Various Artists

When Love Speaks

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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares

An unusual collaboration, When Love Speaks features interpretations of William Shakespeare's sonnets and excerpts from his plays by high-profile actors and musicians. It almost goes without saying that performers such as John Gielgud, Jonathan Pryce, Diana Rigg, Ralph and Joseph Fiennes, and Susannah York give accomplished readings of the Bard's work; the musical interludes, which range from the adult alternative pop of Annie Lennox's "Live With Me and Be My Love" to Keb' Mo''s bluesy "No More Be Grieved at That Which Thou Hast Done," aren't quite as successful but add diversity. Highlights include Alan Rickman's reading of "My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun," Rufus Wainwright's "When, in Disgrace With Fortune and Men's Eyes," and Bryan Ferry's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day." Other featured performers include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Barbara Bonney, Tom Courtenay, and Kenneth Branagh. As a benefit album for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts -- where most of the featured actors on this album studied -- and as a tribute to Shakespeare, When Love Speaks does an admirable job of marrying high culture to pop culture.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Joseph Fiennes 00:47
2 Annie Lennox 02:18 Amazon
3 John Gielgud 00:54
4 Alan Rickman 01:26 Amazon
5 Diana Rigg 00:55 Amazon
6 Richard Attenborough 01:04 Amazon
7 Paul Rhys 01:03 Amazon
8 Juliet Stevenson 00:57 Amazon
9 Rufus Wainwright 03:00 Amazon
10 Janet McTeer 00:48 Amazon
11 Alan Bates 01:10 Amazon
12 Marianne Jean-Baptiste 00:52
13 David Warner 00:52 Amazon
14 Siân Phillips 00:53 Amazon
15 John Hurt 00:46 Amazon
16 John Potter 04:42
17 Ralph Fiennes 00:57 Amazon
18 Matthew Rhys 00:53 Amazon
19 Imelda Staunton 00:58 Amazon
20 Kenneth Branagh 01:05
21 Fiona Shaw 01:18
22 Henry Goodman 00:54 Amazon
23 Keb' Mo' 03:25 Amazon
24 Susannah York 00:57 Amazon
25 Timothy Spall 00:57 Amazon
26 Peter Barkworth 01:08 Amazon
27 Gemma Jones 00:56 Amazon
28 Jonathan Pryce 01:06 Amazon
29 Richard Wilson 00:53 Amazon
30 Des'ree 03:20 Amazon
31 Tom Courtenay 01:05 Amazon
32 Zoe Waites 01:02 Amazon
33 Edward Fox 01:13 Amazon
34 Trevor Eve 00:55 Amazon
35 Imogen Stubbs 01:03 Amazon
36 00:51 Amazon
37 Barbara Bonney 03:14
38 Richard Johnson 01:03 Amazon
39 Martin Jarvis 00:50 Amazon
40 Roger Hammond 01:04 Amazon
41 Richard Briers 00:45
42 John Sessions 00:52 Amazon
43 Thelma Holt 00:46 Amazon
44 Ladysmith Black Mambazo 03:26 Amazon
45 Caroline Blakiston 00:56 Amazon
46 Peter Bowles 00:46 Amazon
47 Sylvia Sims 01:12 Amazon
48 Robert Lindsay 01:00 Amazon
49 Ioan Gruffudd 00:48 Amazon
50 John Hurt 01:04 Amazon
51 Bohdan Poraj 00:54 Amazon
52 Bryan Ferry 02:50
53 Joseph Fiennes 00:49 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick