. . . [the lead single "A Woman¿s Face"] is classic Wainwright, featuring the singer's unmistakable voice and the same raw emotions familiar from his most popular songs.
Who else but Wainwright would take Shakespearean sonnets, miss out the hits, spin them into an album that's half pop and half classical, and then release it to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Bard's passing? . . . The gentle sway of Sonnet 20 (A Woman's Face) is a highlight of the album, Wainwright's reprise both poignant and dreamlike.
. . . this one's a doozy, even by his standards . . . [the album] finds Wainwright tackling the Bard's work in a grandly sweeping collection of recordings . . . Rufus Wainwright and his many guests pile on the gravitas while still transforming and illuminating Shakespeare's material with playful and provocative spirits. For a singer and composer who's always toyed with ways to pair pop showmanship with a classical musician's finely honed chops, "Take All My Loves" feels like a natural culmination of Wainwright's many passions . . .
. . . a unique and star-studded tribute . . . Driven by lush, expansive arrangements from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Prohaska's flawless soprano vocals, these tracks are technically impressive . . . [Wainwright] creates something brilliantly camp and bombastic . . . the quality of Wainwright's songwriting and overall musicianship never really dips . . .
. . . [Anna Prohaska]: ["A Woman's Face" (Sonnet 20)] is the most haunting and beautiful moment on the album (and also reprised rather wonderfully by Wainwright himself towards the end of the record) . . . ["Take All My Loves" is] certainly a labour of love for Wainwright, and there aren't too many people as adept at mixing classical elements with baroque pop . . .
It's hard to imagine how someone whose last album was an opera could out-do themselves, but Rufus Wainwright has achieved just that with "Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets" . . . if anyone can sell that complex, theatrical, beautiful depiction of humanity's deepest emotions, it's Wainwright.
. . . characteristically ambitious and flamboyant . . . Florence Welch lifts things to almost pop heights on a sweet reworking of "When In Disgrace With Fortune" . . . ["Take All My Loves" is a project] rich in talent and one that might just get you rediscovering the source text.
The album's brilliance shines brightest when Wainwright finds a way to take the sonnets and turn them into bold pop music . . . The six-minute-plus epic "Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)" is a gripping piece of theater, as Marius de Vries delivers a powerful reading of the sonnet, while Wainwright builds a lush world of sound around it . . . [Anna Prohaska]: She is thrilling in "For Shame", where her dramatic vocals create soaring angst.
Shakespeare's sonnets are an interpretive minefield for composers, which Rufus Wainwright negotiates quite nimbly on this selection . . . There's a keen appreciation of mood and meaning throughout . . . the most satisfying piece here is probably the title-track, for which Wainwright sets chugging strings and prickly synth against an odd telephone-style dischord pulse. His vocal melody and performance, however, is warm and involving, building depth through harmonies . . . All in all, a difficult task accomplished with no shortfall of style and invention.
. . . "All My Loves" turns out to be a box of delights: an album whose constantly shifting moods, romantic melodies and sly twists of musical wit are a perfect fit for the swoons, spite and slick conceits of the poems. The fluidity of gender, age and nationality of the voices delivering the spoken word sections give texture to the sound and universality to the emotions. There's always something surprising around the corner . . . [Sonnet 20 "A Woman's Face"]: The song is given two treatments here: early on there's an elegant, classical delivery by Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska, all that yearning corseted up by the lofty control of her courtly art. It's then brought up to date in a sighed pop version by Wainwright . . . he's so playful, inventive and heartfelt that even though this album clocks in at 55 minutes, he leaves you wanting him to play on and on.
"Take All My Loves" sees the never understated Wainwright put together a distinctly maverick cast of names to tackle some of his greatest sonnets. Winningly, he is true both to his material and to his own extravagant nature . . . The chamber music is carefully genteel . . . Wainwright's gorgeous velvet croon on "A Woman's Face" shows how good it would be to hear more of him here.
There's more than one way to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's passing . . . Start with Rufus Wainwright's gorgeous and magnificent "Take All My Loves". It features dramatically orchestrated (and sometimes, grandly rocking) renditions of the Bard's sonnets mixed with spoken-word renditions -- all elegantly voiced by an all-star cast . . .
Like a slice of rich, velvety cake -- for your ears.
. . . a glorious mishmash . . . the music is not let down by the quality of the lyrics . . . [Wainwright pulled this amalgam] of opera, rock and Elizabethan poetry together and he proves that, when it comes to lyrical sophistication, 1616 wins over 2016 hands down.
. . . a lavish 400th anniversary year tribute to the Bard . . . suitably grandiose orchestral settings provide a platform for the soprano of Anna Prohaska to take hold . . . the swirling blend of pop and classical are very much In the ballpark Rufus has made his own . . .
Rebel son of a folk dynasty, torch song troubadour, opera composer, Judy Garland tribute act . . . Rufus Wainwright is a true 21st century renaissance man. So he's not going to pass up the chance to work with the original renaissance man and greatest lyricist of all time . . . [Anna Prohaska's] soaring delivery graces several numbers . . .
. . . the Canadian's adaptation of nine sonnets to music carries its own freewheeling charm . . . Anna Prohaska brings the atmospheric Mahlerian score for "Sonnet 43" to life and "Sonnet 66" is ingeniously turned into perfectly observed Brechtian cabaret, featuring a fluent Germanic turn from Wainwright.
. . . a musical smorgasbord . . . a challenging collaboration with the greatest poet and playwright England has ever produced . . .
. . . [a clever selection of Shakespeare's sonnets recited] by a colourful array of characters . . . The star of the album, though, is young Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska, outstanding on five of the pieces, the illustrious BBC Symphony Orchestra . . . and Wainwright's enigmatic composition.
It's an engaging idea, sumptuously arranged and with a puckish wit on the classical cabaret of "All dessen müd".
. . . dazzling . . . a respectful, atmospheric tribute to the Bard.
. . . all sing with the irrepressible inventiveness of old.
. . . full-throttle Bardolatry, creating a supercharged divertissement of the kind once expected at eccentric Victorian country houses.. . . a grand gesture of a record . . .
Wainwright outdoes himself on "Take All My Loves," partnering with an incomparable lyricist and producing a movable feast of an album, both exceeding and confounding expectations.
This album demands the listener's full attention, ideally alone and absolutely without any other distraction. Under these circumstances enjoy the feast.
While the album is clearly built on a collaborative spirit, its best moments are those in which Wainwright allows himself to come to the fore. "Take All My Loves (Sonnet 40)" features a gorgeously subtle round circling beneath Wainwright's sonorous tenor . . . An underappreciated composer and arranger, Wainwright deftly shows his ability to take these centuries old texts and reframe them within a modernist classical/pop context.
Rufus Wainwright has built his reputation on operatic, florid, memorable albums, but he might have reached his highest point with his latest take on The Bard . . . in "Take All My Loves", Wainwright's love for the source material is laid bear.
. . . [this album] benefits from Wainwright's cosmopolitan élan beyond the music's usual form . . . gorgeously (but sparely) orchestrated . . . deeply passionate but coolly controlled sensuality . . . each work is all Wainwright.
. . . Rufus Wainwright celebrates Shakespeare's work in a way that allows the listener to fall in love with the poet's words all over again as much as with the singer's sonic vision.
"A Woman's Face" has a hugely affecting melody and Prohaska approaches it with a lush delicacy. Similarly, on the "Reprise" (there had to be one) Wainwright proves for all his rakish bluster he can be strikingly tender . . . there's plenty to enjoy and it's often fun to hear these iconic works in unfamiliar fashion.
The kind of guy to call in the BBC Symphony Orchestra when a lute would do, even by Wainwright's grandiose standards this one's a dense, fantastical and bonkers listen.
Shatner's breathy spoken delivery of Shakespeare's "Sonnet 129" is pretty fine, leading into Rufus Wainwright's restless orchestral setting, beautifully sung here by soprano Anna Prohaska. The big numbers on this disc are consistently impressive . . . Ear-tickling key changes haunt "When Most I Wink", and "A Woman's Face" is a decadent treat sung by Prohaska . . . An unexpected highlight is Florence Welsh's understated "When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men's Eyes", its tune up there with the very best of Wainwright's poppier output . . . An entertaining collection, Wainwright's chutzpah bold enough to make the whole thing hang together.
Wainwright keeps things varied enough to be interesting but concise enough to avoid boredom or overload . . . a tightly curated and ultimately exhilarating romp through a varied collection of interpretations and performances . . . The dual stars of this production are Wainwright's composition and arrangement skills combined with the vocals of Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska . . . Her crystalline, expressive voice injects emotion into every syllable, emphasizing just how well Shakespeare's iambic pentameter adapts to operatic song structure. Similarly, Wainwright's experience in composing the opera "Prima Donna" serves him well here. He has an ear attuned to the music of language and an ability to translate textual shadings into sympathetic melodies.
. . . a fascinating multiyear collaboration with some of the world's greatest singers, musicians, and actors . . .
Prohaska's voice, celebrated across a repertoire that spans three centuries, is a highlight, especially in the gentle "A Woman's Face" (Sonnet 20) and the wickedly dramatic "Th'Expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame" (Sonnet 129). Wainwright's distinctive voice is particularly effective in the title track . . . "Farewell" (Sonnet 87) [is] sung beautifully by Prohaska.
Wainwright has created real characters and explored their emotions with genuine insight. I found the entire opera compelling and deeply moving . . . The sound of his orchestration is distinctive and mostly very effective . . . Wainwright's writing for "Régine", the lead role,] is excellent and Janis Kelly gives a terrific performance . . . Baritone Richard Morrison is excellent as the longtime butler who has devoted his life to Régine . . . [Wainwright is] one of the most creative and unpredictable composer-performers in our midst today.
. . . a totally unique collection . . . it is Wainwright's interpretation of Sonnet 40 in the title track, "Take All My Loves", which really breathes new life into the bard's incredible work. Wainwright creates an uneasy atmosphere across a layered soundscape, which builds to a feel of hysteria before it reaches a crescendo and eases back to a calmer tone . . . William Shatner gives a tense reading of Sonnet 129 before it explodes into a haunting rendition by Prohaska in "The Expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame" . . . However, it is the epic coming together of Helena Bonham Carter, Fiora Cutler, Wainwright and his sister Martha Wainwright that really steals the show . . . "Unperfect Actor" erupts into a rock symphony, which sees Cutler and the Wainwrights bounce off each other in an impressive translation . . . Wainwright has successfully rolled pop, rock and classical music into one big collection that respectfully celebrates the life and work of the greatest wordsmith of the English language . . . [the collection takes some of Shakespeare's best-known sonnets,] setting them to awe inspiring scores and transforming them into atmospheric soundscapes. This collection showcases the talents of all involved and is a must for all fans of Wainwright and Shakespeare and will rightly intrigue many others.
The most successful of Wainwright's settings are those that lean toward classical art song . . . he has a knack for producing well-crafted earworms. The young Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska provides elegant interpretations . . . On the album's title track, "Take all my loves" (Sonnet 40), Wainwright engages in a clever bit of musical layering, dividing the sonnet into three melodies that come to interlock in a kaleidoscopic culmination.
. . . [Wainwright] has a knack for producing well-crafted earworms . . . Prohaska provides elegant interpretations, careful not to step on Shakespeare's sacrosanct text . . . [for "A Woman's Face"] a dreamy opening for celesta and solo cello evokes a gentle lullaby for what is actually a rather lewd text. This leads seamlessly into "For Shame" (Sonnet 10), a buoyant waltz . . . with a show-stopping climax for Prohaska . . . Wainwright's nostalgic, neoromantic idiom is suited to Elizabethan English . . . [on "Take all my loves",] Wainwright engages in a clever bit of musical layering, dividing the sonnet into three melodies that come to interlock in a kaleidoscopic culmination . . . [Wainwright's setting of "Tired with all these" makes a strong impression when] Wainwright skillfully imitates the style of Kurt Weill, with a repetitive klezmer melody backed by a cabaret band.
. . . the disc is so much fun that I can't imagine you not giving it a listen.
Die Scheibe ist [...] eine tiefe Verbeugung vor dem Prinzip Überfrau, dem der 42-Jährige so überaus ergeben scheint.
Rufus Wainwright wollte sich auf seine ganz eigene Art vor Shakespeare verneigen, und das ist ihm gelungen.
. . . Rufus Wainwrigth [ist] ein hingebungsvoller Bewunderer und empfiehlt sich mit Take All My Loves. 9 Shakespeare Sonnets als kompetenter Kurator und Komponist von maßkonfektionierten Arrangements.
. . . [die Mischung aus Pop, Klassik und Textrezitation funktioniert] erstaunlich gut . . . Das Resultat bezirzt. Weil die Musik exquisit ist, weil sich Rufus Wainwright einmal mehr als wandlungsfähiger Künstler erweist und last, but not least, weil Shakespeare mit seinen Sonetten die perfekte Vorlage bietet.
Alles ist erlaubt bei einer Shakespeare-Hommage, wie man sie noch nie zuvor gehört hat.
. . . meisterhaft . . . ein abwechslungsreiches und fein austariertes Album. Lyrische Passagen, rockige Songs und orchestrale Lieder harmonieren auf höchstem Niveau.
Die Österreicherin Anna Prohaska, die auch ein Faible für ausgefallene Konzeptalben hat, ist Wainwright eine elegante Partnerin bei seinen manchmal opernhaft-barock, manchmal leger-dramatisch angelegten Liedern. Gemeinsam gestalten sie einen Soundtrack für nachdenkliche Drama-Queens. Musikalischer Höhepunkt des Albums ist jedoch das leichtfüßige Duett mit Florence Welch, das ein Wainwright-Stück bester Güte ist: Diese Gratwanderung zwischen pop-fröhlich und poetisch-traurig, die so vorzüglich zu Shakespeare passt . . .
William Shatner rezitiert, Inge Keller und Helena Bonham Carter. Ziemlich opulent, ziemlich wahnsinnig, aber auch ziemlich gut.
Wer sich traut, Sonnete von Shakespeare zu vertonen, muss mit kreativer Kraft gesegnet sein. Rufus Wainwright, Sohn der Folk-Eltern Kate McGarrigle und Loudon Wainwright III, besitzt diese Kraft zweifellos . . . kammermusikalisches Liedgut, leidenschaftliche Streicher-Dramen, minimalistische Rythmen und zärtliche Umrankungen der Shakespeare-Liebesgedichte. Wainwright selbst singt auch. Dramatisch schön.
Hier nun lässt er Gesangs- Gaststars wie Florence Welche (Florence & The Machine) und Anna Prohaska in experimentell-klassische Sphären aufsteigen: kammermusikalisches Liedgut, leidenschaftliche Streicher-Dramen, minimalistische Rhythmen und zärtliche Umrankungen der Shakespeare-Liebesgedichte. Wainwright selbst singt auch. Dramatisch schön.
"Take All My Loves", garniert mit Starschauspielern wie Helena Bonham Carter als Sprechern und Sängern wie Anna Prohaska als edlen Stimmen. Ein ambitioniertes, eher klassisch als poppig angehauchtes Projekt für Lyrikliebhaber: große Oper!
Auf seinem jüngsten Werk "9 Shakespeare Sonnets" feiert Rufus Wainwright die unvergängliche poetische Kraft von Shakespeares Sonetten.
Rezitative und Vertonungen stehen Rücken an Rücken, und Wainwright beweist Fingerspitzengefühl bei der Auswahl der Interpreten . . . Mit "Take All My Loves" beweist Wainwright, dass die Worte Shakespeares bis heute berühren und Pop und Klassik gleichermaßen funktionieren. Zum 400. Todestag des Meisters erschienen, ist das Album ein grandioses Tribute-Werk.
Ein wunderliches, erstaunliches Album . . . Es ist ein in jeder Hinsicht fantastisches, originelles und an Überraschungen reiches Album geworden.
Kurios und gut.