Seven Ages

  • by William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
  • Narrated by Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench
  • 2 hrs and 35 mins
  • Original recording Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

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The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'

Poetic delight. Lyric ecstasy. Personally, it's the best collection of poems ever. Should you have any doubts about that, look at the list of poems and the narrators.
(Part I/Disc I)
1. Autumn from 4 Seasons/Capella Istropiltana - Stephen Gunzenhauser (conductor)
2. Shakespeare, Seven Ages from As You Like It, Act II Scene VII - Sir Ian McKellen
3. A Fancy - The Rose Consort Of Viols
4. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: Infant (excerpt) - Sir Ian McKellen
5. Thom Gunn, Baby Song - Catherine McCormack
6. Ann Stevenson, The Victory - Richard Jackson
7. Emily Dickinson, Surgeons - Gayle Hunnicutt
8. Shakespeare, Fancy from Merchant of Venice, Act III Scene 2 - Mark Rylance
9. Ogden Nash, Guppy - Prunella Scales
10. Edward Lear, Quangle Wangle's Hat - Connie Booth
11. Thomas Hood, I Remember, I Remember - Ralph Fiennes
12. William Allingham, The Fairies - Juliet Stevenson
13. Thomas Hood, A Parental Ode - Ralph Fiennes
14. Robert L. Stevenson, My Shadow - Stella Gonet
15. Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussy Cat - John Cleese
16. A. A. Milne, Sneezles - Andrew Sachs
17. Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter - Joss Ackland w/ Peter Bayliss
18. Ted Hughes, Jellyfish - Leo Sayer
19. G.K. Chesterton, The Donkey - Emma Fielding
20. Anonymous (or Christopher Isherwood?), The Common Cormorant - Andrew Sachs
21. R.L. Stevenson, Where Go the Boats - Stella Gonet
22. Ted Hughes, Crab - Leo Sayer
23. A.A. Milne, The End - Catherine McCormack
24. Midsummer Nights Dream (Uphill Down Dale) - Barry Wordsworth (conductor)
25. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: School - Sir Ian McKellen
26. R.L. Stevenson, To Any Reader - John Sessions
27. Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood - Ioan Gruffudd
28. Vernon Watkins, The Collier - Ioan Gruffudd
29. Shel Silverstein, Sick - Catherine McCormack
30. John Whitworth, Boring - John Cleese
31. John Whittier, From The Barefoot Boy - Jenny Agutter
32. Full Fathom Five from Tempest, Act I Scene 2 - Dame Glenda Jackson
33. Oscar Wilde, Rosa Mystica - Michael Williams
34. Rudyard Kipling, A Smuggler's Song - Michael Caine
35 C. Day Lewis, Walking Away - Timothy West
36 Hilaire Belloc, Tarantella - Terence Stamp
37 T.S. Eliot, Macavity - David Suchet
38 Rudyard Kipling, If - Michael Caine
39 Shakespeare, From Hamlet: This Above All - Michael Maloney
40. M. George Whitehead and His Almand - performed by Rose Consort Of Viols
41. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Lover - Sir Ian McKellen
42. W.B. Yeats, The Arrow - Art Malisk
43. H.W. Longfellow, The Arrow and the Song - HRH The Duchess Of Kent
44. Rabindranath Tagore, They Who Are Near to Me - Art Malik
45. Christina Rossetti, The First Day - Felicity Kendal
46. T.L. Beddoes, From The Song of Torrismond - Janet Suzman
47. R.S. Bridges, My Delight and Thy Delight - Ralph Fiennes
48. E.B. Browning, Sonnet 43 - Hannah Gordon
49. R. Kipling, The Virginity - Terence Stamp
50. P.B. Shelley, The Longest Journey - Samuel West
51. Anonymous, We Have Known Treasure - Charles Dance
52. Shakespeare, Sonnet 138 - Robert Lindsay
53. C. Rossetti, Echo - Dame Glenda Jackson
54. R. Tagore, Delusions I Did Cherish - Art Malik
55. Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 - Dame Glenda Jackson
56. A. E. Housman, When I Was One-And-Twenty - Pete Postlethwaite
57. W. B. Yeats, The Mermaid - Juliet Stevenson
58. Robert Herrick, Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast - Terence Stamp
59. Robert Burns, My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose - John Sessions
60. Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 - Robert Lindsay
61. D. H. Lawrence, New Year's Eve - Michael Maloney
62. D. H. Lawrence, Green - Michael Maloney
63. John Keats, A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever - Mark Rylance

(Part II/Disc II)
1. Stravinsky: A Soldier's Tale - Nicholas Ward (conductor)
2. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: Soldier - Sir Ian McKellen
3. Shakespeare, Prologue from King Henry 5 - Mark Rylance
4. Julian Grenfell, Into Battle - Juliet Stevenson
5. W. B. Yeats, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death - William Houston
6. James Russell Lowell, Once to Every Man and Nation - Dame Judi Dench
7. Seamus Heaney, Whatever You Say, Say Nothing - William Houston
8. John McCrea, In Flanders Fields - Robert Powell
9. Vera Brittain, Perhaps - Dame Judi Dench
10. Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth - Robert Powell
11. Wilfred Owen, Dulce at Decorum Est / Lord Owen
12. Eva Dobell, Pluck - Felicity Kendal
13. W. H. Auden, From In Memory of W.B. Yeats - Art Malik
14. John Jarmain, At a War Grave - Michael Malony
15. John Jarmain, El Alamein - Michael Malony
16. Ruth Fainlight, Handbag - Prunella Scales
17. Elsie Cawser , Salvage Song - Michael Maloney
18. Rudyard Kipling, England - Michael Caine
19. Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach - Michael Williams
20. Dan Pagis, Written With a Pencil in a Sealed Wagon - Janet Suzman
21. John Donne, No Man Is an Island - Ed Bishop
22. Luis de Narvaez: Fantasia - Shirley Rumsey
23. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Wisdom - Sir Ian McKellen
24. Shakespeare, The Quality of Mercy from Merchant of Venice, Act IV Scene 1 - Ralph Fiennes
25. John Boyle O’Reilly , What Is Good - Dame Judi Dench
26. Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass - Art Malik
27. Anonymous, Addendum to the Ten Commandments - Michael Caine
28. Geoffrey Chaucer, From The Canterbury Tales: A Student - Emma Fielding
29. James Leigh Hunt, Abou Ben Adhem - Robert Powell
30. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Song of Hiawatha (excerpt) - Clarke Peters
31. William Wordsworth, My Heart Leaps Up - Robert Hardy
32. William Blake, Auguries of Innocence - Timothy West
33. William Blake, The Tyger - Timothy West
34. Emily Dickinson, Of All Souls That Stand Create - Gayle Hunnicutt
35. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Chorus of Spirits - Prunella Scales
36. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan - Pete Postlethwaite
37. Robert Burns, A Man's a Man for A' That - John Sessions
38. Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken - John Cleese
39. Anonymous, The Bleed'n' Sparrer - Michael Caine
40. The King of Denmark's Galiard performed by the Rose Consort of Viols
41. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Sixth Age - Sir Ian McKellen
42. W. B. Yeats, Politics - Michael Caine
43. Ogden Nash, Peekaboo, I Almost See You - David Suchet
44. Ogden Nash, Samson Agonistes - David Suchet
45. John Masefield , Sea Fever - Terence Stamp
46. Emily Dickinson, Exultation - Gayle Hunnicutt
47. Morris Bishop, We Have Been Here Before - Charles Dance
48. Alfred, Lord Tennyson From The Brook - Janet Suzman
49. William Wordsworth, Upon Westminster Bridge - Robert Hardy
50. J. Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, A Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover - Janet Suzman
51. Robert Burns, John Anderson, My Jo - Stella Gonet
52. Stanley J. Sharples, In Praise of Cocoa, Cupid's Nightcap - Emma Fielding
53. Rudyard Kipling, The Way Through the Woods - Art Malik
54. Christina Rossetti, From Uphill - HRH The Duchess Of Kent
55. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Last Scene - Sir Ian McKellen
56. Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night - Ioan Gruffudd
57. Christina Rossetti, Song - Jenny Agutter
58. Leo Marks, Code Poem for the French Resistance - Ralph Fiennes
59. Emily Dickinson, This World Is Not Conclusion - Gayle Hunnicutt
60. Robert Louis Stevenson, Requiem - John Sessions
61. Christina Rossetti, Sleeping at Last - Dame Judi Dench
62. Shakespeare, Fear No More from Cymbeline, Act IV Scene 2 - Sir Ian McKellen
63. John Banister Tabb, Evolution/Autumn from Four Seasons (Reprise) - Mark Rylance
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- ESK

Wonderful Readings

I really loved this disc, which was originally recorded as a tribute to the life of Princess Di. The readings are incredible, and my favorite was John Cleese's reading of Owl & The Pussycat. The poetry selections are perfect to follow the line of Shakespeare's ages of man and the readers were wonderfully chosen. High recommend.
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- Crystal

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-2000
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks