So I got my hands on When Love Speaks this week. For those that haven't heard, this CD is a collection of 5o+ readings and interpretations of Shakespeare, mostly the sonnets with some other passages thrown in, primarily from The Tempest. You've probably heard a recording of Alan Rickman (now most famous as Professor Snape) doing "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun."
I was finally motivated to buy this when I found an MP3 of Sonnet 29 ("When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes...") by somebody named Rufus Wainright. As I'm sure I've mentioned a few million times I have Sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee") by David Gilmour, guitar god legend of Pink Floyd. It is my ring tone, it is the song I sing my children to sleep with, it...is....awesome.
I don't know anything about Sonnet 29, or who this Rufus Wainright guy is, but dang, I like it. It made me run out and get the CD in the hopes that there's more like this on there. Unfortunately, there's not. In 53 tracks, only 8 are put to music (the rest being dramatic readings, ala Rickman). Of those, only 4 are sonnets. One is Rufus, one interestingly is Bryan Ferry doing Sonnet 18 to the exact same piano music as David Gilmour. I wonder what the story is with that?
The other two sonnets are Sonnet 8 by Ladysmith Black Mambaso, and a funky Sonnet 35 by Keb' Mo'. I care for neither. I'm sure that is at least in part because they are too over produced. I can't imagine singing them to myself or my children.
Anybody else got some good sources for me to check out? I'm specifically looking for sonnets, to music. Ideally stuff that is not highly stylized (i.e. don't screw with the words), just put it to music and sing it straight. I've had good results so far with Gilmour and 18, and I would love to live in a world where I can come home to the sounds of Shakespeare like others listen to classical music.