Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Thomas Hampson, Walt Whitman|
Sings the Poetry of Walt Whitman
Genres: Pop, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
This dashing and intelligent tribute to Walt Whitman's poetry as art song puts commitment to artistry at center stage. With uncommon sensitivity and magnificent voice, Thomas Hampson lovingly interprets 22 songs by vario... more »
This dashing and intelligent tribute to Walt Whitman's poetry as art song puts commitment to artistry at center stage. With uncommon sensitivity and magnificent voice, Thomas Hampson lovingly interprets 22 songs by various composers, successfully capturing the emotional range of the American bard's verse by delicately caressing the poetry and, alternately, igniting its every nuance. These song settings enhance the innate music in Whitman's poems, giving them passionate expression in another dimension. Craig Rutenberg's stellar accompaniment is a lesson in effective collaboration. Hampson's interspersing of four poetry readings is below this recording's interpretive caliber, but it's a nice touch. Non-Whitman-heads may find the entire recording a bore, though. - -Barbara Eisner Bayer
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A labor of love, but the songs aren't first rate
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a concept album, Hampson's 1997 tribute to Walt Whitman earned critical praise for its sensitivity and musicality. There's no doubt that the singer is in rare form here--it would be hard to imagine any of this repertoire sung with more passion and conviction. He isn't a good reciter of poetry in the four spoken tracks. The major drawback, however, is that few of these songs are close to being masterpieces -- Bernstein's late "To what you said" stands out -- and quite a number are decidedly cautious.
The avid listener can cncentrate on the poetry instead of the music, I suppose--Hampson's enunciation is crystal clear--but after six or seven items couched in the same rather timid Anglo-American art song idiom, this labor of love becomes rather taxing as a listening experience. Taken a few at a time, however, these are intriguing choices that combine into a unqiue recital."