Monday, January 18, 2010

William Grant Still's 'Grief' on 'Wondrous Free: Song of America II' of Baritone Thomas Hampson

[ABOVE: Africa: Piano Music of William Grant Still; Denver Oldham, piano; Koch 3 7084 2H1 (1991); BELOW: Wondrous Free: Song of America II; Thomas Hampson, baritone; Craig Rutenberg, piano; Wolfram Rieger, piano; THM]

17 January 2010
Thomas Hampson
Posted by Phil Mus
Song of America II
Thomas Hampson (baritone)
Craig Rutenberg (piano), Wolfram Rieger (piano)
Tom Hampson is a fellow who isn’t easily deterred. Not content to wait upon the vagaries of major record labels and their A&R managers, he started his own Hampsong Foundation to promote intercultural understanding through song, specifically through the preservation of our own rich (and somewhat neglected) heritage of American songs. “Wondrous Free” is Part 2 of a series begun last year with 'Song of America,' both of which are available through his own website at If anything, this collection is even richer than its predecessor.

Death, as a matter of fact, is a common denominator of many of these songs (There’s nothing like a wake to bring out the best in American poets). William Grant Still’s 'Grief,' to a text by LeRoy V. Brant is in this tradition: 'Weeping angel with pinions trailing, / the white dove, promise, stands!'”

Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma compiled the Works List on the William Grant Still page at The entry on
Grief begins:

Grief, for high voice & piano (1953). Bryn Mawr: Oliver Ditson, Theodore Presser, 1955 (#Cl3l-4l053). 3p. Text: LeRoy V. Brant. Duration: 3:00. Library: Library of Congress.
CD: Richard Heard, tenor; Pamela Howland, piano. HM Classics (1998;
Ain’t a that good news?).”

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