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Alfred Deller

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Alfred Deller (31 May 1912 – 16 July 1979) was an English singer, one of the main figures in popularising the use of the countertenor voice in renaissance and baroque music.

Deller was born in Margate, and as a boy sang in his local church choir. When his voice broke, he continued singing in his high register, eventually settling as a countertenor. Throughout the 19th century, it was only in the tradition of all-male cathedral choirs that the countertenor voice had survived. Deller was himself successively a member of the choirs of Canterbury and St Paul’s Cathedrals. He emerged as a soloist from this choral tradition largely due to the admiration of the composer Michael Tippett, who heard him while at Canterbury, and the unique purity and beauty of his voice. Having come to attention of the public with a BBC broadcast of Purcell’s Come ye sons of Art, he concentrated on popularizing and recording the music of English baroque and renaissance music by composers such as John Dowland and Henry Purcell. He formed the Deller Consort in 1948, a group dedicated to historically accurate performances of that kind of music. The group significantly expanded popular notions of the baroque repertoire, producing high-quality authentic “period performances” of the works of Bach, Handel, Purcell, Dowland, and even John Blow. Later Deller’s son, Mark Deller, joined the consort, with whom Deller later recorded a CD of English folk songs.

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  • sksnd

    flow my tears makes my damn tears flow

    2 Feb 10:30am Reply
  • Gulivar

    Transcendental Indo-European music.

    28 Jul 2012 Reply
  • stoat77

    I actually found out about this guy via a comedy sketch called Posh Nosh which used "The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies" as its theme song. He is awesome.

    4 Aug 2010 Reply
  • elocinegnem

    Agnus Dei (Bach)

    27 Nov 2009 Reply
  • doceasubio

    mmmmmm

    25 Jan 2009 Reply
  • orixas

    a very special artist for me ... an amazing voice

    17 Mar 2008 Reply

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