'For just a small gain in time, Athenians'
These poignant words sum up the whole of these classic texts, the emphasis of philosophical thought for almost three millennia. 'Apology' is one of the greatest-ever defence counsels, the exchanges between Socrates and Meletus are some of the most entertaining in Greek classical literature. Phaedo's account of the death of Socrates is also profusely philosophical in content and at times poignant and tragic when that great man faced his end with such bravery.
The accounts are razor sharp and Bruce Alexander is a towering figure as he recounts 'Apology' in an echo framed context that recalls the Greek Theatre concept. The occasional interjections of David Timson's Meletus are also very atmospheric and one cannot help but identify with Socrates as he proceeds methodically to tear apart all the arguments against him in philosophical brilliance.
However it is in 'Phaedo' that Socrates really shines as a philosopher of the highest order. The exchanges between the old man, Cebes and Simmias are of the utmost importance to metaphysical concepts that form the basis for the future of millennia of thought. I was enthralled whilst listening to the way Socrates explained the thoughts of afterlife and the great beliefs of those towering men of the past. The music is also eerily evocative and on the whole, this is a production to treasure together with Plato's 'The Republic', another towering document of Greek philosophical thought.
'It was fast approaching sunset'
Copyright © 2003 by Gerald Fenech.