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Robert Graves in major new British Library CD

 
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notarius
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Joined: 25 May 2002
Posts: 63
Location: Bristol, England

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 4:04 pm    Post subject: Robert Graves in major new British Library CD Reply with quote

Robert Graves reading his poem 1805 at London's Mermaid Theatre is one of the previously unpublished recordings featured on one of two CDs just published by The British Library:



The CD, The Spoken Word – Poets features recordings taken from the Library’s sound archives of what it describes as “some of the greatest names in the English language” reading from their own works. The recordings include Robert Browning speaking in 1889, one of the earliest spoken word recordings made only 12 years after Thomas Edison's invention of the tinfoil cylinder phonograph, and Alfred Lord Tennyson's own rendition of Charge of the Light Brigade, from 1890.

All the writers and poets chosen for inclusion on the CDs were born before 1900; so Graves just qualifies! Some of the recordings originate from the earliest form of recording equipment available – the wax cylinder – and other recordings come from private and family recordings and rare radio broadcasts and were held by the British Library on formats including early magnetic tape, original acetate, 78rpm discs and LPs.

Other rarities include a reading by Rudyard Kipling of an extract from France, the only surviving example of him reading from his own work, and previously-unissued live recordings, such as one by Hugh MacDiarmid reading The Watergaw and the recording of Robert Graves reading 1805 at London's Mermaid Theatre. (When was this? The British Library would like to know! I remember seeing a photograph...)

The CD also includes the earliest English language poets whose voices survive, including two of American poets Robert Frost and e.e. Cummings. Previously unreleased broadcast readings of Siegfried Sassoon reading his poems Attack and Died of Wounds are featured and The Great War years are also represented by Laurence Binyon reading For the Fallen, the words of which have come to be associated with Remembrance Day services around the world. An extract is also included from David Jones’s epic poem of life in the trenches, In Parenthesis. Recordings by other poets associated with Robert Graves or known to him including Gertrude Stein, John Masefield, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, and Edith Sitwell are also featured.

Richard Fairman of the British Library’s Scholarship and Collections explains in a Press Release that the Library “…selected the best of some of the most rare recordings in our collections that we hope will throw light on some aspect of a writer's life or work. With such large and important collections of sound at the British Library, making any choice is undeniably difficult, but we hope these CDs will appeal to both scholars and the public alike."

Visitors to the British Library in London (90 Euston Road, next to St Pancras Station) will be able to hear an audio exhibition of the 100 recordings of writers and poets, including the items featured on both CDs, played on juke boxes (yes!) in the Entrance Hall.

Bibliographic details of the two CDs (Graves reads 1805 on the first) are:

The Spoken Word – Poets. London: The British Library, 2003. Catalogue number: NSACD 13. Price £9.95 inc VAT in UK. ISBN: 0712305173.

The Spoken Word – Writers. London: The British Library, 2003. Catalogue number: NSACD 12. Price £9.95 inc VAT in UK. ISBN: 0712305165.


Both are available through the British Library Bookshop, other bookshops, or online from www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.com, and http://www.bl.uk/services/publications/onlineshop.html, or type the relevant ISBN into the search engine at www.addall.com to find the best price (including delivery) in your country.

The publication of the recordings received strong Press and TV coverage in Britain last week.

The full track listings of the Poets CD (total running time, 70 minutes, with Graves, born in 1895, appearing last) are:

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
1.Charge of the Light Brigade
Date of recording: 05.1890
Duration: 2.27

Robert Browning (1812-1889)

2. 'How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix'
Date of recording: 07.04.1889
Duration: 0.52 [extract]

Henry Newbolt (1862-1938)
3. Vitai Lampada
Date of recording: 07.08.1929
Duration: 1.18

4. Drake’s Drum
Date of recording: 07.08.1929
Duration: 1.38

W.B. Yeats (1865-1939)
5. Introduction
Date of broadcast: 10.04.1932
Duration: 1.57

6. The Lake Isle of Innisfree
Date of recording: 10.04.1932
Duration: 1.25

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
7. France [extract]
Recorded: 23.11.1921
Duration: 0.45

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
8. For the Fallen
Date of recording: unknown
Duration: 2.47

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
9. Tarantella
Recorded: 12.1932
Duration: 1.31

Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)
10. Nod
Date of recording: 06.04.1934
Duration: 1.05

11. Song of Shadows
Date of recording: 06.04.1934
Duration: 0.52

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
12. A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson
Date of recording: 1935
Duration: 3.45

Robert Frost (1874-1963)
13. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Date of recording: 1948
Duration: 0.48

John Masefield (1878-1967)
14. Sea Fever
Date of broadcast: 03.11.1941
Duration: 1.09

Alfred Noyes (1880-1958)
15. The Highwayman
Date of recording: 07.1929
Duration: 6.06

Rose Macaulay (1881-1958)
16. The Alien
Date of recording: 06.1929
Duration: 1.27

John Drinkwater (1882-1937)
17. Cotswold Love
Date of recording: c.1929
Duration: 0.50

18. Mrs Willow
Date of recording: C.1929
Duration: 1.47

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
19. Spring and All [By the road to the contagious hospital]
Date of recording: 05.05.1945
Duration: 1.02

20. Queen-Anne’s-Lace
Date of recording: 05.05.1945
Duration: 0.52

Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
21. The Seafarer
Date of recording: 17.05.1939
Duration: 7.08

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)
22. Attack
Date of broadcast: 06.04.1956
Duration: 1.00

23. Died of Wounds
Date of broadcast: 06.04.1956
Duration: 0.52

Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)
24. To the Stone Cutters
Date of recording: 1941
Duration: 0.50

Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)
25. Jodelling Song [from Façade]
Other performers: William Walton (conductor) and unnamed orchestra
Recorded: 28.09.1929
Duration: 2.15

26. A Man from a Far Countree [from Façade]
Other performers: William Walton (conductor) and unnamed orchestra
Recorded: 28.09.1929
Duration: 1.18

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
27. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Date of recording: 1948
Duration: 7.53

Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978)
28. The Watergaw
Date of recording: 03.02.1969
Duration: 1.56

29. The Eemis Stane
Date of recording: 03.02.1969
Duration: 1.23

e.e. Cummings (1894-1962)
30. my father moved through dooms of love
Date of recording: c.1950
Duration: 5.36

David Jones (1895-1974)
31. In Parenthesis [extract from Part 7]
Date of recording: 1967
Duration: 2.43

Robert Graves (1895-1985)
32. 1805
Location: Mermaid Theatre, London
Date of recording: unknown
Duration: 2.10

For further details, visit: http://www.bl.uk/services/publications/audio_05173.html#tracks

PatrickV
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