Rufus Wainwright celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in typically dramatic fashion by releasing a unique collection of nine sonnets in stunning performances by both actors and vocalists. Set for release on April 22 on Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Canada, it also marks the first collaboration between Rufus and Marius de Vries since they co-produced the epic Want albums.

The performers on this new recording include vocalists Florence Welch, Martha Wainwright, Anna Prohaska and, of course, Rufus himself, as well as actors Siân Phillips, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher and William Shatner.

The seeds for this album were sown back in 2009, when director Robert Wilson asked Rufus to compose music for his Shakespeare’s Sonnets production, first staged at the Berliner Ensemble. The San Francisco Symphony subsequently commissioned Rufus to orchestrate five of the sonnets, which they premiered in 2010.

Three of the sonnets featured on Take All My Loves first appeared on Rufus Wainwright’s 2010 album Songs For Lulu, albeit in different versions. These are: “When Most I Wink” (Sonnet 43), “For Shame” (Sonnet 10) and “A Woman’s Face” (Sonnet 20).

“For me, recording this album has been a marriage made in heaven, as it combines my love of classical music with my love of pop music,” says Rufus. “It’s literally historically fun. And made all the better by working again with Marius.”

P.T.O for full tracklisting and featured artists

Rufus Wainwright (*1973)


  1. Sonnet 43

    • Recitation: Siân Phillips

  2. When Most I Wink (Sonnet 43)

    • Vocals: Anna Prohaska

  3. Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)

    • Vocals: Rufus Wainwright

    • Recitation: Marius de Vries

  4. Sonnet 20

    • Recitation: Frally Hynes

  5. A Woman’s Face (Sonnet 20)

    • Vocals: Anna Prohaska

  6. For Shame (Sonnet 10)

    • Vocals: Anna Prohaska

  7. Sonnet 10

    • Recitation: Peter Eyre

  8. Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23)

    • Recitation: Helena Bonham Carter

    • Vocals:  Rufus Wainwright · Martha Wainwright · Fiora Cutler

  9. Sonnet 29

    • Recitation: Carrie Fisher

  10. When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men’s Eyes (Sonnet 29)

    • Vocals: Florence Welch

    • Backing Vocals: Rufus Wainwright · Ben de Vries

  11. Sonnet 129

    • Recitation: William Shatner

  12. Th’Expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame (Sonnet 129)

    • Vocals: Anna Prohaska

  13. All Dessen Müd (Sonnet 66)

    • Vocals: Christopher Nell · Jürgen Holtz · Rufus Wainwright

  14. A Woman’s Face – Reprise (Sonnet 20)

    • Vocals: Rufus Wainwright

  15. Sonnet 87

    • Recitation: Inge Keller

  16. Farewell (Sonnet 87)

    • Vocals: Anna Prohaska

    • Bass: Chris Chaney (3, 8, 10, 14) · Ralph Graessler (13)

    • Guitar: Joel Shearer (8, 10) · Dom Bouffard (8, 13)

    • Acoustic Guitar: Nicholai Baxter (10)

    • Keyboard: Marius de Vries (3, 8, 10, 14) · ROLI Seaboard: Marius de Vries (3)

    • Piano: Hans-Jörn Brandenburg (13)

    • Drums: Gary Novak (8, 10) · Stefan Rager (13) · Percussion: Stefan Rager (8)

    • BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jayce Ogren (2, 5, 6, 12, 16)

    • Berlin String Section (3, 8, 13, 14)

    • Cello: Hoon Sun Chae · Violin: Ilzoo Park · Sophiemarie Yeoungchie Won

    • Viola: Uhjin Choi

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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