Culture Watch: Thomas Hampson's new 'Wunderhorn'
Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Deutsche Grammophon). This is the umpteenth time that Thomas Hampson has recorded Mahler’s popular song cycle based on folk poetry, but it is the first time he’s recorded all of it.
Now he sings the woman's songs too!
All-male Mahler, indeed. Hampson’s once velvety baritone has taken on the snarl and ferocity of an angry, world-weary, wise and gripping storyteller. He reduces Mahler’s orchestra to chamber music, and the 10-member (all-male, of course) Wiener Virtuosen add yet another layer of enthralling in-your-faceness.
-- Mark Swed