Feb 23, 2017
As readers of last week’s newsletter will be aware, Thomas Hampson’s Tides of Life (in which the American baritone joins forces with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta in lieder by Wolf, Schumann, Brahms and Schubert, arranged for voice and string ensemble by David Matthews) has been receiving a significant amount of air-time in the Presto editorial office over the past month; in my review of the disc last Friday, I promised an interview with the man himself, and here it is! We’re very grateful to Mr Hampson for taking time out of rehearsals for La traviata at the Met (which opens tomorrow, with Sonya Yoncheva and Michael Fabiano as Violetta and Alfredo) to talk to us about his long-term friendship with the Amsterdam players, the themes at the heart of the programme and the pleasures of revisiting these songs in their new ‘clothing’!
Feb 23, 2017
“It’s not only the singing of baritone Thomas Hampson, on top form, that makes this recital so enjoyable; it’s the affectionate new string arrangements, joyously played by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta – as leader Candida Thompson describes it, “a big string quartet” of two dozen players. All but one of the arrangements are by David Matthews, who adds texture and illumination to already radiant songs, refreshing these lilies without gilding them. Intertwining solo violins make the opening of Wolf’s song Anakreons Grab magical; squeaking strings conjure up the rodents in his Der Rattenfänger. Another highlight is Bob Zimmerman’s gossamer version of Schubert’s Ständchen (“Zögernd leise”), the echoes sung by a girls’ choir. Brahms’s Four Serious Songs find Matthews drawing on darker sonorities. Hampson, full of authority, ends on Barber’s masterly Dover Beach, which seems only to benefit from its quartet parts being lent the weight and security of a full string orchestra.”
Erica Jeal – The Guardian
Feb 22, 2017
“Leonard Slatkin has a reputation for off-the-radar programming, and that was made strikingly evident in his Carnegie Hall appearance with the Orchestre National de Lyon, for which he has served as music director since 2011. In 1910, Maurice Ravel was commissioned to write Antar, a suite based on Rimsky-Korsakov’s Symphony No. 2 (“Antar”) and other music, but Ravel’s score was never published and lay dormant, until the Lyon ensemble decided to resurrect it in 2014. But they went further, in effect creating a new piece by adding commissioned text from Amin Maalouf … Of course, it doesn’t hurt if said narrator is Thomas Hampson—a shrewd choice, since his boldly present singing voice is complemented by an equally boldly present speaking one. Slight amplification, expertly done—coupled with his impressive diction and projection—helped him ride just a few notches above the orchestra, as if he were the perfect bedtime-story-reader.”
Bruce Hodges – New York Classical Review
Feb 17, 2017
‘Doch meine Saiten tönen/Nur Liebe im Erklingen!’ (‘But my strings sound out only love in their tones!’) sings the bard in Schubert’s An die Leier, the third track on my Disc of the Week. It’s a sentiment which certainly resounds throughout this innovative and warm-hearted collaboration between American baritone Thomas Hampson and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, which places Samuel Barber’s setting of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach alongside eleven songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Wolf in new arrangements for voice and strings by the British composer David Matthews (whose work includes arrangements of Mahler songs in partnership with his brother Colin as well as eight symphonies and thirteen string quartets).
Feb 02, 2017
Hampson racconta ai microfoni della RSI le tappe più importanti della sua carriera e le sue idee riguardo alla musica e alla promozione di quest’ultima. Non mancherà la musica da lui interpretata; infatti, troviamo Thomas Hampson al Concertbebouw di Amsterdam per tre Lieder di Gustav Mahler. (RSI.ch)
Jan 31, 2017
Thomas Hampson und Luca Pisaroni sind nicht nur beide angesehene Opernsänger, sondern auch Schwiegervater und -sohn. Nun haben der Bariton (Hampson, 61) und der Bassbariton (Pisaroni, 41) das brandneue Programm “No Tenors Allowed” geschaffen. Die OÖNachrichten begleiteten das Duo zum “Testlauf” nach Istanbul.
Jan 30, 2017
BR-Klassik: Gemeinsam mit der Amsterdam Sinfonietta hat Thomas Hampson die Lieder-CD “Tides of Life” mit Werken von Wolf, Schubert und Brahms eingespielt. Im Gespräch mit BR-KLASSIK erzählt der Bariton, wie es zu diesem Projekt kam und wie er bei den ausgewählten Liedern das Verhältnis von Sprache, Musik und Poesie empfindet.
Dec 22, 2016
Top 10 Performances of 2016 Addition / Mahler of the Year: If the above list were expanded, it would be filled out with all of the excellent orchestral performances of Mahler during the year … the Philharmonic’s magnificent Mahler Ninth under Bernard Haitink and a glowing Das Lied von der Erde, under Alan Gilbert—sung by tenor Stefan Vinke and baritone Thomas Hampson … (New York Classical Review)
Dec 21, 2016
Maria Mazzaro, Opera News: Thomas Hampson has a busy Jan. On the fifth, he is in Turkey performing with Luca Pisaroni and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. Hampson then travels to Germany—first to Munich for Bayerische Staatsoper performances of Srnka’s South Pole, then to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonic for a concert with The Philharmonics. At the end of the month, he sings Scarpia in Wiener Staatsoper performances of Tosca, conducted by Plácido Domingo.
Dec 17, 2016
Normalerweise werden die Lieder von Schubert, Brahms und Wolf am Klavier begleitet. Der Bariton Thomas Hampson hat einige davon nun in einer neuen Fassung mit Kammerorchester aufgenommen – gemeinsam mit den jungen Musikern der Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
Nov 09, 2016
“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
Oct 07, 2016
“… 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