The Rubáiyát in audio

Nowadays a lot of audio versions of the Rubáiyát are available. Early recordings were done on lp in 1955 by Jim Ameche, Ralph Bellamy and Raymond Massey. These are usually FitzGerald’s versions, and some are with background music.

Recent recordings (a first selection, more will follow):

WisdomCoverThe Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. By E.F. Thompson. Narrated by Mark Turetsky.
Audible Inc., 2013.
Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes.
From Audible, an Amazon company.


CalderisicoverThe Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Translated by Edward FitzGerald. Narrated by David Calderisi.
Published by David Calderisi, 2012.
Time: about 60 minutes.


GreenhalghCoverThe Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Translated by Edward FitzGerald. Introduced and read by Peter Greenhalgh.
English Speech and Pronunciation, 2012.
Time: 30 minutes.


BethuneCoverRubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. By Edward FitzGerald. Narrated by Robert Bethune.
Freshwater Seas, 2010.
Time: 34 minutes.
From Audible, an Amazon company.


DrakeCoverAlfred Drake reads The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. By Edward FitzGerald.
Saland Publishing, 2009.
Time: 22 minutes.
From Audible, an Amazon company.


YoganandaCoverThe Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam explained. By Paramhansa Yogananda. Narrated by Donald J. Waters.
Cristal Clarity Publishers, 2006.
Time: 6 hours, 27 minutes.
From Audible, an Amazon company.


BirdofTimeCoverThe Bird of Time. Selections from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam explained. Voice and instrumentation by Swami Kriyannda.
Cristal Clarity Publishers, 2006.
Time: 1 hour, 1 minute.
From Audible, an Amazon company.

Another important resource is Internet Archive, which has a collection of recordings by LibriVox, read by volunteers. Here you will also find other translations than those by FitzGerald. And of course there is YouTube with lots of footage and recordings. A selection will follow soon.


8 thoughts on “The Rubáiyát in audio

  1. Warren,
    Thanks for your comments. It would be very much appreciated to know more about Miller’s performance. Is it on “A treasury of the world’s best loved poems” (1961)? Do you have more details?

    • It’s an accident, but a fortunate one, that I’m now seeing your post. I didn’t receive any notice that you had responded to mine; I just happened to come here while looking for something else. Anyway, I’m really glad that I did stumble across it.

      I have a lot to say on this subject, but for now, I’ll just say that a set of the four LPs and the accompanying book is now on the way to me. I had been trying–unsuccessfully–to reprocess my recordings to remove the clips, pops and other noise but, obviously, I just don’t have the required technical ability. Fortunately, just when I had given up on my latest attempt to salvage them, I found the the 60s set at eBay (used, of course) for only $25.00, and I bought it.
      Oh, yes, you’re right, the set and the book are entitled, “A Treasury of the World’s Best Loved Poems.” It was produced by Living Language. Stay tuned. No, ask anything you want.

    • I’ll send you a little clip as soon as I can. Who knows, you might not even like it, If you don’t don’t ever speak to me again. Just kidding.

    • I once thought of posting it on Youtube, but recordings this long (25-minutes) require something special, and my attempt just messed-up my Google account. I still think it should be on YouTube, but someone else will have to do it. It deserves a quality presentation. I will post it on Internet Archives, though. I know I can do that, because I’ve already posted two 90-minute productions there. I’m also going to ask the Library of Congress if I can send them the recordings from all four LPs. They deserve to be preserved. They deserve to be better known.

    • Sorry, I’m just confused. I was just starting to review all of the Rubaiyat sites, and I thought that this was a different one. Well, at least you know that I’m not telling different stories to different people. Omariana, Omariana, Omariana, Omariana, Omariana.Ok, I’ve finally got it.

  2. I spoke too hastily. After hearing more of Drakes’s version, I have to say that it is terrible. In fact, now that I think about it, I downloaded it several years ago but finally deleted it because I didn’t want such a performance on my computer. It’s an extremist, over-the-top performance. However, my opinion of Marvin Miller’s performance has not changed. It is still the best. I have looked, but I have never heard anything that comes close to it.

  3. I heard portions of Alfred Drakes’ version this morning. It’s not bad, but Marvin Miller’s is still the best version by far. Of course, some might object to the musical accompaniment. I don’t.

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