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.
This disc of Mozart's opera arias manages to capture the perfection of Kathleen Battle's first disc of Mozart concert arias conducted under Previn. We are accorded the opportunity and privilege to hear Ms. Battle essay characters that she never did in the opera house, Constanze, Cherubino, and the Countess among them. In "Porgi amor," the CD's opening track, she negotiates the long passages of the Countess' aria with seeming ease. Hers is a smaller voice than we are used to hearing in the role but this is unimportant as her vocal acting is superb, bringing the heartache housed in the libretto fully to life…By M. Bish
Kathleen Battle (born August 13, 1948, Portsmouth, Ohio, USA) is an American soprano known for her agile and light voice and her silvery, pure tone. Battle initially became known for her work within the concert repertoire through performances with major orchestras during the early and mid 1970s. She made her opera debut in 1975. Battle expanded her repertoire into light lyric soprano and lyric coloratura soprano roles during the 1980s and early 1990s. Although she no longer appears in operas, Battle remains active in concert and recital performances.
The songs that Kathleen Battle chooses for her recital mostly eschew deep drama for sheer lyricism. If you want an album that explores the lyric impulse in Schubert songs, then, this is certainly for you. Battle sings these pieces with unfailingly beautiful vocal production, plus a winning charm and insouciance that border on the–well, girlish, one wants to say, if that isn't entirely politically incorrect. Her voice is a beautiful instrument, no doubt about it…By M. C. Passarella
Kathleen Battle's voice is the finest I have heard and this CD of Italian opera, Bel Canto, is perfect to show off her incredible talent and natural gift of an amazing voice. Her voice is clear and yet emotive. Her colaratura is so beautiful and warm. It is my understanding that Bel Canto was the insertion of 'show stopper' musical numbers in a opera that is characterized by beautiful tone, total command of vocal techniques, and coloratura. Kathleen Battle demonstrates this wonderfully. The London Philharmonic Orchestra does an excellent job. The french horns in Bellini's I Capuleti ed i Montecchi are hauntingly beautiful…By C. B Collins Jr
Jazz buffs are very familiar with Wynton Marsalis and his trumpet. Opera lovers know the quality voice of lyrical soprano Kathleen Battle. A perfect blending of these two performers, in the Baroque music, has been acheived in this CD. The match of human voice and trumpet seems to us, at the end of the Twenth Century, a mismatch. But to quote Ellen T. Harris, who wrote the liner notes, "The real and sympolic power of the trumpet makes its combination with the quieter instruments and voice seems, at first, imbrobable, but a softer sweeter style of playing in the high ("clarino") register was typical in art music for the trumpet…". Sounds simple enough, but Wynton is one of the few players who can do it well. So well in fact, that at several points Kathleen's voice and Wynton's trumpet blend into one voice, a balanced singularity, even duplicating each others vibrato exactly. A truely amazing accomplishment, which can only be fully appreciated by listening; but once you hear this glorious sound, you'll want to upgrade your stero system to capture its fullness…By A Customer
Kathleen Battle ended her operatic career on a sour note when she was fired from the MET, and this album somehow reflects that–it lacks her usual vivacity and joy. This is the only recital I've heard form her that's routine, and things aren't helped by the fact that her voice, a light colorature, isn't substantial enough for many of these arias, which are for a lyric soprano.By Santa Fe Listener