Classical Net

These four volumes, recorded for broadcast in 1954, are true classic Sherlock Holmes for lovers of these legendary stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although they are heavily edited when compared to David Timson’s illustrious accounts that are a collector’s dream – the unique and inimitable voice of Sir John Gielgud and his equally great sidekick Sir Ralph Richardson as Watson are essential listening.

The sound effects, although crude at times are wonderfully atmospheric as are the equally valid contributions of Val Gielgud as Mycroft Holmes in “The Traitor” and other unnamed female actresses which take those parts so well. Some of my favourite Holmes stories are included here such as “The Second Stain”, “Silver Blaze” and “The Speckled Band” all superbly dramatized on all counts.

There are times when the sound is slightly cramped as these are mid 1950’s mono recordings but otherwise I have nothing but praise for these issues and a top recommendation is surely in order.

—Gerald Fenech