Jun 10, 2018
Ron Jontof-Hutter – J-Wire
“The highlight of the evening was without doubt Thomas Hampson singing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, (Songs of a wayfaring Journeyman.) The text, written by Mahler is autobiographical, depicting his journey from place to place as a young conductor gaining experience.
Influenced by one of Mahler’s favourite books on German folk poetry, ‘Des Knaben Wunderhorn,’ the poems describe his passionate feelings towards Johanna Richter, a blue eyed singer he was in love with but jilted by her. The first song ‘Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht’ (On my sweetheart’s wedding day) followed by ‘Ging heut’ Morgen ueber’s Feld (I went out this morning into the fields), Ich hab’ ein gluehend Messer (I have a hot gleaming knife) and ‘Die zwei blauen Augen( The two blue eyes) describe a young Mahler wearing his heart on his sleeves, and his sense of despair at unrequited love.
Mr. Hampson is a singer of exceptional artistry and easy to understand why he was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein. He displayed a stage presence that went beyond his rich baritone voice. With each song, he brought out the essence and fullness of Mahler’s emotions. Mr. Hampson not only connected with the orchestra and Maestro Molino’s excellent orchestral accompaniment, but connected with the audience to great effect. His voice was congruent with his body language and facial expression enhanced by excellent diction, dynamics and phrasing.
Following the wistful but lyrical ‘Ging heut’ Morgen…’ Mr. Hampson sang the dramatic ‘Ich hab’ein gluehend Messer’ with such intensity of tone and conviction that I felt as if I was sitting in the room with Mahler as he expressed his grief, pain and torment. The short stabbing articulated quavers depicting the stabbing knife into his chest highlighted Mr. Hampson’s understanding, if not empathy, of the intense grief that Mahler surely felt.
Mr Hampson’s elegant, warm and charming stage manner was highly appreciated by both orchestra and audience. Hopefully he will visit again.”
Thomas Hampson travels to the Middle East for concerts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, he will join the ensemble for nine concerts and perform a recital with Polish pianist Maciej Pikulski.
The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood spotlighted Leonard Bernstein’s wide-ranging talents as a composer, his many gifts as a great interpreter and champion of other composers, and his role as inspiration for a new generation of musicians and music lovers across the country and around the globe. This gala concert featured a kaleidoscopic array of artists and ensembles from the worlds of classical music, film, and Broadway, like Mr. Hampson, Audra McDonald, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Nadine Sierra, Susan Graham and Isabel Leonard among others.
On November 18 & 19, Hampson and the ensemble will perform Britten’s War Requiem at the Musikverein Wien. This harrowing work interweaves Latin mass text and text by Wilfred Owen accompanied by the Wiener Sängerknaben and Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien. Hampson shares the stage with star soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, and tenor Werner Güra.
More information and tickets are available via the Calendar page.
Thomas Hampson makes his highly anticipated debut with the Canadian Opera Company in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian. Hampson sings the title role in this epic love story, based on the life of the Roman emperor Hadrian, with libretto by Daniel MacIvor. Led by Johannes Debus, the monumental production by Peter Hinton will open the COC’s 68th season beginning October 13 through October 27.
Thomas Hampson travels to the Tanglewood Festival this month to celebrate the centennial of his late mentor, Leonard Bernstein, and to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
“At this pivotal time in history, Americas art song literature provides a means of communicating, in the simple beauty of word and music, the truths of a nation born of an ideology whose language celebrates the individual. This language of heart and mind says everything about the culture that created it. And when we sing our own songs, those who hear us will have experienced the best of what freedom of thought and purpose can achieve in the creation of great art.” -Thomas Hampson
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.