SOMM RECORDINGS’ acclaimed series of re-mastered recitals by the much loved, fondly remembered contralto Kathleen Ferrier continues with Kathleen Ferrier: 20th Century British Treasures.
Featuring recordings made for Decca and the BBC between 1946 and 1953, it includes a previously unpublished recording of Ferrier’s passionate performance of Lennox Berkeley’s Four Poems of St Teresa of Ávila.
Sir Thomas Allen, the distinguished interpreter of British song and Trustee of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, contributes an extensive booklet commentary that brings a lifetime’s experience to bear in an insightful analysis of Ferrier’s dexterous and treasured talent, accented by the distinctive tones of her native Lancashire.
The earliest recording, from 1947, is of Benjamin Britten’s ‘The Flower Song’ from The Rape of Lucretia, the latest, from 1953 (both BBC recitals), includes Howard Ferguson’s lovely five-part Discovery, three songs by William Wordsworth and Edmund Rubbra’s Three Psalms, specially written for Ferrier.
Pieces by defining proponents of British song including Parry, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Roger Quilter, Frank Bridge and Peter Warlock complete a crucial celebration of Ferrier’s inimitable contribution to the genre.
Pianist Julian Jacobson, son of composer Maurice Jacobson, whose melancholy but sensuous The Song of Songs is heard in a 1947 BBC broadcast, also provides a personal poignant note on Ferrier’s championing of his father’s music.
Previous Ferrier releases on SOMM include Kathleen Ferrier Remembered (SOMMCD 264), which prompted Norman Lebrecht to say “I would not want to be without this record of an immortal artist, and nor will you once you have heard it”, Kathleen Ferrier in Celebration of Bach (Ariadne 5004), which Audiophile Audition’s five-star review said “carries us into a realm of rapt devotion”, and the Gramophone Editor’s Choice, Kathleen Ferrier in New York (Ariadne 5007), hailed as “a treasure to be sure”.
On This Recording
- Love is a bable, Op.152 No.3 a
- Now sleeps the crimson petal, Op.3 No.2 b
- To Daisies, Op.8 No.4 b
- The Fair House of Joy, Op.12 No.7 c
- Silent Noon (The House of Life No.2) a
- The Fairy Lough, Op.77 No.2 a
- A Soft Day, Op.140 No.3 a
- La Belle Dame sans Merci, Op.12 d
- Go not, happy day a
- Sleep a
- Pretty Ring Time a
- The Song of Songs e
- Psalm 6, O Lord, rebuke me not
- Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd
- Psalm 150, Praise ye the Lord
- Red Skies
- The Wind
- The Freedom of the City
- Jane Allen
- Dreams Melting
- The Flower Song, Op.37 (The Rape of Lucretia) g
- If, Lord, Thy love for me is strong
- Shepherd, shepherd hark that calling
- Let mine eyes see Thee
- Today a shepherd and our kin
Rubbra: Three Psalms, Op.61 f
Wordsworth: Three Songs f
Ferguson: Discovery f
Berkeley: Four Poems of St Teresa of Ávila, Op.27 h
Kathleen Ferrier contralto
Frederick Stone ade, Phyllis Spurr bc, Ernest Lush f piano
Anna Pollak mezzo-soprano g, EOG Orchestra, Reginald Goodall conductor g, London Symphony Orchestra, Hugo Rignold conductor h
a BBC recital, June 5, 1952
b Recorded by Decca, December 1951. Issued M680 (September 1952)
c Recorded by Decca, December 1951. Issued LX 3098 (November 1952)
d BBC recital, February 16, 1948
e BBC recital, November 3, 1947
f BBC recital, January 12, 1953 g BBC broadcast, October 11, 1946
h BBC broadcast, April 7, 1952. Previously unpublished recording