The Letters and Diaries of Kathleen Ferrier Hardback
Edited by Christopher Fifield
Fifty years ago, Kathleen Ferrier, the greatest lyric contralto Britain has ever produced, lost her courageous battle with breast cancer.
Her name endures to this day for she struck a chord with a wide-ranging public, in concerts, on records and on the radio, despite a career which lasted barely ten years.
Within a decade this former telephone exchange operator was singing on stage at Covent Garden or before royalty at private parties.
She must have been fun to know, and from this collection of letters, just over 300 of them gathered from sources in Britain, America, Canada and Holland, as well as 12 years of her personal diaries, what emerges provides a sunny picture in the gloomy landscape of the post World War II days.
Her indefinable personality was a mix of extreme modesty and self-determined ambition, and a mischievously blunt sense of earthy Lancastrian humour.
The voice remains unique, and no-one before nor since can stand comparison.
Neither should they, for, as Peter Pears put it, 'A voice is a person'.
Until now Kathleen Ferrier has been a voice, but through the pages of these fascinating letters and diaries we get to the person. CHRISTOPHER FIFIELD is foremost a conductor, but also a writer on music history (Grove, DNB, Viking Opera Guide, Oxford Companion to Music), and the author of two biographies, of Bruch and Hans Richter.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 356 pages, 1, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
- Publication Date: 06/09/2003
- Category: Music: styles & genres
- ISBN: 9781843830122