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Rufus Wainwright|Rufus Wainwright : 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Rufus Wainwright : 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Anna Prohaska - BBC Symphony

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Not the singer/songwriter's first foray into Shakespeare, Rufus Wainwright's Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets offers an ambitious mix of accompanied readings, opera, and chamber pop to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death (its release date falls a day early). Three of the included sonnets appeared on Wainwright's 2010 LP All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu but are rearranged and newly recorded here. Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, and, most frequently, opera singer Anna Prohaska are among several celebrated guests on the 16-track set, which provides two interpretations of most of the poems. The album opens with a reading of "Sonnet 43" by Welsh actress and singer Siân Phillips over quietly percussive electronics, before approaching the same poem as a graceful, fully realized aria with Prohaska and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. It's not until the third track, "Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)," that we hear Wainwright himself sing, and it's an electro-symphonic, avant-garde pop song that also features an inserted recitation by English musician/producer Marius de Vries. In fact, those hoping to hear not only Wainwright's compositions but also his voice will have to make due with just three tunes and some supporting appearances. A highlight among his pop songs and of the album is "A Woman's Face (Reprise) (Sonnet 20)," a wistful ballad reworked from All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, in which Shakespeare expresses deep affection for another man. Elsewhere, droning guitar and rock drums are punctuated with strings on "Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23)," which sees the musician joined by his sister Martha Wainwright, Fiora Cutler (aka Fiora), and actress Helena Bonham Carter, the latter in a spoken intro. Florence Welch takes the lead on the mellifluous, tropics-infused "When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes (Sonnet 29)," and none other than William Shatner delivers a dramatic, highly edited performance of "Sonnet 129." In a Kurt Weill-esque cabaret entry, "Sonnet 66" is read and sung in German by Jürgen Holtz, Christopher Nell, and Wainwright, with electric guitar, piano, and strings accompaniment. While fans of either persuasion should note that the collection has as much strictly classical material as it does chamber pop, altogether the album presents a compelling, balanced mix of many manner of vocal performance. Arriving on the heels of a recording of his first opera, the French-language Prima Donna, Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets reaffirms that the songwriter/composer is an arranger at home in many styles, with the ability to make this kind of sprawling, genre-surfing project unfold with elegance.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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Rufus Wainwright : 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Rufus Wainwright

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Sonnet 43

1
Sonnet 43
Sian Phillips
00:01:12

Marius de Vries, Composer, Producer, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Producer - Sian Phillips, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben de Vries, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

When Most I Wink (Sonnet 43) (Rufus Wainwright)

2
When Most I Wink (Sonnet 43)
Anna Prohaska
00:04:55

Andrew Keener, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - James Clarke, Additional Mixer, StudioPersonnel - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rufus Wainwright, Composer - Christopher Rouse, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anna Prohaska, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jayce Ogren, Conductor - Paul Hughes, Producer - Robert Winter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Rowlands, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Philip Rothman, Arranger, Orchestrator - Susanna Stranders, Conductor - Graham Bradshaw, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kreeta-Julia Heikkila, Concertmaster, AssociatedPerformer - Susan Thomas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40) (Rufus Wainwright)

3
Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)
Rufus Wainwright
00:06:26

Marius de Vries, Producer, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Chaney, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben de Vries, Programmer - Uhjin Choi, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Eldad Guetta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ilzoo Park, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hoon Sun Chae, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sophiemarie Yeoungchie Won, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Sonnet 20

4
Sonnet 20
Frally Hynes
00:00:51

Frally Hynes, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Marius de Vries, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Producer

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

A Woman's Face (Sonnet 20) (Rufus Wainwright)

5
A Woman's Face (Sonnet 20)
Anna Prohaska
00:03:49

Andrew Keener, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - James Clarke, Additional Mixer, StudioPersonnel - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rufus Wainwright, Composer - Christopher Rouse, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anna Prohaska, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jayce Ogren, Conductor - Paul Hughes, Producer - Robert Winter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Rowlands, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Philip Rothman, Arranger, Orchestrator - Susanna Stranders, Conductor - Kreeta-Julia Heikkila, Concertmaster, AssociatedPerformer - Susan Thomas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

For Shame (Sonnet 10) (Rufus Wainwright)

6
For Shame (Sonnet 10)
Anna Prohaska
00:03:12

Andrew Keener, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - James Clarke, Additional Mixer, StudioPersonnel - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rufus Wainwright, Composer - Christopher Rouse, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anna Prohaska, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jayce Ogren, Conductor - Paul Hughes, Producer - Robert Winter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Rowlands, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Susanna Stranders, Conductor - Graham Bradshaw, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kreeta-Julia Heikkila, Concertmaster, AssociatedPerformer - Susan Thomas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Sonnet 10 (Ben de Vries)

7
Sonnet 10
Peter Eyre
00:00:58

Marius de Vries, Composer, Producer, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Producer - Peter Eyre, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben de Vries, Composer, Recording Engineer, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23) (Rufus Wainwright)

8
Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23)
Helena Bonham Carter
00:05:45

Marius de Vries, Producer, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Chaney, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - William Shakespeare , Author - Joel Shearer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Novak, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Fiora Cutler, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Borza Ghomeshi, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Martha Wainwright, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Helena Bonham Carter, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dom Bouffard, String Arranger, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Philip Krause, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben de Vries, Programmer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Uhjin Choi, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Eldad Guetta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ilzoo Park, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hoon Sun Chae, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sophiemarie Yeoungchie Won, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Stefan Rager, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Sonnet 29

9
Sonnet 29
Carrie Fisher
00:01:01

Marius de Vries, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Producer - Carrie Fisher, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

When In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes (Sonnet 29) (Rufus Wainwright)

10
When In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes (Sonnet 29)
Florence Welch
00:03:08

Marius de Vries, Producer, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Chaney, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - William Shakespeare , Author - Joel Shearer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Novak, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Justin Moshkevich, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, Acoustic Guitar, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Brett Shaw, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Composer, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Florence Welch, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben de Vries, Programmer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eldad Guetta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, and Prima Donna LLCPrima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Sonnet 129

11
Sonnet 129
William Shatner
00:01:03

Marius de Vries, Composer, Producer, Recording Engineer, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - William Shatner, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Producer - Ben de Vries, Composer, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Th'Expense Of Spirit In A Waste Of Shame (Sonnet 129) (Rufus Wainwright)

12
Th'Expense Of Spirit In A Waste Of Shame (Sonnet 129)
Anna Prohaska
00:02:48

Andrew Keener, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - James Clarke, Additional Mixer, StudioPersonnel - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rufus Wainwright, Composer - Christopher Rouse, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anna Prohaska, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jayce Ogren, Conductor - Paul Hughes, Producer - Robert Winter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Rowlands, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Philip Rothman, Arranger, Orchestrator - Susanna Stranders, Conductor - Graham Bradshaw, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kreeta-Julia Heikkila, Concertmaster, AssociatedPerformer - Susan Thomas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

All Dessen Müd (Sonnet 66) (Rufus Wainwright)

13
All dessen müd (Sonnet 66)
Jürgen Holtz
00:08:22

Marius de Vries, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dom Bouffard, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rainer Maillard, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ralph Graessler, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Philip Krause, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jürgen Holtz, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben de Vries, Programmer - Uhjin Choi, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Eldad Guetta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ilzoo Park, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hoon Sun Chae, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sophiemarie Yeoungchie Won, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Stefan Rager, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Christopher Nell, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Hans-Jörn Brandenburg, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Christa Schuenke, Translator

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

A Woman's Face - Reprise (Sonnet 20) (Rufus Wainwright)

14
A Woman's Face - Reprise (Sonnet 20)
Rufus Wainwright
00:03:10

Marius de Vries, Producer, Keyboards, Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Chaney, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ben de Vries, Programmer - Uhjin Choi, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Eldad Guetta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ilzoo Park, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Hoon Sun Chae, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sophiemarie Yeoungchie Won, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Stefan Rager, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Sonnet 87

15
Sonnet 87
Inge Keller
00:01:17

Marius de Vries, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - Nicholai Baxter, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rufus Wainwright, Producer - Inge Keller, Speaker, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christa Schuenke, Translator

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Farewell (Sonnet 87) (Rufus Wainwright)

16
Farewell (Sonnet 87)
Anna Prohaska
00:06:27

Andrew Keener, Producer - William Shakespeare , Author - James Clarke, Additional Mixer, StudioPersonnel - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rufus Wainwright, Composer - Christopher Rouse, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Anna Prohaska, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jayce Ogren, Conductor - Paul Hughes, Producer - Robert Winter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Rowlands, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Philip Rothman, Arranger, Orchestrator - Susanna Stranders, Conductor - Graham Bradshaw, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kreeta-Julia Heikkila, Concertmaster, AssociatedPerformer - Susan Thomas, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Prima Donna LLC, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

Not the singer/songwriter's first foray into Shakespeare, Rufus Wainwright's Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets offers an ambitious mix of accompanied readings, opera, and chamber pop to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death (its release date falls a day early). Three of the included sonnets appeared on Wainwright's 2010 LP All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu but are rearranged and newly recorded here. Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, and, most frequently, opera singer Anna Prohaska are among several celebrated guests on the 16-track set, which provides two interpretations of most of the poems. The album opens with a reading of "Sonnet 43" by Welsh actress and singer Siân Phillips over quietly percussive electronics, before approaching the same poem as a graceful, fully realized aria with Prohaska and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. It's not until the third track, "Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)," that we hear Wainwright himself sing, and it's an electro-symphonic, avant-garde pop song that also features an inserted recitation by English musician/producer Marius de Vries. In fact, those hoping to hear not only Wainwright's compositions but also his voice will have to make due with just three tunes and some supporting appearances. A highlight among his pop songs and of the album is "A Woman's Face (Reprise) (Sonnet 20)," a wistful ballad reworked from All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, in which Shakespeare expresses deep affection for another man. Elsewhere, droning guitar and rock drums are punctuated with strings on "Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23)," which sees the musician joined by his sister Martha Wainwright, Fiora Cutler (aka Fiora), and actress Helena Bonham Carter, the latter in a spoken intro. Florence Welch takes the lead on the mellifluous, tropics-infused "When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes (Sonnet 29)," and none other than William Shatner delivers a dramatic, highly edited performance of "Sonnet 129." In a Kurt Weill-esque cabaret entry, "Sonnet 66" is read and sung in German by Jürgen Holtz, Christopher Nell, and Wainwright, with electric guitar, piano, and strings accompaniment. While fans of either persuasion should note that the collection has as much strictly classical material as it does chamber pop, altogether the album presents a compelling, balanced mix of many manner of vocal performance. Arriving on the heels of a recording of his first opera, the French-language Prima Donna, Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets reaffirms that the songwriter/composer is an arranger at home in many styles, with the ability to make this kind of sprawling, genre-surfing project unfold with elegance.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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