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 Posted:   Aug 4, 2014 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

The Academy of St. Martin's in the Fields are having a go at Walton's 'Henry V' again for this year's Prom concerts, with John Hurt as narrator. It'll be the full scenario as added to by Chris Palmer and recorded previously by Chandos and Naxos:



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28641055


Rory Kinnear will also narrate Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex'.

 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2014 - 1:01 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Any opinions about which is the better of the Chandos and Naxos versions?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2014 - 7:24 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Not the first actor you would think of for Shakespeare's glorious young warrior king!

 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2014 - 4:29 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Any opinions about which is the better of the Chandos and Naxos versions?


Well, the Chandos is very lively, the orchestration is very clear, Plummer sounds like he's enjoying himself.

The Naxos is not so loud, but the performance is well mixed, if less in-yer-face. The Chandos is the Acad of St. Martin in the Fields and the Westminsters, the same orchestra that'll be reperforming it for the proms. The Naxos is a Dublin performance.

 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2014 - 4:35 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Not the first actor you would think of for Shakespeare's glorious young warrior king!


Glorious young thug in many ways. I think he burnt a few Lollards at the stake. And he won that battle by ignoring the old game-rules of chivalry, like the Black Prince before him. Shakespeare didn't go for that angle. It'll be the 600th anniversary of Agincourt next year. I think they're cashing in on Hurt's recent popularity on 'Dr. Who' for the kid generation.

Chandos had an elderly Gielgud playing Dicky III on their Hamlet and Richard III scenarios, and Chris, though he'd played Hal in youth, was sounding a bit grandfatherly on the Chandos Henry V. Then again, I remember he announced on the Wogan Show in the 1980s that he'd be doing it, but the CD didn't emerge for a decade.

And we complain if Intrada take a month longer than expected for this or that.

I see Henry V as one of the bard's shallower plays. There's good stuff about rulers and their responsibilities, and stuff about ditching folly (actually imported from Henry IV Part 2), and a bit about war psychology, and some stuff re the alcemical marriage and healing, but for the most part it gets jingoistic abuse. Olivier's slant was the 'getting rehabilitated after war' thing, that's why he made it then.

 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2014 - 7:05 PM   
 By:   MusicUnite   (Member)

As much as I like Hurt, I would dump the narration and just play the glorious Walton music alone.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 8:08 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 10:06 AM   
 By:   panphoto   (Member)

John Hurt, with his irritatingly gravelly (sp?) delivery is far too old to give a convincing performance as King Henry. This is a part for a warrior-king a third of Hurt's age. A very fine and versatile actor in his earlier years, he has in my view unfortunately refashioned himself as a kind of wheezy sage, and bane of the TV voiceover. It is as absurd a asking Brian Blessed to read The Waste Land'! I can't believe that the Beeb were unable to find a vigorous young British actor to more convincingly 'summon up the blood'.

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

You're all so wrong on so many levels.

(a) The principle player in this scenario is not Henry, but Chorus,the Prologue, as with Branagh's Jacobi.

(b) Hurt is in the focus of youth just now thanks to his Dr. Who stint. This is a play for youth, not critics. The proms are an envoy to the public.

(c) In musical scenarios like this the priority is the music: to have only ONE spoken part is to aim for the Chorus/narrator who will then interpret each character as would a storyteller. I speak as a VO guy myself.



The problem is not that Hurt is too old but that the audience is.
You can't stage these things without imagination y'know.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2014 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I hope he is ok. Film music can be dangerous.

 
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