Thomas Hampson's American Song, Part One: The Journey Begins

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
August 14, 2009
LISTEN

St. Paul, Minn. — Part of what makes a virtuoso soloist so great is his connection to the music he makes. How does the music make him feel? What does it mean to him? How is something old -- a classic -- relevant to his time?

For baritone Thomas Hampson, he experiences music on many levels -- the intellectual, the emotional, as well as through the sheer power of the story told by the text.

Thomas Hampson began his "Song of America" tour with a recital on the banks of the Mississippi River, in Minnesota Bluff Country.

This is music that sings our collective history -- from the cheap tricks in presidential elections, to our spiritual foundation; from the thousands killed on the Western Front in World War I to the beauty of an Appalachian morning.

"You're the first people in the first state of many to hear this new program," a grinning Hampson told the capacity house after opening the concert with another first, Francis Hopkinson's "My Days have been So Wondrous Free" -- the work George Washington and other sources took to be the United States' earliest composed song.

Listen to that song -- and the entire recital -- with Thomas Hampson narrating. The recital has been parsed into four mini-recitals. Hear part one by clicking to the right.

The Journey Begins:

Francis Hopkinson - My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free

Stephen Foster - Open Thy Lattice Love

Aaron Copland - The Dodger

Charles Ives - Circus Band

Edward MacDowell - The Sea

Aaron Copland - The Golden Willow Tree

---

This recital was recorded by Cameron Wiley at Somsen Auditorium in Winona on July 9, 2009.

Guests

On Now

Music Through The Night®
Kevin O'Connor
Listen to the Stream
  • Summer Children 1:10 Nagayo Motoori
    Paillard Chamber Orchestra
    Jean-Francois Paillard
    Buy Now
  • Improviso 1:06 Ernesto Nazareth
    Thomas Tirino, piano
    Buy Now
Playlist
Other MPR Radio Streams
Choral Stream
MPR News
Radio Heartland

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Classical Notes Blog

Read more