Listen to Professor Harold Bloom's conversation on Hamlet as Everyman.
(P)1995 Onward Production Ltd. and Paul Brownstein Productions, Inc.
"Time and again he takes a speech or an action we had thought fixed forever in unshakeable conception and daringly hurls it into new life. He is humorous when we expect solemnity and withdrawn when we anticipate aggression.�" (Newsweek)
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.
Richard Burton performing Hamlet...LIVE! Yes!
I could be entertained by my old college biology text book if Richard Burton had made a recording of it.
Performing Hamlet...Live! No covering up mistakes and captures the excitement of live theater. I absolutely love it.
Hamlet laying on the guilt trip to his mother about marrying his father's brother and implying she and his uncle murdered him. It is very heart wrenching and dramatic.
"Oh Hamlet, speak no more!" sobbing..."No more!" sobbing...
Burton's performance (and the rest of the cast) make the Olivier Hamlet seem like a long boring sermon. The sound is that of a relic from the 1960's and isn't that bad for all that. We might as well complain that the Book of Kells illuminator sometimes colored outside the lines or that a painting isn't as precise as a photograph. I had it in an LP (if you remember what those were) and in a video, but the sound recording is the absolute best. When it's over, I start it again because without it, of course, "... the rest is silence."
The accent of the actress who played Ophelia got in the way. I love Richard Burton, that's why I bought it, but I can see why he wanted it kept hidden. I heard his stumble and a few lines recaptured by a few players. But that's theater! I love Gielgud as the ghost of the King. That really set the tone. Worth having in your audio library.
Burton directed by Gielgud doing
A masterpiece. A multi-layered story that gets richer with every listening/reading.
A cult classic.
"The finest noise ever created by vocal chords?"
We're familiar with Shakespeare, and we know just how good Hamlet is. But this recording is all about the golden larynx of Richard Burton. As it was a recording of a live theatre performance, the sound quality is less than perfect, but who cares? It's a privilege to be able to listen to him. I agree with some that his Hamlet may be a little too manic in places, but maybe not an unreasonable interpretation.
And as a bonus, the honeyed tones of Gielgud feature as the ghost.
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