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 Vienna to sing Scarpia from Puccini’s Tosca at the Wiener Staatsoper. This timeless and classic production by Margarethe Wallmann features a star-studded cast including Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role and Piotr Beczala making his role debut as Cavaradossi. Marco Armiliato conducts.
Presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston, Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni will perform their “No Tenors Allowed” concert on February 1 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. Prior to this engagement, Mr. Hampson will work with voice students from Manhattan School of Music in a masterclass on January 30.
Expanding on the Schubert Weekend that took place in January 2018, Thomas Hampson returns to the Pierre Boulez Saal for Schubert Week, curated completely by Hampson himself. Kicking off the week will be an all-Schubert recital with Hampson and his longtime collaborator Wolfram Rieger, followed by workshops and a final concert presented to the public with singers from the Festival Akademie of the Heidelberger Frühling.
Thomas Hampson kicks off the new year returning to Illinois to perform a series of concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and teach a masterclass at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music. These engagements mark Mr. Hampson’s return to Chicago since the release of his debut album with Cedille Records, “Songs from Chicago”, an album featuring songs by early mid-twentieth-century composers from Chicago.
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.
In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.