22 April 2012 marks 100th anniversary of the birth of Kathleen Ferrier. Kathleen Ferrier was born on 22 April 1912 and died at the age of forty-one on 8 October 1953. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Kathleen Ferrier’s birth the DECCA legacy is brought together in a comprehensive 14-CD set with a bonus DVD. All the recordings have been remastered for this anniversary edition and will further demonstrate the unique qualities of this much-loved artist.
Sony Classical presents legendary soprano Kathleen Battle in nine of her foremost studio recordings in her ‘Complete Sony Recordings’.
In the course of a remarkable career, launched in 1973 by mentor James Levine in their shared hometown of Cincinnati, Kathleen Battle has captivated international audiences. She has taken home numerous awards – among them five Grammys and London’s Olivier Award for her 1985 Covent Garden debut as Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, the first American singer to win that prestigious prize – and become one of classical music’s best-selling artists.
Described by the Washington Post as “one of the very few most beautiful in the world” she will make her first appearance at the Met in more than 20 years on 17th November 2016.
“This is straight and unfussy in its staging, and the video production by Brian Large could not be more expert and unobtrusive (save for one or two close-ups of Jessye Norman's larynx). Tatiana Troyanos's Composer is quite superb, and neither Battle nor Norman can be faulted vocally” (Penguin Guide)
It would be hard to imagine a better performance of Donizetti's comic masterpiece. If there was one role that ideally suited Luciano Pavarotti's voice and stage personality, it was Nemorino, the impoverished and not-very-bright peasant who worships the village's prettiest and richest young woman from a distance, is swindled by a traveling vendor of "miracle" medicines, but wins her hand by dumb luck. The story has comedy, pathos, and a put-down of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (or at least the Tristan story) written long before Wagner composed it.
Kathleen is a 12 year old who lives in a big house with a nanny, a butler, maids, no mother and a father who is working most of the time. She dreams of a family with a mother, father and her, and tells everyone that she has such a family. Because of this story, she cannot invite any friends over as they will see that it is not true. Kathleen and her nanny, Mrs. Farrell do not get along, so her father hires a psychologist name Dr. Kent to be her new nanny for the summer. Her father has a new girlfriend, named Lorraine, who he is considering for his wife and mother to Kathleen. Kathleen does not like her and Lorraine is cold to Kathleen. Kathleen envisions Dr. Kent as the perfect mother for her and wife for her father.
If you could only have two Christmas CDs, Kathleen Battle's "A Christmas Celebration" would definitely be one (and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" would be the other.)While Battle has been known to be a temperamental diva (leading to a quasi-banishment from operatic roles), her pretty, soaring soprano is without peer. So good is her voice that I would consider several of the cuts on this disc to be definitive performances, not only of Battle's repertoire, but of all performances ever of that song.Case in point would be her rendition of Gounod's "Ave Maria". Haunting and stunning at the same time, it's as if the angel itself were singing. "Mary Had a Baby" is another fabulously rendered, gospel-tinged beauty.One of the other strengths of the collection is the sheer breadth of carols and hymns. Modern, traditional, and ancient songs are here. Common carols and more unusual ones appear.