William Butler Yeats's early poetry is suffused with the radiant lyricism of Irish folklore and myth; the yearning romance and distinctly Irish voice of these first works of the Nobel laureate have inspired scores of poets. This splendid selection offers a distinctive sampling of the Yeatsian voice.
Among the many famed works included are "The Stolen Child","The Everlasting Voices", "Reconciliation", and "The Song of the Wandering Aengus". Each of these poems is filled with the sparkling magic and mysticism Yeats absorbed as a boy in Ireland. This sweetness is juxtaposed against an anguished realism grounded in the master poet's nationalist and political sympathies.
Public Domain Copyright (P)1996 by Dove Audio, Inc.
I don't understand the criticisms by some other reviewers of this album's audio quality. Might they be referring to an earlier release of this album (which has been offered in several formats by a few vendors over the years)? The quality is absolutely outstanding, and the readings by Stephanie Beacham, Colm Meaney, Julian Sands, David Warner, Gabriel Byrne, Roger Rees, Minnie Driver, and Samantha Eggar are as fine as you could ever want.
There are 88 "tracks" on this album. Unfortunately Audible's space limitations preclude me from providing here a Table of Contents. What I will say is that titles of poems are introduced, but not who's narrating what: a typical (and frustrating) lapse in documentation by Audible.
Any Yeats lover should buy this new release, as roughly a quarter of the poems are not present on the 4 other Audible.com Yeats compilations.
I can't fathom the low ratings on this audio. The readers are some of the most compellingly good voices/readers I've ever heard. I could listen to these people read the phone book! I really enjoy the selections in this collection also. I'm actually not really a fan of poetry usually. What little poetry I have enjoyed has almost always been Emily Dickinson, but I've come to love Yeats solely based on my experience with this audio performance. Could the audio be remastered and cleaned up? Yes. It's definitely not crystal clear and artifact free, but it's not so bad as to be utterly distracting. In fact, I find this enjoyable enough to fall asleep to which, considering I'm a hardcore insomniac averaging 2-3 hours of sleep a night, is a huge endorsement.
Nothing disappoints me about the poetry of Yeats, thank you. Nothing disappoints me about Colm Meany or Gabriel Byrne either. Some of the other actors are a bit tiresome but that is not where the problem lies.
This is a pastiche of three or four recordings of various production qualities. The volume is low, titles are sometimes cut off.
But the real problem is that the poetry and the reading are not so much undercut but sabotaged by the whiny music playing throughout the entire reading.
This makes the poems harder to hear and it makes it very hard to concentrate on the actors' voices.
But worst of all, it makes the bright poems into part of some kind of sentimental soundtrack to an Irish movie written by someone other than the Irish. It ruins the Yeats, it ruins the good performances.
The sound quality of this recording is so bad that unless you know the poem by heart or are reading along from another source it's hard to tell what's being said. I also was not impressed with the readers chosen to present these poems. Skip this one and borrow a book from your public library
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