Twenty-four hours a day, from anywhere in the world, you can stream programming devoted entirely to the recorder through an online station,
recorder-radio.com. How amazing is this! The website is in German, but easy to navigate just by poking around. Just click "Flashplayer offnen!" to start the music (you must have Adobe FlashPlayer installed for this to work, but you can use other players including WinAmp and iTunes).
Although there is no live announcer, the names of the selections, the albums from which they come, and the artists' names are displayed on the home page of the
web site, and the text scrolls on most of the media players they list. Streaming at 128 kbps allows for near-CD quality audio to be delivered to you through your speakers.
You will hear everything from solo recorder to recorder orchestra, mixed ensembles, and music that might be played on recorder but is heard on other instruments such as harpsichord, organ, or voice. The genres span the centuries - from medieval to very contemporary; from the demonstration of classic recorder technique to extended, experimental technique.
Who is to thank for this recorder music gem?
In 1998 Joachim (Jo) Kunath developed an idea for creating an Internet Radio Station for recorder music. He wanted to bring all types of recorder music to a much larger audience. Internet radio was the perfect avenue. The then 36-year-old Mr. Kunath, who worked first as a department head, then as Managing Director at the Mollenhauer factory, contacted a German technician who had developed special software for radio stations. He bought the software and started to contact all the musicians he knew for permission to play their recordings on this new radio station. Encouraged, Kunath started to digitize most of the CDs he owned and started to buy recorder music CDs wherever he came across them.
Mr. Kunath launched
from his living room, but in 2006, when he began his own instrument shop, Kunath Instrumentenbau, it became part of the office there. Today, the IT systems of Kunath Instrumentenbau and
(started by Jo's wife, Silke, around the same time) are the backbone of recorder-radio. The CD library is maintained primarily by Jo Kunath himself, with some assistance from staff members of the online instrument shop. The catalog continues to grow when musicians request that their CDs be played, and want to make them available for purchase in
Fan mail keeps coming in:
The folks at the radio station love to receive emails that show how much it is appreciated. For example, one teacher wrote, "I told my students to listen to
as a homework [assignment] and find out which artist they like most. It was interesting to see what they told me and which music they loved. Thank you for the program." Occasionally, the server may go down, and the email response is immediate. One amusing message said, "I can't do my homework because of the missing music, please repair the server. Kind regards ..."
A labor of love for recorder music:
Kunath says that it is an expensive hobby to fund the radio station. Running the server and paying fees to GEMA and GVL (German agencies for performing and usage rights to the music) cost quite a bit. Some money from
is spent on the maintenance of recorder-radio. This is helped by the exposure the shop gets from advertising in various publications, like our own American Recorder magazine. They don't want to run a lot of advertisements on the radio, but they would be happy if a few more companies from the recorder world would be willing to buy airtime to help support the station. Meanwhile, there is a link marked "Spenden" in the menu bar on the left side of the home page which gives individuals a way to contribute.
Many thanks to Jo
and Meggy Grösch-McCluskey at Kunath Instrumentenbau
r their time and thoughtful answers to the questions posed for this article. They can be reached at
- Greta Haug-Hryciw, ARS Board
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