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From: ANGELO MAMMANO <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:ANGELO MAMMANO <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:40:45 -0500

text/plain (148 lines)

Speaking of Ron Della Chiesa, I try to avoid hearing him even though
sometimes it is unavoidable when I am listening to the BSO broadcasts.
What made me write to 'GBH years ago about him in particular was hearing
him pronounce the composer Loewe's name as "Low".  That really set me off
so I wrote something like "your principal classical music announcer can
only pronounce his own name correctly.  Any other foreign names are mis-
pronounced".  I did get a response. It was that I must be talking about
Ron Della Chiesa and that they had never received any complaints about
his work before me and that they felt that he was greatly respected by all.
That was years ago and he has not improved one iota since that time. I feel that his laziness and sloppiness is a disgrace and gives all who listen to
him an unfavorable impression of Boston musical life. BTW when I wrote to the BSO about him they answered that they had no control over what 'GBH does and agreed with what I had to say.  

At a dinner, again years ago, I happened to be seated across from him at
the same table. He talked about the people who listened to him and how
pleased they were with what he does. What disturbed him I think was that
I spoke to others seated there but completely ignored him.  

Angelo from Boston

> On February 19, 2018 at 11:05 AM Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Yes. 
> 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]> 
> wrote:
> >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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