Shakespeare's Sonnets are as important and vital today as they were when first published four hundred years ago.
All 154 sonnets are read by an all-star cast including Simon Callow, Kim Cattrall, Oliver Ford Davies, Stephen Fry, Sir Andrew Motion, Sian Philips, Diana Quick, Jemma Redgrave, Simon Russell Beale, Fiona Shaw, Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant and Dominic West.
©2013 Canongate Books in partnership with Faber and Faber Ltd (P)2013 Canongate Books
Narrated by different individuals, some of which are better than others. These sonnets require some insight and restraint. It is not an emotional, romantic poetry; Not all narrators got it.
"The best possible introduction to Shakespeare"
Yes, I mean it. Listen. Enjoy. Indulge you self in the greatest poet's most intimate words.
This is one of the best recordings of the Sonnets available, with great sound quality and a stellar cast. It's basically the soundtrack of a larger multimedia app that includes a video of each actor reciting the sonnet; the full text of the sonnets; explanatory notes; and a wealth of other material. I prefer this lower-key approach - just the sound of the words themselves: trying to absorb the full production was distracting.
From an audio standpoint, the only defect is that, being the soundtrack for a visual presentation, it lacks a clear demarcation, apart from a significant pause, between each sonnet. Fortunately Shakespeare's punchy couplets at the end of each sonnet signal the culmination of the theme.
One useful feature is that where the sonnets come in pairs - the second one picking up in a very obvious way where the last one left off - the same actor usually reads both.
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