Kathleen Mary Ferrier, CBE (22 April 1912 – 8 October 1953) was an English contralto singer who achieved an international reputation as a stage, concert and recording artist, with a repertoire extending from folksong and popular ballads to the classical works of Bach, Brahms, Mahler and Elgar. Her death from cancer, at the height of her fame, was a shock to the musical world and particularly to the general public, which was kept in ignorance of the nature of her illness until after her death.
Kathleen Ferrier – Memorial Album. Label: London Records – 5258. Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Mono. Contralto Vocals – Kathleen Ferrier (tracks: A1-A7/ B1-B4). Liner Notes – Dyneley Hussey, John Amis, Robert Boas. Notes in English only No Lyrics. Matrix, Runout: AR. 222. 223.
In the course of her professional life the English contralto Kathleen Ferrier made a large number of recordings. In the summer of 1944 she signed a contract with Columbia, which lasted until February 1946. She then transferred to Decca, and remained with them until her death in October 1953. Apart from her studio recordings, many of her live performances and broadcast recitals were recorded, sometimes privately.
Kathleen Ferrier (1912–1953) started singing professionally late; she was thirty when she did her first performance as a soloist (in Händel’s ‘Messiah’). She only performed in two operas, Britten’s ‘The Rape of Lucretia’ (1946) and Gluck’s ‘Orfeo ed Eudridice’ (1947). Her rising star as a highly characteristic alto was cut short when she died at only 41; from breast cancer.
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