The best side of Kathleen Ferrier

The best side of Kathleen Ferrier


norman lebrecht

May 19, 2017

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

When the English contralto Norma Procter died a few weeks ago at the age of 89, readers remembered seeing Kathleen Ferrier in her audience at Norma’s London debut, at Southwark Cathedral, in 1948. This was typical Ferrier. Six years before she had been a switchboard operator in Lancashire with no hopes of a music career. Now an international star, she took every opportunity to offer support and encouragement to others on the way up. Hearing that Norma was studying in London with her own teacher, Roy Henderson, Ferrier invited her to stay over at her own West Hampstead flat rather than catch the late train home to Grimsby.

Listening to these Ferrier tracks, newly retrieved from BBC broadcasts and never released before, I am struck over again by the great contralto’s overriding characteristic — her natural, unfettered generosity….

Read on here.

And here.

And here.


  • Alexander says:

    there were the days ….

  • Michael Endres says:

    Wonderful new discoveries !
    She has always been a favorite of mine and I am particularly fond of her collection of English folksongs.
    ( Here in glorious LP sound thanks to David Hertzberg, whose you tube channel is an invaluable source.)

  • Kath H says:

    It was Kathleen who gave Norma Prof’s address after a concert in Grimsby. Norma still had the envelope that Kath had written the address on, it still had Kathleen’s name on the front in pencil with her fee. They played Kathleen singing ‘What is Life’ at the end of Norma’s modest funeral yesterday. The end of an era of the great contralto’.

  • Kath H says:

    The Kathleen FerrierRembeted is a treasure. Great to hear the encore from 1948 Edinburgh festival with Gerald Moore & Kathleen really giving all in Love is a bable.

    • Siva Oke says:

      I agree, Kath, Love is a Bable is an absolute gem! Kath’s voice is light as air with a hint of laughter — she’s got it just right!