Kathleen Ferrier Remembered

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Kathleen's Ferrier's legacy of recordings has been well-known and widely-admired for over 60 years. So it seems amazing that, after so long, a treasury of previously unpublished and little-circulated BBC broadcasts is now being released. In typical fashion, SOMM leads the way in remembering great composers and artists of the past and Kathleen Ferrier is one of hte most divinely gifted among them. These recordings are from two sources. Several are from BBC's own archives and include Ferrier's first broadcast of Rubbra's Three Psalms, Op. 61, of which she was the dedicatee, five Schubert Lieder, four by Brahms and Parry's Love is a bable, recorded at the 1948 Edinburgh Festival, which makes a delightful conclusion to the album. The other source is the remarkable collection of Kenneth Leech, a composer and engineer who, from the 1930s to the 1950s, recorded numerous broadcasts, mainly using Bakelite and metal discs - the usual way for an enthusiast to preserve radio programmes at that time. This collection is stored at the National Sound Archive in the British Library.



Listening to these newly retrieved from BBC broadcasts and never released before, I am struck over again by the great contralto’s overriding characteristic – her natural, unfettered generosity. In song after song, she gives all of herself, nothing held back. She simply soars.

New to her discography on this release are six English tracks – three Psalms that Edmund Rubbra wrote for her in 1946, and others by Stanford, Parry, and the lesser-known Maurice Jacobsen, a mentor of hers. The songs belong to an almost forgotten era of English simplicity and Ferrier delivers them in the most idiomatic fashion, without advocacy or ornament.

I would not want to be without this record of an immortal artist, and nor will you once you have heard it.

– Open Letters Monthly (Norman Lebrecht)

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: SOMMCD 264

  • UPC: 748871226425

  • Label: SOMM Recordings

  • Composer: Charles Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford, Edmund Rubbra, Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Hugo Wolf, Johannes Brahms, Maurice Jacobson

  • Performer: Bruno Walter, Frederick Stone, Gerald Moore, Kathleen Ferrier