• News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment
Saint Paul Sunday home page

Mixed Company®

Mixed Company is written by Saint Paul Sunday staff, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the show and the classical music they love. We welcome your online comments.

« Time/Space Pianism | Main | Fall Phantasy »

September 29, 2006

Bigger than Life?

Thomas Hampson has enjoyed a full career as a singer: orchestra, opera and recital performances around the world, recordings—there's not much he hasn't done. With all of his success, you'd think he'd just kick back and enjoy his life and his work. Well he does enjoy his life and his work, but it doesn't include kicking back. In fact, it's more like kicking forward. And what he's kicking forward is his passion for American song.

Working with the Library of Congress' "Creativity in America" project, Hampson has poured himself into making sure that the Library's own phenomenal collection of songs is heard through live performances, including doing the research necessary to provide social context for the songs.

Tom is a big presence on stage and a big person in life. He walks into the studio and with that big beautiful voice says "hello" and you sort of say to yourself "wow—he's the real thing." When you hear him sing on Saint Paul Sunday you'll say the same: He's the real deal.

Posted by Mary Lee at September 29, 2006 4:47 PM



The Thomas Hampson program was simply fantastic, but I was particularly thrilled to hear him sing one of the Virgil Thomson songs on Blake poems. Please, please, please pass on to Mr. Hampson my urgent request that he make a commercial recording of all 5 of these Blake songs. There simply is no satisfactory recording of this music, and I've been wishing for decades that someone of Hampson's stature would commit them to disc. This is an urgent plea from a fervent admirer.

By George R. Paterson at October 8, 2006 8:17 AM


dear brother Hampson, in stepping on the intellectual attempt of your host Bill McGlaughlin to keep with universal and ethnic respect for referencing african descended americans,you decided, as if the clearly disordered colonial empire practice of whipping, torturing, and terrorizing just ended yesterday, reaching into the garbage heap and pulling out "...was a slave" statement, a very low point of the interview...i was ready to turn St. Paul Sunday off...if i was going to come hear you sing anywhere, your questionable intellect certainly changed my mind...just a reminder, such referencing the heritage of a people so disenfranchised and so violated ended in 1865 the last insult being labeled "contraband"... you see Tom, we will never forget that our culture,language, and music repertoire was forced underground reemerging as ethnically sanitized jazz and blues ...so, please check your pre-southern victorian enlightenment baggage...sorry, historical clarity is correct and a must, not revisionist... we'se list'nin

By turner at October 8, 2006 12:17 PM


What a GREAT performance; I've been a listener of Saint Paul Sunday "since the beginning..." and today's show was amongst the best - yet. Hampson and Rutenberg are certainly masterful and their art is absolutely - heartwrenching...

By Glenn Ollila at October 8, 2006 1:11 PM


I would like to know if you can order a CD of the Anonymous 4 ? I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago in Virginia I believe and was listing to your program on Sunday morning and they were on that day , and their singing is wonderful . Thanks for taking the time to answer me . Thanks !

By Harold Hickman at October 10, 2006 2:01 PM


I have been asked by my Mom to find out what the name and availablility of the Prayer that was sung on October 8th, 2006 by Thomas Hampson on our station WCQS. Since that day my Mom has made comments every day for me to find this out for her, she was obviously moved by this performance.

By Patricia Roach at October 19, 2006 1:17 PM


I was enfjoying this program so mutch that I recommended it to friends. The passionate speach of Hampson about all of the composers was wounderfull.
I was sopreised by Turener's comment a bout him accusing Hampson about what he said about the heritage of a men (I belive the aphro american composer Burleigh)acusing him in beggetry.
My response to this is.
Being a jew I am very sensetive to all racism thought and presentations.
When I heard Hampson said "Jude" (jew in German) in one of his interveiw I was shocked, becuose of the hollocast that took place in Europe and I learned a bout it a lot. But he talked about one of our holidays (Hanucah) mentioned it with Chrismass and the Ramadan.
What was appalling to me at the beginning filled me with pride and joy from him knowing one of my favorate holidays. I belive that Turner was appaled from the word was a slave that he didn't even bother to listen to it again.
I belive he listened only to that thinking full of haterade only about that and not listening to him praising this composer. There wasn't any beggetry in what Hampson said he was putting this composer in a history context explaining where his music come from. probably learning from this. It was like him saying his .... was an Aushwitz prisoner becouse he was a jew. Think about what the composer acomplshed tald by Thomas Hampson.
I belive that Hampson is not a racist and he sing beatifully and talk lovingly about jews muslems aphroamerican and indian in that show.
there for mr. I realy think that we should condemmdemed those who are realy talking aginst one race or an other. and not by some commend that is a fact that does not acuse any one.
and Question mr Turner:
"If Hampson was an aphro american, whould you resent it so mutch for telling a fact that has consequense on that composer music and style????

By Iris Axelrod at October 27, 2006 3:36 PM