Alfred Deller

Composers

Biography

Born: May 31, 1912; Margate, England   Died: July 16, 1979; Bologna, Italy  
Alfred Deller was the first renowned countertenor. As a child, Deller studied voice first with his father as a boy soprano, and when his voice changed he continued his singing as a countertenor. He joined the Canterbury Cathedral choir in 1940, where Michael Tippett heard him and invited him to London to make his debut. He came to the attention of the English public after a 1946 radio broadcast of Purcell's Come, ye sons of art, away. During the Read more early years of his career, he concentrated on performing English Baroque and pre-Baroque composers such as Purcell and Dowland. In 1950 he formed the Deller Consort, a group which dedicated itself to performing early music using authentic performance practice. For many years, the group toured Europe and the Americas, bringing the music of this period to a new public. In 1964, Deller's son, Mark, joined the Deller Consort, also as a countertenor. Deller founded the Stour Music Festival in 1963 in order to have another venue for his Consort and to team with other early music specialists such as Franz Bruggen and Gustav Leonhardt. In 1960, he sang the role of Oberon in the premiere of Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. This was the first important countertenor role in opera of the twentieth century. He repeated the role at Covent Garden Opera House, London, the following year. Other composers who wrote works specifically for Deller include Fricker, Mellers, Ridout, and Rubbra. In 1970, he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He died while on vacation in Italy.

Alfred Deller set the standard for countertenors for many years. His voice was very light with a wonderful lyric quality. He was most effective in the more contemplative pieces, but when necessary he was able to sing very florid pieces extremely well. Although he could sing the dramatic arias of Handel, he never allowed his voice to be pushed beyond its basically light sound. Deller's recordings cover the entire range of his repertoire from the lute songs of Dowland to Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with many stops along the way. Without Alfred Deller, the international recognition of countertenor voice might not have come as quickly as it did. Read less

There are 18 Alfred Deller recordings available.

Select a specific Composer or Label or browse recordings by Formats & Featured below

or

Composers

Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: May 31, 1912; Margate, England   Died: July 16, 1979; Bologna, Italy  
Alfred Deller was the first renowned countertenor. As a child, Deller studied voice first with his father as a boy soprano, and when his voice changed he continued his singing as a countertenor. He joined the Canterbury Cathedral choir in 1940, where Michael Tippett heard him and invited him to London to make his debut. He came to the attention of the English public after a 1946 radio broadcast of Purcell's Come, ye sons of art, away. During the Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
King Arthur: [1.1] Overture [1.2] Air [1.3] Overture
King Arthur: Act I, sc.2: [2.1] Bass: "Woden first to thee" [2.2] Chorus: "Brave Souls" [2.3] Counter-tenor: "I call ye all"
King Arthur: Act I, sc.2: Tenor and Chorus: "Come if you dare"
King Arthur: Act II: [4.1] Philidel: "Hither this way bend" [4.2] Grimbald: "Let not a Moon-born Elf" [4.3] Philidel: "Hitheer this way" [4.4] Philidel: "Come follow me"
King Arthur: [5.1] 1 Shepherd: "How blest are Shepherds" [5.2] 2 Shepherdesses: "Shepherd, leave Decoying" [5.3] Hornpipe
King Arthur: Act III, sc.2: Prelude. Cupid: "What ho"
King Arthur, Z. 628: Act III, "What Power art thou, who from below..." ("Cold Song")
King Arthur: Act III, sc.2: [8.1] Cupid: "Tis I, that have warm'd ye" [8.2] Cupid & Genius: "Sound a Parley" [8.3] Air
King Arthur: Act IV, sc.2: 2 Syrens: "Two Daugthers"
King Arthur: Act I, sc.2 : I call ye all (contre-ténor + ch?ur)
King Arthur: Act V, sc.2: [3.1] Trompet Tune [3.2] Aeolus: "Ye Blust'ring Brethren"
King Arthur: Act V, sc.2: [4.1] Symphony [4.2] Song Tune. Nereid & Pan: "Round thy Coasts" [4.3] Alto, Tenor & Bass: "For Folded Flocks"
King Arthur: Act V, sc.2: Song Tune: "Your Hay"
King Arthur: Act V, sc.2: Venus: "Fairest Isle"
King Arthur: Act V, sc.2: [7.1] Soprano: "You say" [7.2] Bass: "This not my passion" [7.3] Bass: "But one soft Moment"
King Arthur: Act V, sc.2: [8.1] Trumpet Tune [8.2] Honour: "St. George"
King Arthur: Act V, sc.2: Chaconne
[1.1] Overture [1.2] Air [1.3] Overture
[2.1] Bass: "Woden first to thee" [2.2] Chorus: "Brave Souls" [2.3] Counter-tenor: "I call ye all"
Tenor and Chorus: "Come if you dare"
[4.1] Philidel: "Hither this way bend" [4.2] Grimbald: "Let not a Moon-born Elf" [4.3] Philidel: "Hitheer this way" [4.4] Philidel: "Come follow me"
[5.1] 1 Shepherd: "How blest are Shepherds" [5.2] 2 Shepherdesses: "Shepherd, leave Decoying" [5.3] Hornpipe
Prelude. Cupid: "What ho"
Act III, "What Power art thou, who from below..." ("Cold Song")
[8.1] Cupid: "Tis I, that have warm'd ye" [8.2] Cupid & Genius: "Sound a Parley" [8.3] Air
2 Syrens: "Two Daugthers"
Act I, sc.2 : I call ye all (contre-ténor + ch?ur)
[3.1] Trompet Tune [3.2] Aeolus: "Ye Blust'ring Brethren"
[4.1] Symphony [4.2] Song Tune. Nereid & Pan: "Round thy Coasts" [4.3] Alto, Tenor & Bass: "For Folded Flocks"
Song Tune: "Your Hay"
Venus: "Fairest Isle"
[7.1] Soprano: "You say" [7.2] Bass: "This not my passion" [7.3] Bass: "But one soft Moment"
[8.1] Trumpet Tune [8.2] Honour: "St. George"
Chaconne
Te Deum
Jubilate Deo
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Over Hill, Over Dale"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Oberon Is Passing Fell and Wrath"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Well, Go Thy Way"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "How Now My Love?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Be It On Lion, Bear, Or Wolf, Or Bull"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Welcome Wanderer!"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Is All Our Company Here?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Fair Love, You Faint With Wand'ring In the Wood"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Through the Forest Have I Gone"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Stay, Though Thou Kill Me, Sweet Demetrius"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "Come, Now A Roundel and A Fairy Song"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "You Spotted Snakes With Double Tongue"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 1 - "What Thou Seest When Thou Dost Wake"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - Introduction: The wood
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "Are We All Met?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "I See Their Knavery"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "Be Kind and Courteous To This Gentleman"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "Hail, Mortal, Hail!"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "I Have A Reas'nable Good Ear In Music"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "How Now, Mad Spirit?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "Flower Of This Purple Dye"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "Puppet? Why So?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "This Is Thy Negligence"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "Up and down, Up and Down"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Act 2 - "On the Ground, Sleep Sound"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "My Gentle Robin, See'st Thou This Sweet Sight?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Helena! Hermi! Demetrius! Lysander!"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "When My Cue Comes, Call Me"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Have You Sent To Bottom's House?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Now, Fair Hippolyta"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "If We Offend, It Is With Our Good Will"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Gentles, Perchange You Wonder At This Show"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "In This Same Interlude It Doth Befall"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "O Grim-Look'd Night, O Night With Hue So Black"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "O Wall, Full Often Hast Thou Heard My Moans"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "You Ladies, You Whose Gentle Hearts Do Fear"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "This Lanthorn Doth the Horned Moon Present"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Sweet Moon, I Thank Thee For Thy Sunny Beams"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Asleep, My Love?"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Come, Your Bergomask"
Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.64 / Act 3 - "Now the Hungry Lion Roars"


YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Already a subscriber? Sign In