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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: August ::
Re: Audio Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 498.  Friday, 20 August 1993.
 
From:           David Richman <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Aug 1993 16:44:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 4.0485  Re: Audio Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0485  Re: Audio Shakespeare
 
I have been an avid listener to audio Shakespeare for many years.  Don't
know if the recordings I will mention are still in print, but I am certain
they are available, as Tad Davis mentioned, in used book and record stores.
Especially good in the Caedmon series--in addition to those Tad Davis
mentioned--are *Coriolanus* with Richard Burton and Jessica Tandy.
I can't read *Coriolanus* without hearing Burton's voice.  Also *The Winter's
Tale* with John Gielgud as Leontes, George Rose as Autolycus and Peggy
Ashcroft as Paulina.  The Olivier-Smith-Finlay *Othello* has been recorded,
as has the older (1943) Robeson-Hagen *Othello*.  It is fascinating to
compare and contrast these vintage performances.  Robeson is surprisingly
restrained and dignified, while Hagen's sexuality (she was in her early
twenties at the time) astonishes the listener (at least this listener.)
In the 'thirties, a series of hour-long Shakespeare broadcasts with Hollywood
stars went out over the radio.  These have also been recorded and released
in a box set.  They include Humphrey Bogart as Hotspur, Orson Welles as
Orsino, and a *Much Ado* with Leslie Howard and Rosalind Russell--not to
to forget an Edward G. Robinson Petruchio.  Each play takes an hour or less,
so purists will tremble at the abridgement.  Nonetheless, the performances
make for a fascinating document in a previous generation's approach to
Shakespearean acting.
 
David Richman
 

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