Notes and Editorial Reviews
SOMM RECORDINGS announces the release of Kathleen Ferrier in New York, historic performances of Mahler and Bach by the much-loved contralto during her triumphant visits to the United States in 1948 and 1950. Recorded live on Ferrier’s only appearances in Carnegie Hall in January 1948, four months after her acclaimed performance at the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde reunited her with the conductor Bruno Walter and saw her making first appearances with tenor Set Svanholm and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Re-mastered by Norman White and Adrian Tuddenham, this remarkable account pre-dates Ferrier’s often-reissued 1952 recording by four years and finds her in exhilarating fresh voice – a vivid, vital display of a great artist at her peak. Accompanied by pianist John Newmark in New York’s Town Hall in 1950, three songs by JS Bach – Vergiss mein nicht, Ach dass nicht die letzte Stunde and his arrangement of Gottfried Stölzel’s Bist du bei mir – are taken from Ferrier’s final visit to the US. Also included are excerpts from a revealing 80th birthday interview with Bruno Walter in which he discusses his friendship and collaborations with Mahler and recalls his first meeting and subsequent association with Kathleen Ferrier. Illuminating booklet notes are provided by Ferrier authority and discographer Paul Campion, who also compiled the disc. SOMM’s previous Ferrier releases include Bach’s Mass in B minor, songs by Brahms, Chausson and Mahler and Kathleen Ferrier Remembered, a first release of BBC Radio recordings of Lieder and British songs. Kathleen Ferrier in Celebration of Bach was acclaimed by Gramophone as “an important addition to Ferrier’s discography... one of the most beautiful things she ever committed to album”.