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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: May ::
Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0408  Friday, 1 May 1998.

[1]     From:   Peter Holland <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Apr 1998 12:57:46 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video

[2]     From:   Bradley S. Berens <
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        Date:   Friday, 1 May 1998 05:14:10 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video

[3]     From:   John Owen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Apr 1998 22:54:24 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Holland <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Apr 1998 12:57:46 GMT
Subject: 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video

There is a wonderful CD of early Shakespeare recordings called 'Great
Shakespeareans' (Pearl GEMM 9465) which includes 30 minutes' worth of
Gielgud recorded in 1930 aged 26 reading all manner of roles. Not to be
missed.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley S. Berens <
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Date:           Friday, 1 May 1998 05:14:10 -0700
Subject: 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video

Greetings all!

For H.R. Greenberg about Gielgud media:

If you are only interested in video, then the previous responses on list
about cover what I know to be available.  You might, however, check out
the British Film Institute's catalog of Shakespeare video, WALKING
SHADOWS, edited by Luke Tiernan and someone else that I can't place at
the moment.

Audio, though, is another story.  The old Caedmons are being slooooowly
re-released on CD, and Gielgud is featured in a number of them.
Similarly, there was a cassette of his Hamlet out a while back.  If you
still have a vinyl-record-playing turntable hooked up to your stereo
like me, then you might want to start haunting the spoken word section
of your local collector's shop.  A second Hamlet exists on vinyl, as
well as some others.  Neoclassically speaking, a
hard-to-find-but-worth-the-search record is the Broadway performance of
Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not For Burning, with Gielgud in the male
lead, Pamela Brown in the female lead, and Richard Burton and Claire
Bloom in the ingenu roles.

Best of luck,
Bradley Berens
Dept. of English
U.C. Berkeley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Owen <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 30 Apr 1998 22:54:24 EDT
Subject: 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0400  Re: Gielgud on Audio and Video

>BBC Radio has an easy to find CD and a cassette version of the
>Renaissance Theater Company's 1993 first-rate audio KING LEAR, with
>Gielgud as Lear, Judi Dench as Goneril, Eileen Atkins as Regan, Branagh
>as Edmond, Emma Thompson as Cordelia, Jacobi as France, Bob Hoskins as
>Oswald, and Keith Mitchell as Kent. Patrick Doyle's music adds to the
>production. It's out in the U.S. from Bantam/Doubleday/Dell Audio
>Publishing.

Although this recording has its good points, not the least of which is
that it is the only complete recording of Gielgud's Lear, I should
insert a cautionary note. Gielgud's age is really beginning to show
here, and his gurgling, spitty delivery can be difficult to listen to.
Moreover, Branagh's Edmond is poorly performed, Derek Jacobi's King of
France sports a really embarrassing and unnecessary French accent and
some significant passages are unaccountably cut.  The Caedmon/Scofield
Lear is far superior.

If you want to see Gielgud at his peak, you can hardly do better than
his Cassius in Joseph Mankiewicz' Julius Caesar. On audio, his Angelo in
Measure for Measure and his Leontes are very powerful. Caedmon recorded
his Richard II, but it is poorly recorded and Gielgud seems not at his
best. RCA recorded his Hamlet in the late 50s, but this plummy voiced,
middle-aged gent can hardly be the same Prince who broke box-office
records in the 1930s. His recording of the sonnets for Caedmon is very
good, and his Othello for an abridged recording under the "Living
Shakespeare" label is even better- seething, intense and brutal.

Encyclopedia Britannica filmed his Ages of Man show-I have no idea if
this is anywhere available, but I saw it about 12 years ago and if you
can find it, it is worth the effort.
 

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