Archived Carnegie Hall Recital featuring world premiere of ‘Civil Words’

WQXR has posted an archived recording of Thomas Hampson’s acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital (February 9) featuring the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s song cycle Civil Words, set to texts from the Civil War. He was joined by pianist and frequent collaborator Wolfram Rieger for the performance.

The evening program featured works based on the theme of wartime, from a variety of composers including Strauss, Mahler, Hindemith, Ives, and Vaughan Williams. The recital was received with tremendous acclaim:

In classical music, the difference between art and artifact is made up by context . . . But give that music some meaning in terms of our own memories and cultural experiences, and it comes alive. No one in classical music does this better than baritone Thomas Hampson . . .” (New York Classical Review)

February 28th, 2015   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: General News, News

Thomas Hampson Autograph – to be released on Warner Classics this March

Thomas Hampson is one of today’s most innovative and insightful artists. He is admired for his engaging performances and his commitment to music research and education, which have a tremendous impact on the field. He is regarded as “one of America’s foremost cultural ambassadors.” (Operavore)

Autograph, a new CD box set from Warner Classics, is a special, signature audio collection – Mr. Hampson has personally overviewed the track selection – that showcases his renowned versatility. The set highlights some of his greatest and most revered operatic roles, as well as much-loved performances of operetta, song, oratorio and Broadway musicals. The set also includes an interview documentary by Jon Tolansky, which offers fascinating insights into Hampson’s remarkable career and achievements.

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February 27th, 2015   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

‘Impassioned’ and ‘significant’ performances in Florida

“Sunday afternoon, Hampson brought a sampling from the spectrum of American song and a major vocal-orchestral work by John Adams to the New World Center in Miami Beach . . . He opened with My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free . . . In superb form, Hampson’s warm, resonant baritone and innate feeling for the idiom were entrancing. With the audience in the palm of his hand, he launched into a rousing version of The Dodger from Aaron Copland’s 1950 collection of Old American Songs . . . In Flanders Fieldcontrasts the once beautiful poppy fields with the multitudinous crosses of the dead. Hampson’s superbly clear diction, attention to dynamics and impassioned advocacy mirrored the songs’ uneasy contrast of patriotism and tragedy.

Following intermission, Hampson was joined by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the New World Symphony for Adams’ The Wound Dresser . . . Now stentorian, then dulcet, Hampson imbued Whitman’s imagery and the lyrical vocal writing with understated emotion. His voicing of Come sweet death, come quickly was chilling.”

Lawrence Budmen – South Florida Classical Review

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February 17th, 2015   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

Highlights from recent NYC performances

Thomas Hampson presented a Carnegie Hall recital on February 9, featuring an affecting and thoughtfully curated program:

In classical music, the difference between art and artifact is made up by context . . . But give that music some meaning in terms of our own memories and cultural experiences, and it comes alive. No one in classical music does this better than baritone Thomas Hampson . . . Hampson and Reiger played some explicitly martial music, but for the most part they gave the audience music that turned war from policy into consequence: loss, death, haunted memories . . . There were two Langston Hughes songs, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” composed by Margaret Bonds, and Jean Berger’s great “Lonely People.” Bonds’ song may not be a masterpiece, but Hampson sang it like one . . . A true masterpiece finished the concert, Bernstein’s setting of an unpublished Whitman poem, “To What You Said,” from the composer’s Songfest . . . Bernstein’s song is one of the great art songs, of any time, in any language, and Hampson’s singing it is always one of the great experiences in music.”
George Grella – New York Classical Review

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February 11th, 2015   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

Upcoming performances in the U.S. 

A true champion of modern works, Thomas Hampson has selected pieces for his upcoming performances that reflect the energy and vibrancy of today’s contemporary music scene. Thomas Hampson travels to the sunny state of Florida to present a recital with pianist Wolfram Rieger, on February 11. The Society of The Four Arts in Palm Beach, FL, hosts this special event, with a program featuring the Florida premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Civil Words, which received its world premiere on February 9 as part of Mr. Hampson’s Carnegie Hall Recital. The evening will also feature music by Strauss, Barber, Copland, Ives, and many others. Following his appearance in Palm Beach, Mr. Hampson performs with the New World Symphony in Miami, FL, led by renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. The concert (February 15) includes music by Copland, Ives, Adams, Foster, Hopkinson, and Higdon’s Civil Words.

In March, Hampson will sing another premiere; “War Songs,” by composer Richard Danielpour. The Nashville Symphony commissioned these songs especially for the occasion, to be premiered by Mr. Hampson. Additionally, he will perform Danielpour’s new work “Songs of Solitude” as part of the concerts, which also feature Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 from the orchestra, led by Giancarlo Guerrero. Performances take place March 12, 13 & 14.

February 9th, 2015   |  Permalink  |  Filed under: News

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