Alfred Deller

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
Handel: Sosarme / Lewis, Deller, Watts, Herbert
Release Date: 01/01/2012   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 5053   Number of Discs: 2
On sale!
CD: $8.99
In Stock
On sale!     CD:  $8.99 Add CD to Cart

Browse 1-24 of 24 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Purcell: Songs And Sacred Arias
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1366 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Walter Bergman,  Alfred Deller,  George Malcolm,  April Cantelo  ... 
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Singers Of The Century - 40 Greats Of  The 20th Century
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Richard Tucker,  Mario Del Monaco  ... 
    CD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Dowland: Lute Songs / Alfred Deller, Robert Spencer
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 50244 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Dowland
    Performer:  Alfred Deller,  Robert Spencer,  Nigel North
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Six
    Recommendation
    On sale! $21.98
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $21.98   CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    The Very Best Of English Song
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80513 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  John Ireland,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Gerald Moore,  Thomas Allen,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Simon Rattle,  Steuart Bedford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Fretwork,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
    Back Order
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $34.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $29.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 5.
    Handel: Sosarme / Lewis, Deller, Watts, Herbert
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5053 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Helen Watts,  Ian Wallace,  William Herbert,  Alfred Deller  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Lewis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Chamber Orchestra,  St. Anthony Singers
    On sale!
    CD: $8.99
    In Stock
    On sale!     CD:  $8.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Three Ravens & Wraggle-taggle Gypsies / Deller, Dupre
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1148 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional
    Performer:  Desmond Dupré,  Alfred Deller
    Recommendation
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    Purcell: King Arthur / Deller, Deller Consort
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 50252 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Mark Deller,  Honor Sheppard,  Leigh Nixon,  Maurice Bevan  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deller Choir,  King's Musick,  Deller Consort
    On sale! $21.98
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $21.98   CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Lalande: De Profundis;  Blow: Ode / Alfred Deller
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 8108 Release Date: 03/24/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michel Richard Delalande,  John Blow
    Performer:  Alfred Deller,  Anne Shuttleworth,  Chris Taylor,  Richard Taylor  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Choir,  Vienna State Opera Chamber Orchestra,  Deller Consort
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 9.
    Alfred Deller - Portrait d'une voix
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 9909018 Release Date: 06/09/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alessandro Scarlatti
    Performer:  Irvine Arditti,  Clarence Myerscough,  Alfred Deller
    Recommendation
    On sale! $24.98
    DVD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $24.98   DVD:  $21.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 10.
    Altus - From Castrato To Countertenor
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 35476 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Paul A. Martini,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Derek Lee Ragin,  Suzie LeBlanc,  Gérard Lesne,  David Daniels  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Gérard Lesne,  Moses Hogan,  David Hill  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Teatro Lirico,  Seminario Musicale,  Moses Hogan Singers  ... 
    CD: $21.99
    Back Order
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $17.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 11.
    Alfred Deller Complete Vanguard Recordings - Christmas Carols & Motets / 4-Disc Set
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 192 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Leonel Power,  Ludwig Senfl,  Thomas Stoltzer,  Heinrich Isaac  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Deller,  Honor Sheppard,  Robert Tear,  Alfred Deller  ... 
    Conductor:  René Clemencic,  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Musica Antiqua,  Deller Consort
    On sale! $27.98
    CD: $22.49
    Back Order
    On sale!   $27.98   CD:  $22.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Alfred Deller Complete Vanguard Recordings - Music Of Henry Purcell / 7-Disc Set
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 194 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  John Blow
    Performer:  George Malcolm,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Granville Jones,  Desmond Dupré  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Alfred Deller,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Michael Tippett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leonhardt Consort,  Kalmar Chamber Orchestra London,  Deller Consort  ... 
    CD: $39.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Alfred Deller Complete Vanguard Recordings - Folk Songs And Ballads / 7-Disc Set
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 193 Release Date: 07/22/2008   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Traditional,  John Danyel,  John Dowland,  Philip Rosseter  ... 
    Performer:  Desmond Dupré,  Alfred Deller,  Honor Sheppard,  Maurice Bevan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deller Consort,  London Chamber Players,  Ambrosian Singers
    Recommendation
    CD: $43.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $43.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $48.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 14.
    Purcell: Music For A While / Alfred Deller, Deller Consort
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 50249 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Alfred Deller,  Wieland Kuijken,  William Christie,  Jane Ryan  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 15.
    Legendary British Performers / Various
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88461 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Enrique Granados,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Iris Du Pré,  Mark Deller,  Alfred Deller  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Melos Ensemble London
    Recommendation
    On sale! $26.99
    DVD: $19.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $26.99   DVD:  $19.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 16.
    Century Vol 9 - Chansons & Madrigals Of The Renaissance
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908171 Release Date: 12/13/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Clément Janequin,  Loyset Compère,  John Dowland  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Dominique Visse,  Michel Laplénie,  Philippe Cantor  ... 
    Conductor:  Dominique Visse,  William Christie,  René Jacobs,  Erik Van Nevel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Clément Janequin Ensemble,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    Alfred Deller - Portrait Of A Legend
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 290261 Release Date: 06/08/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Anonymous,  Thomas Tallis,  François Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  John Buttrey,  Christina Clarke,  Alfred Deller,  Mark Deller  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stour Music Festival Orchestra,  Deller Consort,  Stour Music Festival Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $39.98
    CD: $35.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $39.98   CD:  $35.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 18.
    Folksongs / Alfred Deller, Mark Deller, Desmond Dupré
    Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord   Catalog: 195226 Release Date: 07/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Robert Jones
    Performer:  Desmond Dupré,  Mark Deller,  Alfred Deller
    CD: $9.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 19.
    Handel: Sosarme / Lewis, Deller, Watts, Herbert, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1319 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Ian Wallace,  Alfred Deller,  William Herbert,  Nancy Evans  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Lewis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Anthony Singers,  Santa Cecilia Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $15.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 20.
    Couperin: Lecons De Tenebres / Alfred Deller
    Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord   Catalog: 195210 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  François Couperin
    Performer:  Alfred Deller,  Philip Todd,  Raphaël Perulli,  Michel Chapuis
    Recommendation
    CD: $9.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 21.
    Monteverdi: Il Ballo Delle Ingrate, Etc / Deller, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 8100 Release Date: 02/27/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Honor Sheppard,  Sally Le Sage,  Alfred Deller,  Max Worthley  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deller Consort,  London Chamber Players,  Ambrosian Singers
    ArkivCD $16.99
    In Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 22.
    Purcell 300th Celebration - The Glory Of Purcell
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 444620 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Christopher Keyte,  Martyn Hill,  James Bowman,  Paula Chateauneuf  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Anthony Lewis,  David Hill
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Choir,  Academy of Ancient Music,  St. Anthony Singers  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 23.
    Purcell: King Arthur / Deller, Deller Consort
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 90252/53 Release Date: 09/01/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Jean Knibbs,  Maurice Bevan,  Paul Elliott,  Honor Sheppard  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deller Consort,  King's Musick,  Deller Choir
    On sale! $34.98
    Import CD: $23.99
    2-3 Days
    On sale!   $34.98   Import CD:  $23.99 Add to Cart

  • 24.
    Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Britten, London So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425663 Release Date: 03/30/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Stephen Terry,  Elizabeth Harwood,  Helen Watts,  Owen Brannigan  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    Special Order
    MP3 Available
    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart