Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone and a champion of the art of classic song, makes his Cedille Records debut with an album of songs by early mid-twentieth-century composers from Chicago.

On Songs from Chicago, available September 14, 2018, Hampson sings settings of poetry by Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Rabindranath Tagore composed by Ernst Bacon, Florence Price, John Alden Carpenter, Margaret Bonds, and Louis Campbell-Tipton (Cedille Records CDR 90000 180).

All of them, Hampson says, “have distinguished themselves in history as great voices of the artistic American narrative.”

Hailed as “an outstanding recitalist” by Grove Music Online, Hampson is accompanied on Songs from Chicago by Kuang-Hao Huang, collaborative pianist of choice for Chicago’s top singers and instrumentalists.

The album’s 28-page booklet includes an introductory essay by Hampson, biographical sketches of the composers, and original texts of the poems set to music.

James Ginsburg, Cedille Records founder and president and the album’s producer, says, “I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Thomas Hampson sing on many occasions over the years. And we’ve had the opportunity to socialize at post-performance receptions. Initially casual discussions led to this recording, which weds his love of American art song with Cedille Records’ Chicago-centric focus.” Hampson writes in the album’s liner notes, “I have long been a fan of Cedille Records and its mandate to record the works of Chicago-based composers and performers.”

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson