The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (8): Do not go gentle

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (8): Do not go gentle


norman lebrecht

March 24, 2020

The poet

The actor

The rest



  • Hugh Kerr says:

    It’s Burton for me every time and as an ex politician I’ve done a few funerals in my time where it’s been very appropriate. I used it myself in Wales conducting my brother Jake’s funeral near Laugharne where Dylan Thomas lived.mind you the music we used was Status Quo ! Jake was an old rocker!

  • John Rook says:

    Joint First: Richard Burton and Jonathan Pryce (who didn’t need that music).
    Anthony Hopkin’s horribly synthetic music is too loud and Dylan Thomas sounds too luvvy. Strange.

  • Adam Stern says:

    Beautiful readings, all…personally not crazy about the New Age-y music accompanying two of them, but easy enough to ignore.

  • M.Arnold says:

    Ah, Norman, my all time favorite poet. Love him reading his own stuff. I started going occasionally to the White Horse Tavern about a year after he died. Would have loved to have been able to meet him.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Heartfelt thanks.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    They are all good, but the music in Sir Anthony Hopkins version is unendurable. Is it necessary to put background music during poetry readings anyway? I found Dylan Thomas a better reader of poetry than T. S. Eliot, who sounds rather dry in recordings. I believe alcoholics make better, more musical readers than sober individuals.

  • John Holmes says:

    Don’t bother with the Stravinsky atonal setting of this very poem, for tenor string quartet and 4 trombones. Awful

  • John Borstlap says:

    In case the poem is meant here as an encouragement for the old being visited by the corona virus, I’m not so sure whether it would have that effect.

    Thomas was supposed to collaborate with Stravinsky on a theatre project, he visited the Stravinskys in Hollywood and slept on their sofa. Alas, he suddenly died before the project came to fruition.

  • Zsolt Bognar says:

    What an incredible post–and of course the poet himself is the most impassioned reading–listen to how his voice trembles~

    • John Borstlap says:

      That trembling makes it oldfashioned-theatrical, not more expressive. It is like the tremulant stop on an organ, cheapening the effect of the sound.

      In old recordings of theatrical texts, actors often use the drill of the tremulant to enhance the expressiveness instead of intensity, it was a method to compensate for lack of credibility.