Hampson Makes Headlines at Salzburg Festival and Gives Last of Three Performances There on Saturday, August 4
Following two lavishly acclaimed performances with the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta at the world-renowned Salzburg Festival, Thomas Hampson returns there for a solo recital with pianist Wolfram Rieger on August 4. The program features songs by Schumann, Mahler, and Dvorák (more info). Hampson’s first Salzburg concert this summer featured his first performance of Mechaye Hametim (“Revival of the Dead,” 1985) by composer Noam Sheriff and Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder.” The New York Times was on hand and reported on the event in a front page feature that ran under the headline “New Faith in Classical Music.” Critic James Oestreich lauded the “epic cast” of Hampson’s “superb performance.” That same critic reported from Salzburg two days later, when Hampson joined Mehta and the orchestra for Bloch’s “Sacred Service. Noted Oestreich, “As great as [Hampson] had been on Tuesday in works by Schoenberg, Mahler and Noam Sheriff, he was even more remarkable here, declaiming in a plausible cantorial style: more, virtually embodying an Old Testament prophet. Singing all-out, in Hebrew, with greater concern for passionate communication than for tonal beauty (though there was plenty of that, too), he was utterly compelling. Even to a listener who had followed Mr. Hampson through major triumphs — not least, his comprehensive survey of Mahler songs at a festival in Amsterdam in 1995 — this was unexpected, perhaps his most stunning achievement yet” (see full article).