Richard Burton was born to play Hamlet. This performance is a classic which everyone ought to know. The soliloquies are unique, differing in interpretation in the most imaginative ways from their counterparts in former recorded productions. Hume Cronyn, despite his American accent, is a superb old fox as Polonius, and Gielgud as ghost finally found a role which requires his stylized delivery.
The recording appears to have been made in an echo chamber with the performer far from the microphone, making the words blend together. Then, just when one begins to catch the meaning, in comes the piano, close at hand and significantly louder than the voice, drowning out the words. The reader, although experienced at reading verse, is guilty of spelling pronunciations such as pronouncing the "b" in "clambering."
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