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Macbeth Audio CD

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626341629
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626341629
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,418,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

MACBETH, Shakespeare's last great tragedy, has remained one of the most popular plays since its first performance in 1606 - probably in front of King James. This exciting audiobook production is directed with fresh imagination by Fiona Shaw who breaks the conventional strait jacket that has hampered the development of Shakespeare on audio. We are as much in the 21st century as in medieval Scotland - the tensions, the politics, the struggle for power and dark ambition is part of our lives. This is also reflected in the sound world, with modern machinery and tanks. MACBETH is part of Naxos AudioBooks' exciting series of complete dramatisations of the works of Shakespeare, in conjunction with Cambridge University Press. It uses the New Cambridge Shakespeare text, as used by the Royal Shakespeare Company and educational institutions across the world.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
i am studying macbeth in school right now, and this audiobook has been extremely helpful. i finally understand what's going on. playing the audiobook while reading the lines is very useful. A must for any student
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9cd287b0) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cd30348) out of 5 stars Excellent, but with some reservations Sept. 14 2012
By mnraft - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent performance of Macbeth. A great deal of thought and commitment obviously went into it. Many lines are memorably delivered. The acting, even for the smallest parts, is of very high quality. The wounded Sergeant, the Porter, and Macduff's Wife are alone almost worth the price of admission. The commoners sound Scottish and the nobility English.
Macbeth is played by Stephen Dillane. It's an interesting interpretation. He starts out soft-spoken and pensive. After Duncan's murder, Macbeth often sounds as emotionless as an automaton, as though he has lost control of the evil potential within him that has been unleashed.
Fiona Shaw plays Lady Macbeth and is also credited as the director of the performance.
Fiona Shaw's Lady Macbeth is very interesting and worth hearing. There may be a little over-acting here, as each lines she delivers commands attention. Her Lady Macbeth sounds quite manic already at her first entrance. She comes off as emotionally unstable from the very beginning. There is nothing surprising about the suicidal madness that eventually overtakes her. The entire Tragedy could probably have been prevented with a little lithium according to this interpretation. The text allows for it, and it's worth considering.

On the other hand, here's why I deducted a star:
- The spoken line is sometimes delivered so dramatically, and with such distinct mid-line inserted pauses, that the poetic meter is lost and poetry is converted into prose.
- The performance is full of sound effects and music. They are usually quite effective, but the mood is often determined as much by them as by Shakespeare's text. Whether this is a net plus or minus is a matter of taste. Occasionally the sound effects are perplexing, and I found myself analyzing the director's thoughts rather than Shakespeares's. The music is usually either a kettle drum or a lugubrious cello, often quite loud. I don't object to music between the scenes, but the spoken line must often contend with musical accompaniment. My favorite speech in the play, "Tomorrow and tomorrow ... life ... is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing", is recited over an equally-loud lugubrious cello.
- The three "Weird Sisters" are given a little inserted text that Shakespeare never wrote. We hear their faint cackle once when they are not onstage, and they are given the final line in the play, a reprise of "When shall we three meet again ..."

This is a memorable, insightful performance of Macbeth that anyone who loves the play should hear.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cd30750) out of 5 stars good for students who are studying macbeth April 15 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
i am studying macbeth in school right now, and this audiobook has been extremely helpful. i finally understand what's going on. playing the audiobook while reading the lines is very useful. A must for any student
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cd3057c) out of 5 stars Highly dissappointed Nov. 11 2013
By Kim Coughlin - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I ordered this CD, and the quality was so poor you could not hear the actors. I even brought in a Bose speaker, and that didn't do the trick. I just sent out an email today to the company. I bought it for my classroom and could not even use it.
HASH(0x9cd30b58) out of 5 stars Worthy Reissue Feb. 4 2014
By Great Faulkner's Ghost - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This appears to be a reissue of the original RCA Opera Series CD release, not a remaster, which is just as well, as the sound was excellent for the era and still is. Recorded in New York in 1959 during the Met season, it has much of the immediacy of a live performance, even though it was recorded in the studio. Leonard Warren and Leonie Rysanek have great and convincing chemistry in the lead roles. Warren sings with kingly grandeur, yet also with the tormented soul of a (somewhat?) unwilling murderer. Rysanek's beautiful voice soars not only in her two great arias and sleep-walking scene, but even in the crowd scenes, which is quite an accomplishment. Carlo Bergonzi and Jerome Hines also offer excellent singing, as does the Chorus of Witches. As in many recordings in the early days of stereo, there is too much left/right extreme in the voice placement at times, but at the same time, the engineering on 16 and 32 ips tape was full-throttle and rich in ways that are still pleasing to the ear. Despite the period limitations, the overall sound and the great performances still make it my top recording of Verdi's great Shakespearean thriller.
HASH(0x9cd30bd0) out of 5 stars An Excellent Macbeth, well worth your listening Feb. 18 2015
By David in Delray - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This historic recording dates from my earliest introduction to opera. I originally owned it on vinyl LPs. Tragically this was one of the last recordings made by the great Leonard Warren. Macbeth is a too much overlooked opera in the Verdi canon. I saw the recent Met HD telecast and was a bit put off by the staging (not sure bag ladies make for the best witches, but maybe...). Anyway, if you are at all interested in this opera, this is a recording to own. In addition to the performance by Warren as Macbeth, the young Leonie Rysanek sings Lady Macbeth in a full throated embodiment of evil. The character of Banquo is of secondary importance in Verdi's rendition, but it is an opportunity to hear the great Jerome Hines, who was simply not recorded enough. He has one great aria, and Hines does it just about perfectly. This recording dates back to an era when RCA recorded several operas with the forces of the old Met. Quality of the recording is good given the age of the recording

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