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When Love Speaks is a compilation album that features interpretations of William Shakespeare's sonnets - some spoken, some set to music - and excerpts from his plays by famous actors and musicians, released under EMI Classics in April 2002.[2][3][4]

When Love Speaks
When Love Speaks album cover.jpg
Compilation album by
Various artists
Released23 April 2002
LabelEMI Classics
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]

Alan Rickman proposed the idea and together with Lord Attenborough and Michael Kamen backed it and recruited artists to participate. The launch took place at The Old Vic.[5]


Track listingEdit

  1. "Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises" (from The Tempest - Act III, Scene II), performed by Joseph Fiennes
  2. "Live With Me and Be My Love" (from The Passionate Shepherd to His Love - Christopher Marlowe), performed by Annie Lennox
  3. "As an unperfect actor on the stage" ("Sonnet 23"), performed by John Gielgud
  4. "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" ("Sonnet 130"), performed by Alan Rickman
  5. "Why is my verse so barren of new pride" ("Sonnet 76"), performed by Diana Rigg
  6. "Who will believe my verse in time to come" ("Sonnet 17"), performed by Richard Attenborough
  7. "That you were once unkind befriends me now" ("Sonnet 120"), performed by Paul Rhys
  8. "How oft, when thou, my music" ("Sonnet 128"), performed by Juliet Stevenson
  9. "When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" ("Sonnet 29"), set to music and performed by Rufus Wainwright
  10. "Being your slave, what should I do but tend" ("Sonnet 57"), performed by Janet McTeer
  11. "Tired with all these, for restful death I cry" ("Sonnet 66"), performed by Alan Bates
  12. "When I consider everything that grows" ("Sonnet 15"), performed by Marianne Jean-Baptiste
  13. "Let those who are in favour with their stars" ("Sonnet 25"), performed by David Warner
  14. "They that have power to hurt and will do none" ("Sonnet 94"), performed by Siân Phillips
  15. "Those lips that Love's own hand did make" ("Sonnet 145"), performed by John Hurt
  16. "Come again, sweet love doth now invite" performed by John Potter (John Dowland)
  17. "Th'expense of spirit in a waste of shame" ("Sonnet 129"), performed by Ralph Fiennes
  18. "Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me" ("Sonnet 132"), performed by Matthew Rhys
  19. "I never saw that you did painting need" ("Sonnet 83"), performed by Imelda Staunton
  20. "When to the sessions of sweet silent thought" ("Sonnet 30"), performed by Kenneth Branagh
  21. "It is thy will thy image should keep open" ("Sonnet 61"), performed by Fiona Shaw
  22. "Mine eye and heart are at mortal war" ("Sonnet 46"), performed by Henry Goodman
  23. "No more be grieved at that which thou hast done" ("Sonnet 35"), performed by Keb' Mo'
  24. "O never say that I was false of heart" ("Sonnet 109"), performed by Susannah York
  25. "Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest" ("Sonnet 3"), performed by Timothy Spall
  26. "Some glory in their birth, some in their skill" ("Sonnet 91"), performed by Peter Barkworth
  27. "How heavy do I journey on the way" ("Sonnet 50"), performed by Gemma Jones
  28. "Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea" ("Sonnet 65"), performed by Jonathan Pryce
  29. "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore" ("Sonnet 60"), performed by Richard Wilson
  30. "The quality of mercy is not strained" (from The Merchant of Venice - Act IV, Scene I), performed by Des'ree
  31. "Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said" ("Sonnet 56"), performed by Tom Courtenay
  32. "Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind" ("Sonnet 113"), performed by Zoe Waites
  33. "Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press" ("Sonnet 140"), performed by Edward Fox
  34. "It is for fear to wet a widow's eye" ("Sonnet 9"), performed by Trevor Eve
  35. "So it is not with me as with that Muse" ("Sonnet 21"), performed by Imogen Stubbs
  36. "Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws" ("Sonnet 19"), performed by David Harewood
  37. "The Willow Song" (from Othello - Act IV, Scene III), performed by Barbara Bonney
  38. "When my love swears that she is made of truth" ("Sonnet 138"), performed by Richard Johnson
  39. "When I do count the clock that tells the time" ("Sonnet 12"), performed by Martin Jarvis
  40. "What potions have I drunk of siren tears" ("Sonnet 119"), performed by Roger Hammond
  41. "Not marble nor the gilded monuments" ("Sonnet 55"), performed by Richard Briers
  42. "Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye" ("Sonnet 62"), performed by John Sessions
  43. "Let me not to the marriage of true minds" ("Sonnet 116"), performed by Thelma Holt
  44. "Music to hear, why hearst thou music sadly" ("Sonnet 8"), performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  45. "When forty winters shall besiege thy brow" ("Sonnet 2"), performed by Caroline Blakiston
  46. "No longer mourn for me when I am dead" ("Sonnet 71"), performed by Peter Bowles
  47. "In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes" ("Sonnet 141"), performed by Sylvia Syms
  48. "Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day" ("Sonnet 34"), performed by Robert Lindsay
  49. "Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck" ("Sonnet 14"), performed by Ioan Gruffudd
  50. "My love is as a fever, longing still" ("Sonnet 147"), performed by John Hurt
  51. "The little Love-God lying once asleep" ("Sonnet 154"), performed by Bohdan Poraj
  52. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" ("Sonnet 18"), performed by Bryan Ferry
  53. "Our revels are now ended" (from The Tempest - Act IV, Scene I), performed by Joseph Fiennes





  • Tony Bridge – mastering
  • Tim Atack – mixing
  • James Brett – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Joseph Shabalala – arranger, producer
  • Geoff Foster – engineer
  • Martin Jarvis – engineer
  • Anthony (Tony) Fisher – engineer
  • Brian Tench – engineer
  • Ned Douglas – engineer
  • Robert Lindsay – engineer
  • Don Murnaghan – engineer, mixing
  • Iain Roberton – engineer, mixing
  • Mark Johnson – engineer, mixing
  • Stephen McLaughlin – engineer, mixing
  • Ash Howes – mixing
  • Ricky Graham – mixing
  • Peter Cobbin – pre-mastering



  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "When Love Speaks". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
  3. ^ "Rufus Wainwright Discography - When Love Speaks". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  4. ^ Koenig, Rhoda (11 February 2002). "First Night: Bard's chart-topping potential unleashed after 400 years; When Love Speaks; The Old Vic, London". The Independent. p. 5. Retrieved 9 July 2018 – via InfoTrac Newsstand.
  5. ^ Jury, Louise (9 February 2002). "Rada stars coming out at night to benefit next generation of actors". The Independent. p. 5.
  6. ^ booklet liner notes page 42; page 3: Michael Kamen: "Rufus Wainwright joined us with a lovely sonnet set to his beautiful music."