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Songs Arias & Sacred Pieces
Ferrier, Handel, Bach
Songs Arias & Sacred Pieces
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1


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The unsurpassable exemplar
David Mario Callan | 07/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It was many years ago that I first heard Kathleen Ferrier. I was staying with a friend not far from where she used to live. I can recall, because it remains very vivid in my mind, the evening when we were sitting before a window and peering out onto a Winter orchard, sparsely lit by a few gas lamps and an ancient flicker from places far away. My friend asked me to listen to what he described as, "A woman's voice," which would, he said, "Hold on to my heart-strings and then glide with me upon the promontory before emotional oblivion." Further, "That her very breathing was worth infinitely more than the singing careers of most divas." Well, I listened to Kathleen Ferrier sing JS. Bach, and my very first thought was that she was singing about herself that which could only have been written for her and I really did listen while holding back a tugging response and an entrancement which I hadn't ever felt before. In my opinion, all of her repertoire carries with it and makes in the listener this same extremity of feeling but like that ancient flicker which was apparent that evening upon the trees, there comes something else, I could call it a haunting, 'supernatural' vigor, but I won't, rather, I shall let the words of Handel's Rodelinda, (which appears on this CD), do it for me; "Art thou troubled?...Music will calm thee...Art thou weary?...Rest, child divine...Rest, child divine." I bear a consideration in my mind too, that for my having heard Kathleen Ferrier, I can't bear listening to anyone else sing the same as did she, because my friend was absolutely correct, that, save for Maria Callas, there might be 'other voices,' but that is all they are. 'Have Mercy Lord On Me,' from JS. Bach's St. Matthew Passion, illustrates this point so very, very well as there are other 'renditions' now and therefore, this CD, (which is better with enhancement turned off), contains along with other extracts, the unsurpassable exemplar."