Be Thou Now Persuaded: Living in a Shakespearean World

Be Thou Now Persuaded: Living in a Shakespearean World


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"Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear." The line comes from Shakespeare's poem "Venus and Adonis," but it could easily serve as the tag line for this truly enchanting Shakespeare tribute, which showcases some of the most gifted actors of the 20th century performing the Bard's greatest works. Though one might expect such a compilation to have a dry, pedantic…  See more details below


"Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear." The line comes from Shakespeare's poem "Venus and Adonis," but it could easily serve as the tag line for this truly enchanting Shakespeare tribute, which showcases some of the most gifted actors of the 20th century performing the Bard's greatest works. Though one might expect such a compilation to have a dry, pedantic quality, this brilliantly conceived six-CD set flows together with a dreamlike fluidity that highlights the playwright's staggering facility with language as well as his profound understanding of human nature. Much more than a simple collection of "the Bard's greatest hits," here the presentation's the thing -- the producers have created a fascinating, thematically indexed collage of language, emotion, and meaning. Shakespeare's words were meant to fill the air on the wing of human voices, and here they are launched into flight by some of the world's finest thespians: John Barrymore, Sir Laurence Olivier, Paul Robeson, Orson Welles, Sir John Gielgud, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, John Neville, Claire Bloom, José Ferrer, Sarah Bernhardt, Ralph Richardson, Anthony Quayle, Vanessa Redgrave, Cyril Cusack, Albert Finney, Paul Scofield, Rex Harrison, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Tandy, and Peggy Ashcroft, among others. Living in a Shakespearean World is a celebration of language for those who love the great poet's works and magical words -- words that, to quote Hamlet, "amaze indeed the very faculties of eyes and ears."

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sheridan
It's more or less accepted that Shakespeare is the greatest writer in English, but this large box set shows he was a really a musician of language.. The speeches and scenes spread over the course of 6 CDs, carefully arranged to cover themes of love, wonder, humanity and death, play like brief symphonic passages. Indeed, in the hands of actors like Richard Burton, Brian Murray, Vanessa Redgrave and Orson Welles, the material truly sings. While some may find the editing a bit choppy, slicing passages to their best known parts, the goal is clearly to celebrate the wisdom and art of the Bard. While the context of some of the passages may be a bit foggy to a first-time listener, the final two disc offer an entire performance of Romeo and Juliet with Claire Bloom and Albert Finney.

Product Details

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Disc 1

  1. Good Day, Good Day/Good Morrow to This Fair Assembly/Good Morrow, Ajax  - Peter Woodthorpe
  2. O for a Muse of Fire  -  Chorus
  3. O Brave New World  - Anna Massey
  4. What a Piece of Work Is Man
  5. All the World's a Stage  - Max Adrian
  6. Life's But a Walking Shadow
  7. They Kill Us for Their Sport
  8. Man Proud Man
  9. Some Vicious Mole of Nature
  10. The Web of Our Life  - Daniel Thorndyke
  11. The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained  - Dorothy Tutin
  12. Our Remedies Oft in Ourselves Do Lie
  13. Hath Not a Few Eyel?
  14. I Will a Round Unvarnish'd Tale Deliver
  15. I Am Not What I Am
  16. I Edgar Nothing Am
  17. Oh What a Rogue and Peasant Slave Am I
  18. Herein Will I Imitate the Sun  - Richard Johnson
  19. Banish Plump Jack, And Banish All the World  - Richard Johnson
  20. I Haue of Late
  21. It Is a Melancholy of Mine Own  - Max Adrian
  22. There Was a Star Danced  - Rachel Roberts
  23. He Is All Mirth  - Alan Webb
  24. I Am That Merry Wanderer of the Night
  25. Where the Bee Sucks, There Suck I
  26. A Born Devil
  27. A Man or a Fish?  - Ronnie Barker
  28. For Her Own Person, It Beg Gar'd All Description  - Jack Gwillim
  29. O, How That Name Befits My Composition  - John Gielgud
  30. Thou, Nature, Art My Goddess  - John Stride
  31. Can I Do This, And Cannot Get a Crown?
  32. Come, You Spirits  - Judith Anderson
  33. One More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends  - Laurence Olivier
  34. The Other Eden
  35. Mine Honor Is My Life
  36. Honor Is a Mere Scutcheon
  37. I Would Give All My Fame for a Pot of Ale and Safety  - Ronnie Stevens
  38. I Am Not Only Witty in Myself
  39. I Am a Great Eater of Beef  - John Neville
  40. Here Come Romeo  - Kenneth Haigh
  41. Didst Thou Ever See Me Do Such a Trick?
  42. I Can Compare Our Rich Miser  - Aubrey Woods
  43. Wherefore, Sweetheart What's Your Metaphor?
  44. In the Secret Parts of Fortune?  - Gavin Muir
  45. Motley's the Only Wear  - Derek Godfrey
  46. Wast Ever in Court, Shepherd?  - Norman Rossington
  47. This Fellow Is Wise Enough to Play the Fool  - Norman Rossington
  48. Sirrah, You Were Best to Take My Coxcomb  - Ronnie Stevens
  49. It Hath Made Me Mad  - Ronald Culver
  50. O What a Noble Mind Is Here Overthrown  - Zena Walker
  51. Away! The Foul Fiend Follows Me!  - Ronnie Stevens
  52. Out, Damn'd Spot!  - Judith Anderson
  53. O Fool, I Shall Go Mad
  54. The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet

Disc 2

  1. Tell Me Where Is Fancy Bred?
  2. Beauty Itself Doth of Itself Persuade  - Richard Burton
  3. God Bless My Ladies! Are They All in Love  - Judy Parfitt
  4. O She Doth Teach the Torches to Burn Bright
  5. It With His Tongue, He Cannot Win a Woman
  6. Fair Katherine, And Most Fair
  7. Good Morrow, Kate  - Elizabeth Taylor
  8. Was Ever Woman in the Humor Woo'd?  - Elaine Barrie
  9. She Lov'd Me for the Dangers I Had Pass'd
  10. The Honorable Lady of the House, Which Is She?
  11. Love Me! Why, It Must Be Requited
  12. Come Woo Me, Woo Me  - Keith Michell
  13. This Bud of Love  - Kate Beckinsale
  14. Love Is a Spirit All Compact of Fire  - Max Adrian
  15. Perditton Catch My Soul, But I Do Love Thee
  16. Give Me to Drink Mandragon  - Ronnie Stevens
  17. Come, Night, Come, Romeo  - Kate Beckinsale
  18. O Coz, Coz, Coz
  19. I Am Giddy
  20. How Now, My Love!  - Cathy Sara
  21. What Angel Wakes Me from My Flowery Bed?  - Warren Mitchell
  22. Do Not You Love Me?  - Rachel Roberts
  23. How Sweet the Moonlight
  24. I Am Your Spaniel  - Emily Raymond
  25. My Idolatrous Fancy Must Sanctify His Reliques
  26. O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!  - Terence Scully
  27. It Music Be the Fool of Love, Play On  - Robert Hardy
  28. Like Patience on a Monument  - Robert Hardy
  29. Now Fair Hippolyta, Our Nuptial Hour  - Jack Gwillim
  30. This Dear Encounter
  31. Does Thou in Conscience Think  - Anna Massey
  32. I Am Not Adriana nor Thy Wife  - Anna Massey
  33. Dwell I But in the Suburbs of Your Good Pleasure?
  34. Like to a Double Cherry  - Emily Raymond
  35. Give Me That Man That Is Not Passion's Slave  - Richard Burton
  36. To You, Antonio  - Harry Andrew
  37. His Good Report Should Have Been My Son  - Tarn Bassett
  38. Call You Me Daughter?
  39. I Am Wild in My Beholding
  40. You Gods, Look Down  - Peggy Ashcroft
  41. I Think This Lady to Be My Child Cordelia
  42. If by Your Art  - Anna Massey
  43. I Know Not Seems  - Susan Engel
  44. Grief Fills the Room Up of My Absent Child
  45. O, That This Too Too Solid Flesh  - Richard Burton
  46. Ah, My Young Princes  - June Jago

Disc 3

  1. I Say We Will Have No More Marriages  - Emma Fielding
  2. All Is Lost; This Foul Egyptian Hath Betrayed Me
  3. Thou Subtle, Perjur'd False Disloyal Man!  - Joanna Dunham
  4. The Man That Hath No Music in Himself
  5. Who Will Believe Thee, Isabel?
  6. I Know How to Curse
  7. Abhorred Slave
  8. All the Infections That the Sun Sucks Up
  9. I Would Thou Didst Itch from Head to Foot
  10. How Long Is't Ago, Jack, Thou Savest Thine Own Knee?  - Richard Johnson
  11. What, My Dear Lady Disdain! Are You Yet Living?  - Rachel Roberts
  12. Good Sister, Wrong Me Not  - Miles Malleson
  13. A Lunatic Lean-Witted Me Not
  14. Stay, Dog, For Thou Shalt Hear Me  - Peggy Ashcroft
  15. What's the Matter, You Dissentious Rogues  - Richard Burton
  16. Signior Antonio...You Have Rated Me
  17. O Goneril! You Are Not Worth the Dust  - Michael Aldridge
  18. Hear, Nature, Hear Dear Goddess, Hear!
  19. Blow Winds and Crack Your Cheeks
  20. I Hate the Moor  - José Ferrer
  21. Inch-Thick, Knee-Deep
  22. I Had Been Happy  - José Ferrer
  23. Draw Thy Tool!  - Ronnie Stevens
  24. I Am Fortune's Fool  - Kenneth Haigh
  25. Vengeance Is in My Heart  - Maxine Audley
  26. Out, Vile Jelly!  - Rachel Roberts
  27. I Am Not in the Giving Vein Today
  28. If Thy Name Tyrrel?
  29. What Would You Undertake  - Jaime Glover
  30. Great Glamis!  - Jamie Evans
  31. If It Were Done When 'Tis Done
  32. Is This a Dagger I See Before Me
  33. I Have Been Studying
  34. It Is the Cause
  35. Now Might I Do It Pat
  36. O My Offense Is Rank
  37. Give Me Another Horse
  38. Give Me Your Pardon, Sir
  39. I'll Be Wise

Disc 4

  1. Now the Hungry Lion Roars
  2. When Shall We Three Meet Again
  3. So Foul and Fair a Day  - Alec Guinness
  4. Double, Double Toil and Trouble
  5. Thou Shall See Me at Philippi  - Brutus Quayle
  6. O My Prophetic Soul!  - Richard Burton
  7. Sweet Remembrancer  - Fay Bainter
  8. O Sleep, O Gentle Sleep
  9. Sleep No More  - Alec Guinness
  10. I Have Not Slept
  11. She Dreamt To-Night  - Ralph Richardson
  12. What Was Your Dream?
  13. When My Cue Comes, Call Me and I Will Answer  - Warren Mitchell
  14. O, Then, I See Queen Mab Hath Been With You  - Kenneth Haigh
  15. I Fear, Too Early
  16. We Defy Augury
  17. I Haue Lived Long Enough  - Alec Guinness
  18. We Have Heard the Chimes at Midnight
  19. It Smells of Mortality
  20. All That Lives Must Die
  21. How Long Hast Thow Been a Grave-Maker?  - George Rose
  22. Come Away, Come Away, Death  - Norman Rossington
  23. Be Absolute for Death  - Ralph Richardson
  24. If I Must Die  - Tony White
  25. Of Comfort No Man Speak
  26. To Be or Not to Be
  27. Nothing in His Life Became Him Like the Leaving It
  28. Lay on MacDuff  - Alec Guinness
  29. The Bloody Dog Is Dead
  30. O Harry Thou Hast Robbed Me of My Youth  - Richard Johnson
  31. Cut Me to Pieces  - Richard Burton
  32. I Kill'd Not Thee With Half So Good a Will
  33. And Smote Him, Thus
  34. Howl, Howl, Howl, Howl!
  35. The Rest Is Silence  - Richard Burton
  36. I Am Dying, Egypy, Dying  - Pamela Brown
  37. I Have Immortal Longings in Me  - Pamela Brown
  38. Falstaff If Dead  - Pauline Jameson
  39. Ah, Dear Juliet, Why Are Thou Yet So Fair?
  40. Happy Dagger! This Is Thy Sheath  - Kate Beckinsale
  41. Fear No More the Heat O' the Sun  - Robert Palmer
  42. Our Revels Now Are Ended
  43. Farewells: Little Helen Farewell/Farewell Master Farewell Farewell/And  - Richard Johnson

Disc 5

  1. Act I, Scene I  - Kenneth Haigh
  2. Act I, Scene I  - Kenneth Haigh
  3. Act I, Scene III  - Kenneth Haigh
  4. Act I, Scene IV  - Kenneth Haigh
  5. Act I, Scene V  - Kenneth Haigh
  6. Act II, Scene I  - Kenneth Haigh
  7. Act II, Scene II  - Kenneth Haigh
  8. Act II, Scene III  - Kenneth Haigh
  9. Act II, Scene IV  - Kenneth Haigh
  10. Act II, Scene V  - Kenneth Haigh
  11. Act II, Scene VI  - Kenneth Haigh

Disc 6

  1. Act III, Scene I  - Kenneth Haigh
  2. Act III, Scene II  - Kenneth Haigh
  3. Act III, Scene III  - Kenneth Haigh
  4. Act III, Scene IV  - Kenneth Haigh
  5. Act III, Scene V  - Kenneth Haigh
  6. Act IV, Scene I  - Kenneth Haigh
  7. Act IV, Scene II  - Kenneth Haigh
  8. Act IV, Scene III  - Kenneth Haigh
  9. Act IV, Scene IV  - Kenneth Haigh
  10. Act IV, Scene V  - Kenneth Haigh
  11. Act V, Scene I  - Kenneth Haigh
  12. Act V, Scene II  - Kenneth Haigh
  13. Act V, Scene III  - Kenneth Haigh

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Orson Welles   Track Performer
Paul Robeson   Track Performer
Leo McKern   Track Performer
Rex Harrison   Track Performer
Blanche Yurka   Track Performer
Anthony Quayle   Track Performer
Claire Bloom   Track Performer
Jeremy Brett   Track Performer
Paul Scofield   Track Performer
José Ferrer   Track Performer
Alfred Drake   Track Performer
Cyril Cusack   Track Performer
Siobhan McKenna   Track Performer
Robert Hardy   Track Performer
John Barrymore   Track Performer
Robert Stephens   Track Performer
Pamela Brown   Track Performer
Stanley Holloway   Track Performer
Celia Johnson   Track Performer
Ralph Richardson   Track Performer
Geraldine McEwan   Track Performer
Geraldine James   Track Performer
Jessica Tandy   Track Performer
Ian Holm   Track Performer
John Gielgud   Track Performer
Ann Bell   Track Performer
Jack Ellis   Track Performer
Albert Finney   Track Performer
Rosemary Harris   Track Performer
Ian Hughes   Track Performer
Laurence Olivier   Track Performer
Trevor Martin   Track Performer
Tony White   Track Performer
Michael Redgrave   Track Performer
Margaret Leighton   Track Performer
Wiloughby Goddard   Track Performer
Hugh Griffith   Track Performer
Eileen Herlie   Track Performer
William Squire   Track Performer
Michael Sheen   Track Performer
Sarah Woodward   Track Performer
Michael Aldridge   Track Performer
Peter Wyngarde   Track Performer
Harry Andrews   Track Performer
Frank Wood   Track Performer
Anton Lesser   Track Performer
Elizabeth Taylor   Track Performer
Patricia Routledge   Track Performer
Heathcote Williams   Track Performer
Benjamin Soames   Track Performer
Emma Fielding   Track Performer
Vanessa Redgrave   Track Performer
Peter Yapp   Track Performer
Edith Evans   Track Performer
Judith Anderson   Track Performer
Max Adrian   Narrator
George Rose   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Bob Fisher   Remastering
Richard Foos   Concept
Elizabeth Pavone   Producer,Liner Notes
Norma Edwards   Editorial Research
Julie Vlasak   Art Direction
Michael W. Johnson   Producer,Liner Notes
Michael Stern   Liner Notes
Richard Romaniello   Archival Materials

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