February 8, 2020, 4:30 pm

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Contralto Marian Anderson (Photo: Van Vechten Collection at Library of Congress)

Over the last century, the vocal category known as the “contralto” has become a rarely heard, if not an endangered species. This week we hear a few of the highly accomplished contralto women of the past including Maureen Forrester, Ernestine Schumann‐Heink, Marian Anderson, and more.


“Leggiero Invisibile” by Luigi Arditi
Ernestine Schumann‐Heink, contralto; with Orchestra
(New York 1907. EMI 2 28960 2)

“Prison Scene” from Le prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Sigrid Onégin, contralto; with Orchestra
(New York 1929. EMI 2 36839 2)

“Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert
Marian Anderson, contralto; Kosti Vehanen, piano
(Paris 1936. RCA VICTOR 09026‐63260‐2)

“In diesem Wetter” from Kindertotenlieder by Gustav Mahler
Maureen Forrester, contralto; Boston Symphony Orchestra; Charles Munch, conductor
(Boston 1958. RCA VICTOR 09026‐68167‐2)

“Blow the Wind Southerly” Traditional English Folk Song
Kathleen Ferrier, contralto
(London 1949. DECCA 478 3601)