Thomas Hampson Releases Wondrous Free CD, Selection of 22 American Songs on His Own Imprint – THM Records

“To everything, Hampson brings his signature mellifluous warmth and grace… . There is much here to treasure.” – San Francisco Classical Voice, review of Wondrous Free

“If American song needs an evangelist, no one is better equipped to do the right job than Thomas Hampson,” says the Chicago Tribune. 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 “Shenandoah”, 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’s “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, but is now available on CD from retailers like ArkivMusic.com as well. The recording can also be downloaded in lossless high-resolution quality from TheClassicalShop.net.

Hampson almost always includes American songs in his recital repertoire at home and abroad. He partnered with the Library of Congress during the 2005-06 season on his first “Song of America” tour, presenting songs from the LOC’s vast collection along with manuscripts, memorabilia, and informal lectures. His “Song of America” tour continues through the autumn and winds up at Atlanta’s Emory University on February 19.

Thomas Hampson: upcoming “Song of America” recitals

Oct 9, 2009
Santa Barbara, CA – University of California, Santa Barbara Arts and Lectures
“Song of America” recital with Wolfram Rieger

Oct 11, 2009
Boulder, CO – Macky Auditorium
“Song of America” recital with Wolfram Rieger

Oct 21, 2009
Richmond, VA – University of Richmond, Modlin Center for the Arts
“Song of America” recital with Wolfram Rieger

Nov 12, 2009
Philadelphia, PA – American Musicological Society Conference
“Song of America” recital with Craig Rutenberg

Nov 17, 2009
Princeton, NJ – McCarter Theatre Center
“Song of America” recital with Craig Rutenberg

Feb 19, 2010
Atlanta, GA – Emory University
“Song of America” recital

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