Thursday, 13 August 2015

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S THE RAVEN - READ BY BASIL RATHBONE...



Now you're in for a treat.  Have a listen to
this, and hear how a classic poem should be
read.  Scratch that - performed is a more
accurate description.

16 comments:

DeadSpiderEye said...

Rathbone's is probably the best ever version, Vincent Price also a decent recording but the version that is generally circulated on the web is not his best effort, it being taken a tv performance, with an error in the text.

Kid said...

I heard a version by Christopher Lee back in the late '70s or very early '80s, but it was very 'dry' and didn't have the 'life' that Rathbone's has.

Colin Jones said...

I'd never heard of 'The Raven' till Bart and Lisa did it in the first Simpsons' Treehouse Of Horror episode. I knew all about Edgar Allen Poe's stories and the films made from them like 'Fall Of The House Of Usher' but I didn't know Poe wrote poetry too. You can download 'The Raven' for free on Google's e-book store.

Kid said...

I have quite a few books containing Poe's works, CJ - no e-books for me. I prefer the real thing.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I like Christopher Lee's version, that are at least two versions of his I've encountered on the web but only one, that I know he recorded for release. Yeah he doesn't get the same range as Rathbone but it's still a nice vehicle for Lee's voice. Incidentally Stan Lee has, or had a vid on Youtube with him reading The Raven

Kid said...

I might've liked it if I'd heard it before Rathbone's, but it just sounded like a reading to me, rather than a performance, like Basil's. Vincent Price is the only other person out of that little group who could rival BR, I think. I heard James Mason do it once, I think (unless I'm imagining it), and he was quite good.

DeadSpiderEye said...

One of the things they say about reciting poetry, is that you should just read the words and not put too much inflection in. I think that's good advice for most readers, who're maybe not as practised as oration as the like to think they are. Unfortunately that maxim impinges on some performers, who might recite a poem really well but are bit timid, in case their reading might be criticised as being over the top. What's nice about Rathbone's reading, is that he doesn't hold back like that, he takes a bit of risk but he pulls it off, he has such a wide range of verbal inflection that he brings it alive. He also delineates the narration within The Raven and the words quoted by the narrator, with just the right amount of distinction.

Kid said...

I don't know who says that, DSE, but it sounds like Bunkum! At the very least, it would depend who was doing the reading. Some people have tghe voice for it, some don't. I agree with what you say about Rathbone's 'recital' - to me, it's absolutely excellent.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I could vouch for Colin Jones as that episode of The Simpsons was my introduction to Poe as well. I was 13 at the time, and had to go check out the junior high library for a book of Poe's stories and poems to check out The Raven and whatever else was in it. Not a bad way to start.

Not a bad reading here by Rathbone. Of course I'm more more familiar to his performance of being the narrator on Disney's take on "The Wind in the Willows".

Kid said...

Or 'The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad' as it was originally called when first released to cinemas. It was the last of Disney's 'package' films, and the two segments were separated and given the names of the books they were derived from when televised as part of Disneytime.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Yeah, that is the original title for the theatrical release, I suppose I was recalling he halved-out version of just the Mr. Toad story I saw otherwise on VHS 30 years ago.

Kid said...

The VHS version of TWITW was released in Britain for the first time in 1991. I've still got the one I bought back then, plus the 'package' version on DVD.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I guess we Americans came out lucky that time since I probably saw it as early as '84.

Kid said...

Lucky man indeed, Chris. It took me 21 years to see it again (on VHS) after my first viewing in my local cinema.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

That is quite a long wait.

Kid said...

Yup, but it was worth it.

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