Jan 30, 2013
Thomas Hampson sings songs of life and death by Mahler and Dvořák when he reunites with the Wiener Virtuosen for a five-concert tour that includes performances in Merano (Feb 11), Bern (Feb 12), Zurich (Feb 13), Innsbruck (Feb 15) and Vienna (Feb 17). Mahler is arguably the composer with whom Hampson is most closely associated, and his 2010 recording of Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Wiener Virtuosen was widely acclaimed. BBC Music Magazine called it “A wonderfully fresh imaginative take on the songs…a constantly absorbing recital [with] ‘pungent characterizations.’” For their current tour, Hampson and the conductorless ensemble turn to Mahler’s harrowing Kindertotenlieder – songs on the death of children – a song cycle featuring five settings of poetry by Rückert that attempt to come to terms with incomprehensible loss. Dvořák’s “Zigeunermelodien”, op. 55 makes for a fascinating counterbalance. These passionate “Gypsy Songs” are considered by some to be Dvořák best work in the genre – the fourth in the set, “Songs My Mother Taught Me,” is perhaps his most famous melody – encompassing a wide range of emotions as they bring to life the indomitable spirit of the Gypsy people.
Both of the Mahler and Dvořák songs will be heard in arrangements commissioned by Hampson. He explains: “The thrust of the Mahler arrangement, which I also worked on myself, was to reduce the number of players while leaving the original orchestration by Mahler intact. I took Mahler’s comment about the ‘chamber tone’ of his song orchestration very seriously as to not interfere with his original intent in the iconography of instrumentation apparent in the structure of the Kindertotenlieder.” About the Dvořák songs, Hampson notes: “I asked my friend, the increasingly celebrated Czech composer Sylvie Bodorova, to arrange the songs for the same orchestration as the Mahler songs. Her work is a beautiful dedication of an important contemporary Czech composer to her venerated master, Antonín Dvořák.”
Thomas Hampson will fill in as a guest host for Terrance McKnight on WQXR this Thursday, November 5, beginning at 7 pm ET. During this hour, Thomas will celebrate the song repertoire, featuring works by Schubert, Mahler, Ives, and many others. Tune in and learn more about Hampson’s guest host hour via WQXR.
PENTATONE continues its American Opera Series with Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere recording of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix (2019), an opera on the life of Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart’s favorite librettist. Da Ponte (1749-1838) was an adventurer, who not only travelled the world, but in a way also through time, living across what seem to be impossible moments of history that never should have aligned in somebody’s life.
The documentary by C Major Entertainment “The Animated Story of Jenny Lind”, in which Thomas Hampson is the narrator, has won this year’s Golden Prague Fesitval’s Performing Arts Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious and acclaimed Performing Arts festival for TV and film, with opera, dance, concerts and documentaries from all over the world. It is also on the Shortlist of potential winners of the Prix Italia.
Thomas Hampson makes his Global Concert Hall debut next month, performing with the Orchester Wiener Akademie under the baton of its founder and musical director Martin Haselböck. The concert, filmed at the Brucknerhouse Linz in August 2020, will be streamed on IDAGIO’s Global Concert Hall on Thursday, October 15, beginning at 8 pm Berlin / 2 pm New York. The concert will be available to stream through October 22.
Thomas Hampson returns to the stage this month, with a concert at the Stiftskirche Millstatt, and two performances at the Salzkammergut Classic Festival. Beginning on August 2 in Millstatt, Hampson will perform lieder by Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms with pianist Christian Koch, and the Carinthia Chor Millstatt will sing Carinthian songs under the direction of Bernhard Zlanabitnig.
For the first time ever, audiences around the world will have a special opportunity to watch the Canadian Opera Company’s 2018 world premiere production of Hadrian, in full, online. On Monday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. ET, in partnership with Montréal Pride Festival, the COC is hosting a free, one-night-only digital stream of the modern grand opera. The Hadrian Watch Party helps kick off one week of virtual Pride events and will feature a live Q&A session with both the composer and celebrated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright and librettist Daniel MacIvor, a giant in Canadian theatre.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.