Thomas Hampson, America’s leading baritone and a champion of the art of classic song — poetry set to music — makes his Cedille Records debut with a program of songs by five composers of the early 20th century associated with the city of Chicago: Ernst Bacon, Florence Price, John Alden Carpenter, Margaret Bonds, and Louis Campbell-Tipton. 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, the much-honored international opera star, recording artist, and “ambassador of song” performs compositions based on poems by Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali poet who became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Hampson, whose discography includes more than 170 albums, including Grammy and Grand Prix de Disque award winners, is accompanied on Songs from Chicago by collaborative pianist extraordinaire Kuang-Hao Huang, accompanist of choice for Chicago’s top singers and instrumentalists. The New York Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Residence, Hampson also has been honored with a Concertgebouw Prize, Library of Congress Living Legends Award, and the Hugo-Wolf-Medal for outstanding achievements in the art of song interpretation, among many other awards.
It goes without saying that Hampson's singing is gorgeous, and he is ably backed by Chicago pianist Kuang-Hao Huang. An excellent slice of little-known American art song.
– All Music Guide