With a total timing of 1hr 19mins, and 30 tracks expertly and sensitively interpreted, this is really the first time that we have had a substantial collection that could be listened to rather than read - and hearing poetry is what it's all about, especially in the case of Romantic poetry and more especially in the cases of Shelley and Keats. It also seems to me that for the first time we have the oportunity to get inside Shelley's unusual and elusive subjectivity in a way that is very difficult through reading the poems for oneself, even when we read aloud.
This has a pretty good reading of the difficult 'Ode To A Skylark' and is certainly the best ever made available since recording began, except for Gielgud's which was made for the BBC but has never been released commercially. Considering how popular and famous it is there have been surprisingly few recordings. It was even omitted from the old British Council series on LP. I only regret that it wasn't a 2CD set, and when one thinks how many contemporary novels are available in multi-CD unabridged sets there seems no good reason for this other than the usual one that poetry is not given the consideration it deserves. It should be obvious that its claim to priority is incontestable, especially in the case of the major poets who are out of copyright. As a result of this lack of space we do NOT get the 'Letter to Maria Gisborne', 'Lines Written Among The Eugenian Hills', or 'Mont Blanc', and only 3mins worth of the last stanzas of Adonais. Keats was given a 2 disc set for 'Realms Of Gold' on Naxos - not so well read - although admittedly half of this was readings from the important letters. Come on Naxos let's have Vol.2 with the same reader.