War Music

BBC Radio 3

(R. 8th February 1992.)

Sunday Play - Choice:

"Now hear this!" The voice, unmistakably, is Alan Howard's. We do hear it, loud and clear. And, for the next 110 minutes, we go on hearing it, and only it. Never a slurred, blurred word. No golden Gielgudian tones, but vibrant like the young Olivier, suggesting a sword hissing as it leaves the scabbard, cutting edge already glinting. One actor tonight - but many voices including Homer's, Achilles's, Hector's and Patroclus's. Christopher Logue's unrivalled translation of Books 16-19 of Homer's Iliad thrillingly complements last Sunday's Books 1 and 2.

Times. 8.2.1992.

War Music

A repeat for Alan Howard's staggering performance of books 16 to 19 of Homer's Iliad, as translated by Christopher Logue. First aired in 1981, this remains an astonishing piece of public poetry (alliteration, headlong irregular iambics, and no images you can't catch on the wing), given its apotheosis in Howard's 105-minute solo flight. Magnificent.

Time Out, 5th - 12th February 1992.

Vivid and brilliant Homer

This is the radio event of the week. Anyone with a taste for verse, a hunger for the richness of language and an ear eager to hear it consummately well-spoken should set aside tonight. Alan Howard's solo performance in Christopher Logue's version of Books 16-20 of Homer's Iliad is a piece of modern radio to set amongst the best of the classics. We begin with the fortunes of Troy in the ascendant. The Greeks need Achilles back in the battle. The text is vivid and brilliant. Howard's reading puts the listener at the centre of every shining scene.

Gillian Reynolds.

Daily Telegraph, 8.2.1992.

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