Boutique label Somm are bringing out 16 unpublished tracks by the British contralto Kathleen Ferrier.
These recordings are from two sources. Several are from the BBC’s own archives and include Ferrier’s first broadcast of Rubbra’s Three Psalms Op. 61, of which she was the dedicatee, five Schubert Lieder, four by Brahms and Parry’s Love is a bable, recorded at the 1948 Edinburgh Festival, which makes a delightful conclusion to the CD.
The other source is the remarkable collection of Kenneth Leech, a composer and engineer who, from the 1930s to the 1950s, recorded numerous broadcasts, mainly using Bakelite and metal discs – the usual way for an enthusiast to preserve radio programmes at that time. This collection is stored at the National Sound Archive in the British Library.
Out next month. Can’t wait.