Notes and Editorial Reviews
SOMM RECORDINGS is proud to announce the release of Kathleen Ferrier: In Celebration of Bach, a collection of historic performances with Britain’s favorite classical singer of the 20th century very much the star attraction. It includes the first recorded appearance of Ferrier singing Magnificat, with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Volkmar Andreae in the Grosser Musikvereinssaal, from the legendary 1950 International Bach Festival. A rarity in Ferrier’s repertoire – she had sung it only once before and was never to again – the Magnificat was a work the much-loved singer felt a close affinity with, joyfully declaring: “Oh! The Magnificat – I am in my element in this sort of music!” The occasion was a significant one for the singer, as Ferrier authority Paul Campion notes in his extensive, detailed and informative booklet notes: “It was a considerable honor for Ferrier to be invited... what was quite astonishing was that of all the 15 soloists taking part [she] was the only non-native German speaker.... Her international success was indeed at its zenith.” London’s fabled Kingsway Hall provides the venue for two memorable Cantata performances – No. 11, Praise our God, and No. 67, Hold in affection Jesus Christ – recorded by Ferrier in 1949 with tenor William Herbert, bass William Parsons and Dr Reginald Jacques’ Cantata Singers and Jacques Orchestra. From the same venue and period, Jacques and the Cantata Singers offer a bewitching encore in the sublime Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Paul Campion, author of the authoritative Ferrier: A Career Recorded provides specially commissioned booklet notes.