Richard Caniell, founder and driving force behind this
series, justifies the issue of this disc on two counts. The first is
as a tribute to Ferrier, with whose vocal artistry and personality he
is, like many others, obviously infatuated.
Of course there is another
reason - Otto Klemperer. Yes, he recorded
the work, under studio conditions, and in
that wonderful recording venue, London's Kingsway
Hall, a few years later. But, that recording,
reissued as an EMI "Great Recordings of
the Century", lacks the exuberant vitality
found in this version of the long last movement.
Rössl-Majdan is no match for Ferrier
although Schwarzkopf is superior to Vincent.
The informative booklet contains a number of brief
essays by Caniell. The one on Ferrier is particularly poignant. One
cannot say enjoyable as it relates to the deterioration of a lovely
person and superb artist as she moved inexorably, in those pre-tomoxofen
days (the anti-breast cancer 'wonder' drug) to a painful death. If you
are a Mahler or Ferrier fan, and haven't heard this performance, which
is in good sound, then invest the modest cost, you will be well rewarded.
This performance has had previous life on LP and CD
but this transfer from transcription discs has been accomplished without
any electronic interference. The timing shown includes Broadcast Commentary
at the start (1.00) and conclusion (0.50).
Robert J Farr