Thomas Hampson's American Song; Part Three: This Beautiful Land
October 16, 2009
St. Paul, Minn. —
The great American baritone Thomas Hampson regularly sings in the world's top concert halls and opera houses.
Just a few days after singing at Covent Garden, Mr. Hampson boarded a plane for Minnesota, re-connected with longtime friend and collaborator pianist Craig Rutenberg, and made his way to the Mississippi river town of Winona, Minnesota.
There he kicked off a yearlong series of recitals around the country celebrating American song, an art form where he feels most passionately at home. The concert was a part of Winona's Minnesota Beethoven Festival.
Surprisingly, this part of the recital begins with a song in German, a song by Charles Griffes who studied serious art-song in Europe and was only just beginning to find his own unique American voice.
"Mr. Hampson conveys the idea of an oral tradition that it is his mission to pass on, with the closed-eyed intensity of a blind poet when he is singing, and the zeal of an evangelist."
- New York Times
One work by a female composer graces this set by a woman who was better known in her lifetime by her husband's name, Mrs. H.H.A. Beach.
This Beautiful Land:
Charles Griffes - By a Lonely Forest Pathway
Amy Beach - Twilight
Aaron Copland - The Dodger
Vittorio Berger - Tell Me, Oh Blue Sky
Jean Berger - Lonely People
Paul Bowles - Blue Mountain Ballads (Heavenly Grass, Lonesome Man, Cabin, Sugar in the Cane)
This recital was recorded by Cameron Wiley at Somsen Auditorium in Winona on July 9, 2009.
Thomas Hampson: American baritone Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular career as a recitalist, opera singer and recording artist, and maintains an active interest in teaching, music research and technology. He has performed in all of the world's most important concert halls and opera houses with many of today's most renowned singers, pianists, conductors and orchestras; he is one of the most respected, innovative and sought-after soloists performing today. With his ongoing "Song of America" project he is considered the "ambassador" of American song.
Craig Rutenberg: Pianist Craig Rutenberg has worked at many of the great opera houses, accompanying Frederica von Stade, Erie Mills, Sumi Jo, Olaf Bar, Stanford Olsen, Roberta Peters, and Regina Crespin. Mr. Rutenberg can be heard on the fortepiano on the recording of 'Le Nozze di Figaro' featuring Thomas Hampson as the Count and has recorded songs to texts by Walt Whitman with Mr. Hampson for Angel/EMI.