good music.


I used the word radio in my comments to indicate any means of listening to what one might call “curated lists of musical recordings” (much though I abhor the word “curated”). I havent listened to AM radio for decades, though I agree that it is important in some areas of the USA. FM radio is still big in Europe (including the UK), though there is also DAB. I have both in my 2022 model car, though I have found no interest in listening to DAB. As far as the USA is concerned, I also quickly determined that satellite radio (which was available in my car from 2010) had nothing to offer me. The only problem with FM is its limited transmission range. In European countries where there is national broadcasting, this is countered by broadcasting on different frequencies in different areas; but it should be noted that this limitation does favour the development of local stations.

I do not listen to radiio or watch tv at home, so I was surprised and pleased in the car to find on FM radio a piece of harpsichord music, and overjoyed to discover that it was a worthwhile work that I was ashamed not to know. :slight_smile:


Hear, hear!

SiriusXM has a dedicated “classical” channel “Baroque and Beyond” show broadcast Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings.