Kathleen Ferrier (April 22nd 1912 - October 8th 1953) Kathleen Ferrier died 50 years ago today, a victim of breast cancer at the inexcusably young age of 41. She was at the height of her powers, one of the greatest British singers ever, and also a unique phenomenon, with an overwhelming capacity to communicate with audiences. Iain Burnside presents an evening of programmes celebrating the life and artistry of Britain's greatest contralto, tracing the course of her short life and career, which, in her own words, saw 'Klever Kaff' make the transition from Carlisle to Covent Garden in five years. It's an extraordinary tale of a young girl from Blackburn, leaving school at fourteen to work as a telephone operator, becoming as famous as the Queen herself. Over the course of the evening Iain and his studio guests Alice Coote, Peggy Reynolds, Christopher Fifield and Brian Kay discuss the nature of Kathleen's artistry and personality, her beautiful voice, and the enduring legacy which she has left us. Also, Christopher Cook presents a biography of Ferrier's life, and Michael Kennedy looks into the remarkable artistic relationship which she shared with Benjamin Britten. With Penelope Wilton as the voice of Kathleen Ferrier. Schubert: An die Musik Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) / Phyllis Spurr (piano) Brahms: Feinsliebchen Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) / Gerald Moore (piano) Quilter: Now sleeps the crimson petal Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) / Phyllis Spurr (piano) / Christopher Cook presents the first episode of a three-part biography of Kathleen Ferrier's life and career. Handel: O Thou that Tellest (from Messiah) Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) London Philharmonic Orchestra Sir Adrian Boult (conductor) Schumann: Frauenliebe und-leben, Op 42 Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Bruno Walter (piano) Christopher Cook surveys the high tide of Ferrier's career, from her arrival in London in 1942 to her international successes of 1950. Berkeley: Four Poems of St Teresa of Avila, Op 27 Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) London Symphony Orchestra Hugo Rignold Michael Kennedy considers the range and significance of Kathleen Ferrier's artistic collaborations with Benjamin Britten. Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Op 53 Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Men of the Oslo Philharmonic Chorus Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra Erik Tuxen (conductor) Christopher Cook concludes his biography of Ferrier's life JS Bach: Erbarm'es Gott.Können Tranen meiner Wangen (from St Matthew Passion) Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Vienna Chorus and Symphony Orchestra Herbert von Karajan (conductor) Mahler: Der Abschied (from Das Lied von der Erde) Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Hallé Orchestra Sir John Barbirolli Trad arr Whittaker: Blow the wind Southerly Kathleen Ferrier.