Review: Radio Swiss Classic Offers Infinite Variety of Composers and Artists

Sonos Symfonisk speaker playing Radio Swiss Classic

By Paul Riegler on 15 September 2020
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Ten years ago, I reviewed the online broadcaster Radio Swiss Classic in these pages. Given that I have been listening practically nonstop to this station since the start of the pandemic, I thought it was once again time to bring it to our readers’ attention.

Commercial-free Radio Swiss Classic is operated by Swiss Satellite Radio, a division of Switzerland’s public broadcaster, SRG SSR, known in English as the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.  I’ve been a listener for 20 years and the immense variety of classical music it offers has helped me get through my work days from home.  I truly look forward to turning it on each morning.

While ten years ago I would stream Radio Swiss Classic through a browser-based player or somewhat clunky Internet table radio, or when out and about, the TuneIn Radio App, I now listen to it through several Sonos Symfonisk speakers located strategically throughout my home, controlled by the Sonos app that includes TuneIn Radio support.  In the car, I listen to it via the TuneIn Radio app using Apple CarPlay as the interface. Of course, when I used to travel multiple times a month prior to the pandemic, I would access it on my iPhone and a pair of headphones (again, with TuneIn Radio).

The selection of classical music on the station knows no boundaries and the variety of composers, soloists, orchestras, and vocalists one will hear is seemingly infinite.

A recent hour of listening presented the second movement of Gustav Mahler’s Titan Symphony, the Coletta Waltz by Franz von Suppé, Haydn’s Kaiser Quartet, Schubert’s Der Lindenbaum from Die Winterreise, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, Schubert’s “Marche Militaire,” and Charlie Chaplin’s “Into the Sunset” from the film “Modern Times.”  My point of listing an hour or so of programming is to highlight the sheer variety of music Radio Swiss Classic plays.  If you don’t like the current piece, wait five minutes: you’ll surely like the next.

One of my favorite things about this station in addition to the vast variety of music is that the announcers limit their comments to an announcement of the specific selection to be played, providing the title, the composer, and the ensemble or performer.  Unlike public radio in the United States, there are no annoying fund-raising drives.

Radio Swiss Classic provides a wonderful lesson in music appreciation to listeners as well.  It has opened my eyes to many a piece I would not ordinarily have gravitated towards which I then seek out and listen to again and again.

Radio Swiss Classic broadcasts in four languages, French, German, Italian, and English, which represents its parent company’s listener base in Switzerland with the exception of Romansch, a Romance language spoken primarily in the southeastern Swiss canton of Graubünden.

In addition to availability via the TuneIn Radio app, Radio Swiss Classic has its own apps for both Apple iPhone iOS and Android platforms available at no charge, and the service itself is free, as is the TuneIn Radio app.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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