Thomas Hampson chose Minnesota Bluff Country to begin his "Song of America" tour.
“These songs - our songs - say everything about the culture we call American. We need these songs in our cultural landscape.”Thomas Hampson
His program knit together texts by Walt Whitman and Tennessee Williams alongside songs originating as poems by E.A. Robinson and Langston Hughes, among others.
Hampson arranged his music coloristically and thematically rather than chronologically. That freedom allowed Hampson to expand more fully upon several of our national preoccupations.
This section of the recital begins with two songs set to text by one of America's most profound voices, poet Walt Whitman.
Following is a gripping telling of the horrors of World War I by the American composer Charles Ives, "In Flanders Fields."
The set concludes with more Whitman in the hands of Leonard Bernstein.
War and the Spirit:
W. H. Neidlinger - Memories of Lincoln
Charles Naginski - Look Down Fair Moon
Charles Ives - In Flanders Fields
Elinore Remick Warren - God Be in my Heart
Virgil Thomson - The Divine Image
Leonard Bernstein - To What You Said
This recital was recorded by Cameron Wiley at Somsen Auditorium in Winona on July 9, 2009.