Feb 22, 2013
Following performances of songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Indianapolis Symphony February 22 and 23, Thomas Hampson heads to San Francisco for a recital with pianist Wolfram Rieger. Their program at Herbst Theatre on Tuesday, February 26 features music by Schumann and Barber, as well as the world premiere of a new song cycle by Michael Hersch. Hampson discusses the new work in the commentary that follows:
I’m thrilled to be going back to San Francisco for this recital, which will feature an important world premiere. Composer Michael Hersch has written a beautiful cycle for me, Domicilium, based on poetry by Thomas Hardy. I’ve known Michael for several years – in fact, one of the first conversations that he had about writing vocal music was with me and the Pittsburgh Symphony about 15 years ago, when he wrote that orchestral piece for them [Ashes of Memory], a powerful work that Mariss Jansons felt very strongly about. Michael and I have regular contact since then, and this new cycle is the first project we’ve done together.
I think it’s wonderful that this young American composer has focused on the poetry of such an important and influential English author as Thomas Hardy, whose poems are known to music lovers through well-known settings by Finzi. The cycle is comprised of five songs and the first one is only for the piano. In typical Hersch fashion, he’s gone to using “extracts” – almost Haiku-esque poems of Hardy that are extremely abstractionist. The story in these poems is in the bits that aren’t actually said! It’s hard to describe the effect in words, but Hersch has created a soundscape of supposed memory and implied emotions. It’s very powerful stuff.
I’m so pleased that this important new work is on a great program that starts with a quintessential song cycle by Schumann, his Liederkreis Op. 39. This cycle, which features poems by Eichendorff, is, in its own way, abstract. We’re also doing a number of songs by Samuel Barber. I find Barber and Schumann very close compatriots in the landscape of the soul in song. Together with the Hersch work this will be a challenging but I think very engaging recital.
For ticket and additional information visit: http://sfperformances.org/performances/1213/ThomasHampson.html
Sean Rafferty with a lively mix of music, chat and arts news. His guests include baritone Thomas Hampson and pianist Alice Sara Ott. Plus actress Vanessa Redgrave comes in with composer Laura Rossi to tell us about their Battle of the Somme tribute. Listen to the broadcast via the following link.
“Thomas Hampson was gleefully baleful as the quartet of bad guys, always with a glint in his eye and an implicit wink at the audience …”
Mark Valencia – What’s On Stage
“Thomas Hampson is gleefully sepulchral as all four villains …”
David Gillard – Daily Mail
Following a thrilling debut as The Four Villains at The Metropolitan Opera in 2015, Thomas Hampson returns to the role this season London’s Royal Opera House. His “peerless” and “imposing” (Latin Post) portrayal in New York City was cast alongside tenor Vittorio Grigòlo as Hoffmann. The two reunite in London for these performances, which take place November 7, 11, 15, 18, 21, 24 & 28 and December 3. The production is also part of the ROH Live in Cinema season, and receives a theatrical broadcast on November 15. Find a screening near you via the following link.
Thomas Hampson is the baritone soloist on a new recording, featuring Richard Danielpour’s Songs of Solitude and War Songs, along with the orchestral work Toward the Splendid City. War Songs, a song cycle with texts by Walt Whitman, was commissioned by the Nashville Symphony in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.
“… baritone Thomas Hampson — a model of dignity, vocal presence, and deep investment in the texts that Brahms so lovingly chose and set.”
David Weininger – The Boston Globe
Thomas Hampson is the baritone soloist in Brahms’ A German Requiem on October 6, 7 & 8 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, under the direction of Music Director Andris Nelsons. Soprano Camilla Tilling joins for this concert series, which also features Widmann’s Trauermarsch for piano and orchestra, featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.