THE ENNEADS VOLUME 2 (4-6)

THE ENNEADS VOLUME 2 (4-6)
By Plotinus • Read by Peter Wickham
Plotinus (204/5 -270CE), born in Lycopolis, Egypt when it was part of the Roman Empire – was a major figure in the philosophical school later called Neoplatonism. Neoplatonists viewed reality as deriving from a single force or figure expressed as ‘the One’.

Continue Reading

THE SOCRATIC DIALOGUES – MIDDLE PERIOD VOLUME 2

THE SOCRATIC DIALOGUES – MIDDLE PERIOD VOLUME 2

Phaedrus • Cratylus • Parmenides

By Plato • Multi-Voice Production - Read by David Rintoul as Socrates, Laurence Kennedy (Parmenides) and cast
The remarkable range of Plato’s Socratic Dialogues is vividly demonstrated by these three works. It opens with Phaedrus, a highly personal discussion between Socrates (David Rintoul) and the young, love-struck Phaedrus (Gunnar Cauthery).

Continue Reading

THE SOCRATIC DIALOGUES – MIDDLE PERIOD VOLUME 1

THE SOCRATIC DIALOGUES – MIDDLE PERIOD VOLUME 1

Symposium • Theaetetus • Phaedo

By Plato • Multi-Voice Production - Read by David Rintoul as Socrates, Hugh Ross (Symposium) and cast
Here are three important but very different Dialogues from the Middle Period. SYMPOSIUM, the most well-known in this collection, is concerned with the theme of love. In the house of Agathon, a group of friends – each very different in personality and background – meet to consider and discuss various kinds of love.

Continue Reading

THE SOCRATIC DIALOGUES – EARLY PERIOD VOLUME 2

THE SOCRATIC DIALOGUES – EARLY PERIOD VOLUME 2

Gorgias • Protagoras • Meno • Euthydemus • Lesser Hippias • Greater Hippias

By Plato • Multi-Voice Production - Read by David Rintoul as Socrates and cast
Here, in this second collection of Socratic Dialogues from Plato’s Early Period, read by David Rintoul as Socrates with a full cast, are contrasting six works. Often, as with Gorgias, which opens the recording, Socrates combats the popular subjects of sophistry and rhetoric, in direct conversation with Gorgias (a leading spophist teacher), and with one of his pupils, Callicles.

Continue Reading

ON THE ENDS OF GOOD AND EVIL

ON THE ENDS OF GOOD AND EVIL
Marcus Tullius Cicero • Read by Derek Le Page
Towards the end of his life, and his career as one of the leading politicians and orators in Rome, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BCE-43 BCE) was exiled to his country house. It was a time of political turmoil in the capital of the Empire caused by the power-grab of Julius Caesar. In the quiet of the countryside, Cicero began to write on philosophy.

Continue Reading

BEWARE OF PITY

BEWARE OF PITY
By Stefan Zweig, Read by Nicholas Boulton

Nicholas Boulton’s performance of the only full-length novel of the great Stefan Zweig is impeccable, impassioned, and moving. Zweig’s storytelling here is old-fashioned, feeling almost Chekhovian at this remove. Set right before WWI, it’s a domestic tragedy told in the shadow of the looming destruction of a world and about a young Austrian cavalry officer trying to behave honorably to a rich but hysterically needy crippled girl with whom he is entangled. Boulton’s Lt. Hoffmiller is both an exotic to us and utterly familiar as a young man whose not-uncommon flaw is that he doesn’t understand his own emotions. Zweig’s achievement is to show what damage this can do on small stages or large; Boulton’s is to make us vibrate in sympathy with Hoffmiller.

B.G.
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2017]

Continue Reading

THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER

THE SORROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER

Wolfgang von Goethe, Read by Leighton Pugh • Unabridged • OCTOBER 2017

Written in 1774 when Goethe was just 24, this short novel is a series of letters written by a young man in the throes of impossible love with a woman who is engaged to someone else. Leighton Pugh is marvelous in his role as narrator. Although the epistolary form means there’s little opportunity for multiple voices, Pugh changes the color and timbre of his narration in all the right spots, enlivening the text and ensuring that it never sounds like a monologue. One of the appeals of this classic work is that Werther is charming and likable, despite his heavy burden. Pugh’s narration is equally energetic, never maudlin, and helps listener empathize with the doomed title character.

Continue Reading

THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY

THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY
By Stefan Zweig Read by David Horovitch

David Horovitch’s sublime narration of Zweig’s haunting memoir matches excellence with excellence, style with style. Completed the day before he committed suicide in 1942, Zweig’s narrative is a bittersweet medley of nostalgia and despair, starting with the golden turn-of-the-century years when Vienna was the center of European intellectual and artistic activity, all of which was destroyed with the Nazi ascent in Austria. Film director Wes Anderson has reawakened interest in Zweig, an artist who was once Europe’s bestselling novelist—and who, in time, saw his books burned in public. Horovitch sounds as you imagine Zweig would sound and portrays Zweig’s sensibility, style, and moral compass perfectly, and indelibly. And, happily, if you are new to Zweig, a long list of his slim, elegant novellas awaits you on audio, in English, German, and French. D.A.W.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine

Continue Reading

THE ESSENTIAL ENGLISHMAN

THE ESSENTIAL ENGLISHMAN
By Duncan Steen and Nicolas Soames
There is no watertight excuse for this book. It strolls impertinently over ground that has been carefully mapped by the qualified authorities and elegantly appreciated by many devoted amateurs. Its purview is ludicrously broad – nothing less than an exhibition of the Englishman in his more characteristic manifestations through the ages. It is, wriggle out of it as we would, a hopelessly, damnably patriotic book.

Continue Reading