I was very pleased to receive this CD recently. The Ferrier items and the duets are easy to obtain on the CD market; most of the Baillie items are otherwise unprocurable.
In her autobiography, Dame Isobel Baillie (1895-1983), reflecting on an extremely long career, remarks that Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953) was the colleague about whom she was most frequently asked questions. The older singer recalls that she recommended a few items that Ferrier could add to her repertoire, items which Ferrier subsequently recorded. Bryan Crimp, in the annotations with this CD, tells the surprising story of how the coming together on record of the two singers occurred. He also mentions that two further duets they recorded on the same occasion were deemed unsatisfactory and the masters destroyed.
Having heard these singers perform in London in the 1950s, I can report that their recordings give no more than a faint suggestion of their glorious voices. Baillie's voice was notoriously difficult to record. And no wonder! In London's huge Albert Hall, the final consonant of the opening soprano recitative in "Messiah" would echo and re-echo, and the high notes seemed likely to crack the great dome.
This welcome CD was produced in 1997 by Appian Publications, whose catalogue includes many historical reissues. As well as finding full recording details and very informative notes by Bryan Crimp provided, those who add this CD to their trolleys will be able to see the only known photograph of the two singers together.