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From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:39:38 -0500

text/plain (223 lines)

I've long been a fan of Brian McCreath, going back to the days when he took over for the 
ailing (and soon to pass away) Robert J. Lurtsema on Morning Pro Musica. A class act. 

Though I confess - I still miss Lurtsema too. A bit of an acquired taste perhaps (and he 
constantly broke that rule about "dead air" lol - those extra silences were one of his 
trademarks, I guess you could say) - but he really knew his stuff, his programming was 
always interesting and varied (and occasionally veering beyond classical music as well), 
and, since for some years I had to get up for school around the time his show started, 
those birds and his daily theme music (a different theme for each day of the week) 
became a welcoming part of my morning ritual. (Along with the tradition he started with 
his Sunday morning broadcasts of the Bach cantatas, which turned me into a huge fan of 
that repertoire.)

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

>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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