Thomas Hampson Sings Mahler’s “Songs of a Wayfarer” at Carnegie Hall on May 13 with Berlin State Orchestra (Staatskapelle Berlin) under Daniel Barenboim
Hampson is particularly renowned in the art of the recital and as a specialist in American Song. His expertise as an interpreter of Mahler is well known all over the world – he has performed the composer’s songs with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bernard Haitink, Christoph Eschenbach, and many others. Two seasons ago, after he sang the Songs of a Wayfarer in a series of concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Levine, the Boston Globe’s Jeremy Eichler described his performance as a highlight of the concert: “Hampson sang beautifully, with a resonant, burnished baritone, and a striking suppleness of expression that reflected his many years of immersion in this repertoire.”
That same season, the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein wrote of a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert that the program’s high point was:
“Thomas Hampson’s deeply felt performance of Mahler’s ‘Songs of a Wayfarer’. Hampson is singing at the very peak of his vocal form and artistry, and I can’t remember when I’ve heard anything finer from him. His exceptional range of color and dynamics, his vocal ease and evenness over a wide range, his flexibility of phrasing, his acute sense of detail – all bespoke a singing actor of the utmost expressive intensity and musical understanding.”
Hampson enjoys the intimacy of the recital and concert hall more than many stars of the opera stage do, but has been especially busy singing opera this season. At the Metropolitan Opera alone he participated in the opening night gala and portrayed Athanaël in Massenet’s Thaïs opposite Renée Fleming; returned to the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in highly praised performances opposite Karita Mattila; and sang an excerpt from Wagner’s Parsifal with Plácido Domingo during the Met’s 125th Anniversary Gala honoring Domingo’s 40th anniversary at the Met. In March, Hampson also made his debut as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca at the Zurich Opera.
Thomas Hampson sings Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 13 at 8pm with the Berlin State Orchestra under its chief conductor, Daniel Barenboim.