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From: DK Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:DK Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:23:09 -0500

text/plain (191 lines)

WHRB has broadcast "composer orgies" that have included opera; I'm thinking
for instance of the Britten orgy that included all of his operas plus pretty
much all of his vocal/choral music.

I don't know why Della Chiesa was given the job of hosting the BSO
broadcasts.  As Angelo says, it is cringe-inducing to listen to him. I have
to grit my teeth to get through a BSO or Tanglewood broadcast.  Surely the
powers that be at WGBH/WCRB realise that they in fact already have staff
members (Chris Voss, Brian McCreath) who would be so much better
hosts--considerably more knowledgeable about classical music and better
spoken.  It's particularly marked when McCreath comes on after a BSO broadcast.


On Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:40:45 -0500, ANGELO MAMMANO <[log in to unmask]>
>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
>> 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
>> 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 --
>> preservation indeed, considering that Caruso died in 1921!
>> >
>> >
>> >Also note the decades long near total absence of opera during the Orgy
>> >
>> >
>> >I am not the only one to have noticed the above, witness the following
>> 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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