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Cat. No. CHAN 10436 X Price: £7 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10436 - Walton: Hamlet/ As You Like It
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Available From: 01 August 2007
Certainly by any standards Walton’s score for Hamlet – the second of the three films in which he collaborated with Sir Laurence Olivier – must be accorded a position of special reverence. The film won Olivier an Academy Award for Best Actor and Walton’s score was also nominated. The score was totally interlocked with the director’s perception of the play. It is brilliantly performed by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner and is the last of the Shakespearian triptych recorded by Chandos. This suite from Hamlet was arranged by Christopher Palmer and the speeches performed by the legendary Shakespearean actor Sir John Gielgud. Sir John was already in his 80s when he made this recording but was still sprightly and interested in all around him, a real pro.

Hamlet is coupled here with the rarely available arrangement of As You Like it by Christopher Palmer which includes the setting of ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ with orchestra which was cut from the film and is sung here by Catherine Bott, a performance which the Penguin Guide described as ‘radiant’.

This is re-issued by Chandos on its Classics label, re-mastered at 24-bit and repacked with a contemporary design and belongs on every collector’s shelf.
Reviews

"Thanks to the diligence of Christopher Palmer, Walton’s score for Hamlet offers some 40 minutes of music, a rich and colourful suite, superbly played and recorded, an mcuh enhanced by the contribution of Sir John Gielgud in two of Shakespeare’s soliloquies... Marriner and the Academy draw out all te romantic warmth of both scores, and the sound is richly atmospheric to match."
The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

Quote from the original release:
Walton’s score for Hamlet offers some 40 minutes of music, a rich and colourful suite, superbly played and recorded, and much enhanced by the contribution of Sir John Gielgud in two of Hamlet’s soliloquies, ‘O that this too, too solid flesh’ and ‘To be or not to be’.

Penguin Guide

Most of this music was adapted into concert form by Christopher Palmer, who included much more than the familiar short suites and excerpts. Marriner’s direction is flawless, and the sonics are still impressive.
American Record Guide

Most of this music was adapted into concert form by Christopher Palmer, who included much more than the familiar short suites and excerpts. Marriner’s direction is flawless, and the sonics are still impressive.
American Record Guide

 

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