Gramophone Magazine names Kathleen Ferrier In New York the February 2020 Reissue/Archive Editor’s Choice!
“A treasure, to be sure. Four years before Bruno Walter’s celebrated, indeed classic Vienna recording (1952) with Kathleen Ferrier, the man who conducted the world premiere of Mahler’s pantheistic symphony with voices takes his newest discovery from the Edinburgh Festival to America, there to share her extraordinary kinship with the piece at New York’s Carnegie Hall. … this performance for me gives a far clearer sense of why Walter felt he had found the ideal singer for the piece… He speaks very movingly about his first meeting with Ferrier in a couple of priceless audio interview snippets included on the disc. … Ferrier’s shadings in ‘Der Einsame im Herbst’ bring with them a new depth of expression. The pianissimos are more intense than in the later Vienna recording — ‘Mein Herz ist müde’ (‘My heart is weary’) is as inward as the later climax at ‘Sonne der Liebe’ is impassioned. But it is the colour of the voice and the way it resonates in and around Mahler’s orchestra that is so spellbinding. In the final setting, ‘Der Abschied’… the solitary nature of Ferrier’s timbre makes slines… all the more pognant. … Walter for his part owns the pacing and phrasing of the work – as well he might – and marries space and timelessness to an impassioned urgency. The orchestral detail is remarkable given the source of 78rpm acetate transcription discs – and the remastering has preserved a surprising degree of transparency in what one might call the exotic embroidery of the scorring. … The three Bach additions culminate in ‘Bist du bei mir’ which, given Ferrier’s cruelly premature demise, lingers as long in the memory as the final repetitions – for ever …and ever.”—Edward Seckerson, Gramophone Magazine