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. Songs of Solitude was written by Mr. Danielpour in response to the 9/11 attacks, in his home city of New York.

Reviews

“Both of these cycles were written for Thomas Hampson, who sings them magnificently. At 60, his voice sounds as fresh as ever, and the baritone’s musical intelligence and literary sensitivity make even the less successful of these songs worthy of study. Hampson’s achievement is even more impressive given that the recordings were made in concert.

Andrew Farach-Colton – Gramophone

“The Nashville Symphony Orchestra immersed itself in the music of Richard Danielpour . . . Its program . . . featured the world premiere of Danielpour’s War Songs, which marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s end this year. Also on the bill was Danielpour’s Songs of Solitude, written a decade ago to honor the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Baritone soloist Thomas Hampson performed both of these orchestral song cycles with deep feeling and a welcome degree of high drama.. . . one couldn’t have hoped for a better performance. Much of the vocal writing was scored for the baritone’s highest register, and Hampson sang this music with a vaporous, transparent falsetto.”

John Pitcher – Nashville Scene

“Thomas Hampson, the singer of the premiere of the 22nd October 2004 in Philadelphia, is also the ideal artist in 2015 to meet the poetic and content of this cycle in all facets. His autumn-toned luxurious baritone matches perfectly with the mostly transparently orchestrated songs. His ability to cast the word into sensual and meaningful sound is still exemplary. The break in the timbre is preserved even where the fate is accused and the bloody course of humanity is confronted with astonishing unbelief.”

{Thomas Hampson, der Sänger der Uraufführung vom 22.10.2004 in Philadelphia,  ist auch 2015 der ideale Künstler, um der poetischen und inhaltlichen Wucht dieses Zyklus in allen Facetten gerecht zu werden. Der herbstlich getönte Luxusbariton passt bestens zu den mehrheitlich transparent instrumentierten Liedern. Sein Vermögen, das Wort in sinnlichen und sinnvollen Klang zu gießen, ist nach wie vor exemplarisch. Die Träne im Timbre ist selbst dort gewahrt, wo das Schicksal angeklagt und der blutige Lauf der Menschheit mit staunendem Unglauben konfrontiert wird.}

Dr. Ingobert Waltenberger – Online Merker

“Thomas Hampson sings both cycles very empathetically and in the ‘War Songs’ with a pronounced sense of the drama in the music.”

{Thomas Hampson singt beide Zyklen sehr einfühlsam und in den ‘War Songs’ mit einem ausgeprägten Sinn für das Drama in der Musik.}

Remy Franck – Pizzicato.lu

 

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