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American Dreamer

February 2024
1min read

Songs of Stephen Foster

Thomas Hampson, baritone; Angel Records; 17 tracks on one CD.

Stephen Collins Foster, Bernard DeVoto wrote, “was different from fifty contemporaries, and his songs were different from theirs, only in that the obscure chemistry of genius concentrated an era and a society in them.” In this splendid album the baritone Thomas Hampson sings nearly two dozen of Foster’s songs, and if Hampson is perhaps a bit too jocose in “My Wife Is a Most Knowing Woman,” hearing him perform the haunting 1855 temperance ballad “Comrades, Fill No Glass For Me” with utter conviction and not the slightest condescension is a lovely little four-minute history lesson.

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