Manfred is a dramatic poem written in 1816–1817 by Lord Byron. It contains supernatural elements, in keeping with the popularity of the ghost story in England at the time. It is a typical example of a Romantic closet drama. Manfred was adapted musically by Robert Schumann in 1852, in a composition entitled Manfred: Dramatic Poem with Music in Three Parts.
In this version, Sir Thomas Beecham conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Laidman Browne, Jill Balcon, and David Enders reading the poem.
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Wanted the text
I knew nothing of this poem when I began listening, and at first I found it somewhat confusing. There is no introduction or lead-in, it just begins, with full dramatic force. I spent half the recording trying to figure out what I was listening to and half getting swept up in the experience. The music is beautiful and the acting superb. I will seek out the written text and listen again with more literary understanding.
Very moving performance
- J. Douglass