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From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:05:56 -0500

text/plain (108 lines)


But this is a college radio station, and this happens on college radio stations. I spent a 
semester of my freshman year in college doing classical DJ work, and I know that some 
of the other kids doing the same didn't know their Van Cliburn from their Von Beethoven, 
lol, and were given no guidance on how to prepare anything. The only training anyone got 
was in how to operate the equipment, and the advice to avoid dead air at all costs. ;-)

WERS (Emerson's station) has had a very popular Broadway music show for many many 
years, still running, called "Standing Room Only." The original host was the real deal - a 
student who was a classic musical theatre geek in the best sense - somehow he was able 
to keep doing the show for years past his official time as a student - until someone 
decided that wasn't fair, and he got kicked off. Since then, the job has been primarily 
given to students only (though at one point, an adult friend of mine did get the gig for a 
while - I guess they had no interested students at the time?). Some of the students have 
been musical theatre majors, but some have not. And when it's not, the results have 
been wildly variable - sometimes as bad as what Ray describes below. Oh, the mangling 
of names, from Mandy "Paddikin" to "Jool" Styne to "Lay Miserablays" etc...but again, at 
least in former days, there was most likely no impetus to do any prep or research. 
Though of course there were many listeners who would assumedly call in to give the host 
corrections, lol. (No, I never did, really. But I sure wanted to sometimes...)

But it's not just the kids, of course. The venerable old Ron Della Chiesa over on WGBH 
has his share of head-scratching gaffes as well (despite constantly touting all his trips to 
Italy, his Italian pronunciations on-air can be atrocious). Or sometimes he over-reaches, 
like when any performance of the many settings of the requiem (by any nationality of 
composer) gets called the "Ray-quiem." Drives me up the wall. There was also the time 
that he announced a recording of a piece by, I thought, Laurie Anderson (the 
performance/pop artist) in conjunction with the BSO, which I thought sounded like an 
interesting idea - but it turned out he meant LEROY Anderson...;-)

On Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:59:11 -0500, RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]> 

>Tonight was the standard WHRB Sunday Night At The Opera.  The opera being broadcast 
was Boris Godunov.  The sweet young thing serving as announcer (WHRB calls them 
"DJs" and claims to have 125 of them) was so ignorant about opera that she didn't know 
that Boris has a prologue.  She also took so little time (anytime ???) to prep for her 
evening's work, that when she gave the synopsis as to what happens at the start of the 
opera, she advised that the opera opens in Pimen's Cell.  Fortunately, that was followed 
by the playing of the Prologue.
>Regretfully, that is the state of opera on WHRB when David Elliott is not around.
>And there has been far worse.  My favorite is the Sunday Night At The Opera announcer 
waxing poetically as to how great Caruso's voice remained even late in his recording 
career as witnessed in the 1926 Caruso recordings he had just played -- amazing 
preservation indeed, considering that Caruso died in 1921!
>Also note the decades long near total absence of opera during the Orgy periods.
>I am not the only one to have noticed the above, witness the following comment 
published at Harvard a few years ago:
>"I appreciate the richness of WHRB's classical offerings, but I am distressed that its DJs 
seem never to have heard of half the composers and performers on the playlist, or to 
have read the jewel case before playing the piece. How else to explain the mangling of so 
many European names, the hesitations as of a person afraid of the microphone, and the 
fumbling gaps, found especially before the "brought to you on a XXX compact disc"? 
Surely Harvard has some DJs who actually know classical music? I cringe at the end of 
many pieces, and delight in both the fluency of the WCRB DJs and the vitality of ERS's 
young people. Musical literacy, please, HRB!"
>We can be grateful for the many things that Elliott has brought to Harvard Radio -- in 
particular his saving of the Met Saturday afternoon broadcasts for Boston after the 
whores who took over WCRB following the death of that station's founder cancelled them 
--  but opera is a throw away for him when he is not on the air.  So enjoy Elliott for so 
long as he decides to continue broadcasting, for there will be no successor at WHRB to 
follow him.
>Best from Boston.
>Ray Gouin (former broadcaster)
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