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Subject: Re: Fw: Historic recordings (Was Re: Another announcer - David Elliott (WHRB Boston))
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:06:01 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (314 lines)


Don - WHRB does stream on the web at whrb.org - so feel free to listen in. 

Elliott does an intro to the broadcast around 15 min prior (after the radio's hillbilly show), 
and then picks up after the Met, with a few hours of recordings of portions of the same 
opera through the century, and then often other music as well. 


On Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:49:41 -0700, Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I guess I travel in the wrong circles or else living in New Mexico shields
>me from some things.  Unfortunately it also shields us from programs
>like  the David Elliot show.  I had never heard of him until this recent
>series of postings on him and I've never heard the expression "sound
>sissies".   I love those old recordings too, not for the sound naturally,
>but but to get a glimpse of what singers sounded like in the past to
>compare with singers today who have all the advantages of better equipment,
>miking and such.
>DonD
>
>On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 12:56 AM, Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]>
>wrote:
>
>> "(in 1852)" (below, fifth line above the bottom) refers to Alboni and so
>> belongs at the end of the sentence.  Just noticed this.  Sorry.
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Russ Geschke" <[log in to unmask]
>> >
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:40 AM
>> Subject: Historic recordings (Was Re: Another announcer - David Elliott
>> (WHRB Boston))
>>
>>
>>
>> I wanted to get back to you, to probably close this thread. Yes, there's a
>> lack of imagination and of a sense of history. At least Edison in the 1880s
>> vastly improved his recording technology and then sent representatives to
>> Europe to record various celebrities, which is why we now have recordings
>> of
>> Sir Arthur Sullivan, William Gladstone, Florence Nightingale, Alfred
>> Tennyson and Peder Schram (1819-1895). And a cylinder (now lost) was
>> recorded in Vienna by Marie Wilt. It seems that there were other such
>> recordings, but they were not preserved for posterity. Personally, my
>> biggest regret is that it seems that no attempt was made to record Marietta
>> Alboni (1826-1894), reportedly the greatest contralto of the 19th century
>> ("the elephant that swallowed a nightingale" – Rossini) and who (according
>> to Emma Eames) was still singing, privately, and well, in Paris right up to
>> her death. Critics reviewing Clara Butt on her first visit to New York (in
>> 1852) referred to her having "the grandest contralto voice heard here since
>> Alboni." We have Butt's records, but all we have of Alboni are descriptions
>> of her singing and photographs, her head with its pleasant and regular
>> features atop a Junoesque physique. Forgive me for rattling on but music
>> history as preserved on records is just so endlessly fascinating.
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Paul Ricchi" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:21 AM
>> Subject: Re: Another announcer - David Elliott (WHRB Boston)
>>
>>
>> I could not agree more, and I like the “sound sissy” term - these people
>> lack imagination.
>>
>> We could have had sound recordings much earlier then 1877 - but Edison took
>> a break to perfect the electric light.
>>
>> Much earlier all the technical necessities were present: spring motors
>> (clocks), the ability to attach a cutting stylus to a diaphragm, and a
>> medium to capture the vibrations. We could have known what Jennie Lind
>> sounded like, as well as the great castrati.
>>
>> One who has not listened to these relics has an incomplete education about
>> singing.
>>
>> Sent from Astro <https://www.helloastro.com> for iOS
>>
>>
>> On Feb 13, 2018 at 10:11 AM, Russ Geschke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>
>> According to information posted on the internet and just accessed, David
>> Elliott is a Harvard class of 1964 graduate, which makes him 76 or in his
>> 76th year.
>> He apparently realizes that the vintage recordings he plays have a value
>> beyond being merely "scratchy recordings with faded voices." The earliest
>> recordings take the listener back 160 years to the mid-19th century, an
>> extraordinary bridge back into the past, and besides allowing us to hear
>> the
>> beaux restes of the voices of some legendary singers, also document singing
>> styles and performance practices. Wouldn't you be willing to accept a bit
>> of
>> surface scratch to hear a faded voice when the voice is that of for
>> example,
>> such a legendary and tremendously important singer as Adelina Patti
>> (1843-1919, recorded December 1905 and June 1906), the most acclaimed
>> singer
>> of her time, who had an international career up and running in the 1860s
>> and
>> was the admired friend of among others Rossini and Verdi? And reportedly
>> her
>> recording of Norma "Casta diva" incorporates ornamentation sung by the
>> first
>> Norma, Giuditta Pasta, which Patti had learned directly from Maurice
>> Strakosch, who had accompanied Pasta in that music in the 1830s/1840s. I
>> know that there are many listeners and opera lovers who can't bear the
>> sound
>> of old recordings – the "sound sissies" (I know, name calling, how not very
>> adult) – but that simply is an attitude I cannot understand given all the
>> history and beautiful singing contained in all those recordings, from the
>> earliest (even the aged Patti) right on up through Leider, Gigli and all
>> the
>> many others leading into the 1940s.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "A Katalin Mitchell" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:00 AM
>> Subject: Re: Another announcer - David Elliott (WHRB Boston)
>>
>>
>> Another important detail about David Elliot... if you like the programming
>> he provides after the opera, it will no longer be on the air once he is
>> gone
>> There is nobody in all of Cambridge, much less at Harvard Radio, who has
>> his
>> enormous knowledge and interest in artists of the past, or even opera for
>> that matter. All those scratchy recordings with faded voices that he plays
>> may drive me batty (yesterday I could not even bear to tune in, I wanted to
>> keep those marvelous voices in my mind) but it is such an instructive and
>> wonderful program, and gorgeous once he gets into the 40s and 50s of
>> course.
>> K
>>
>>
>> On 2/11/18, 8:45 AM, "A Katalin Mitchell" <katimitchell.pr@gmailcom>
>>
>> wrote:
>>
>> Yes, I am quite sure he had a stroke. He is also old, I have met him 10
>> years ago and he already looked like someone in his mid 70s. He
>> practically owns the station (it’s a joke - he has run the classical
>> programming for almost half a century), so he will be on the air as long as
>> he feels like he is up to it. None of the young folk in charge of WHRB
>> would dare to ask him to step down.
>> And I am sure it gives him great pleasure to do it, even if it sounds
>> effortful.
>> K
>>
>>
>>
>> Katalin Mitchell
>> Press and Media Relations Representative
>> Commonwealth Shakespeare Company/BabsonARTS
>> 231 Forest Street
>> <https://maps.google.com/?q=231+Forest+Street&entry=gmail&source=g> /
>> Sorenson Center / Wellesley, MA 02457
>> FEAR AND MISERY IN THE THIRD REICH | DEATH AND THE MAIDEN | OLD MONEY |
>> MACBETH | RICHARD III on the Boston Common
>>
>> On 2/10/18, 11:23 PM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf
>> of Jon Goldberg" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of
>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> As long as we're talking opera/classical announcers - does anyone
>> know what has happened
>> to the fantastic David Elliott on WHRB? He does a lead-in to the Met
>> every Saturday, plus an
>> extensive and always great "post vocal program" after the Met
>> broadcast.
>>
>> But all this season, he's been very uncomfortable to listen to. With
>> my limited knowledge of
>> medical issues, it sounds like he has possibly had a stroke. His
>> words slur, he speaks slower,
>> and talking just sounds difficult for him - yet he bravely soldiers
>> on. But nothing, to my
>> knowledge, has been said about it - I don't believe he has, and I
>> don't believe the station
>> has. I keep wanting to email the station to ask something, but I
>> also feel uncomfortable
>> doing *that*. (Even typing this message is a bit awkward for me. I
>> just don't want to pry -
>> and yet I hope maybe someone knows what has happened.)
>>
>> It's to the point where I just don't listen to his time on the air
>> anymore - and I used to love
>> that post-Met time. It's very hard to hear him struggle, especially
>> when it seems no one is
>> being upfront about his condition.
>>
>> I want to wish him the best (and really I do), but I also wonder if
>> it's time for him to pass
>> on the torch?
>>
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>
>
>
>-- 
>​Always keep a roll of baling wire and another of duct tape in your car.
>It's amazing how useful it can be.
>
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