Trade Ed. Naxos AudioBooks 2006
CD ISBN 9789626344170 $21.98 Three CDs
It's hard for any director to make HAMLET sound new, so Naxos has done the opposite: they've made it sound old. This is a remastered version of a 1948 performance with John Gielgud in the title role. Though the sound quality is better than you'd expect, some of the dramaturgy seems outdated now, and the actress playing Ophelia is noticeably weak. But Gielgud overpowers any shortcomings, demonstrating why he owned this role during his career and why all subsequent Hamlets try to measure up to him. In the music of his voice, all the play's famous soliloquies and witty exchanges that you've heard a dozen times before suddenly sound fresh? an ironic pleasure in a sixty-year-old recording. D.B. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/ JUL 07]
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