Wondrous Free – Song of America II


If American song needs an evangelist, no one is better equipped to do the right job than Thomas Hampson, says the Chicago Tribune.

Thomas Hampson, baritone
Craig Rutenberg, pianist
Wolfram Rieger, pianist

From Amazon: The American baritone s commitment to the songs of his home country is well known, and his frequent Song of America concerts help prove the point. Now Hampson has recorded and released Wondrous Free, a 22-track selection of American songs, under his own imprint, THM (Thomas Hampson Media). Titles include the first song published in the new country, composed by Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a gentleman patriot well versed in the arts and sciences of his day. Hopkinson s My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free lends its title to Hampson s disc, which also includes Leonard Bernstein s Simple Song from Mass, the traditional Shenandoa, Paul Bowles s four Blue Mountain Ballads, and Charles Ives s Memories, which closes out the CD. — Thomas Hampson’s beautiful voice and delivery, enhanced by his encyclopedic knowledge of American song, are showcased on this generously programmed CD, released to support his continuing Song of America concert tour dates (listed below). It s a handsome survey of more than two centuries of American song. From Stephen Foster’s Hard Times and Nelly Was a Lady to Charles Ives’ Songs My Mother Taught Me, his tragic In Flanders Fields , and MacDowell s The Sea, these songs are America in word and melody. Hampson sings them in a natural acoustic, with his masterful regular pianist partners, Wolfram Rieger and Craig Rutenberg. Wondrous Free became an instant bestseller when pre-released for download on iTunes earlier this year and is now available on CD from retailers like Amazon as well.

Track Listing:
1. Francis Hopkinson: My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free
2. Leonard Bernstein: A Simple Song
3. Charles Ives: Songs My Mother Taught Me
4. Jay Ungar: A Time for Farewell
5. (traditional) Shenandoah
6. Elinor Remick Warren: God Be In My Heart
7. John Alden Carpenter: Looking Glass River
8. Elinor Remick Warren: At Even
9. John Duke: Richard Cory
10. John Duke: Miniver Cheevy
11. John Duke: Luke Havergal
12. William Grant Still: Grief
13. Paul Bowles: Heavenly Grass (Blue Mountain Ballads)
14. Paul Bowles: Lonesome Man (Blue Mountain Ballads)
15. Paul Bowles: Cabin (Blue Mountain Ballads)
16. Paul Bowles: Sugar In the Cane (Blue Mountain Ballads)
17. Charles Ives: In Flanders Fields
18. Sidney Homer: General Booth Enters Into Heaven
19. Edward MacDowell: The Sea
20. Stephen Foster: Nelly Was a Lady
21. Stephen Foster: Hard Times
22. Charles Ives: Memories


“If American song needs an evangelist, no one is better equipped to do the right job than Thomas Hampson”

Chicago Tribune