Thursday, December 10, 2009

Y'all Gotta Hear This!

I've held forth at length in the past about my love for George Frideric Handel's 1741 oratorio MESSIAH, a work for all seasons that is most popular around Christmas. I was surprised--AWFULLY surprised--when yesterday over at Facebook this link turned up: the bass aria "The People that Walked in Darkness" sung by my beloved baritone Thomas Hampson.

The text is from Isaiah 9:1-7.

This is not a piece I would have thought Hampson would choose. He is a lyric baritone, his voice somewhat less hefty than the weight one would associate with this aria, not to mention that he seldom (or at least, in nothing I've heard him sing) uses his lower register like this.

I think I fell in love all over again--with Handel, MESSIAH, and Hampson--after hearing this.


  1. He does a beautiful job, Fair. And some of the camera work in the video is astonishing.

  2. I was impressed by the camera work as well, Barry. And a bit--I don't know exactly know what the word would be--surprised at how ritzy the concert hall was too. As for Hampson, every time I think he's exhausted his capacity to surprise me, something like this pops up!

    Hope you're feeling well after the latest round of chemo--love & hugs to you, Linda & Lindsey--

  3. This is just beautiful, I adore Handel's "Messiah" and it never fails to give me goosebumps - this piece being no exception.

    This is the first time I've heard Thomas Hampson but I'm pretty sure it won't be the last after listening to this! As someone who can't carry a tune in a bucket, I so admire people who can and Hampson most definitely can!

  4. Hi, Linda--I sometimes laugh and say I've taken it as a mission in life to introduce people to Hampson's singing--Seriously, you are in for some major musical treats. This is the newest video of him from YouTube, but there are pages and pages over there. Glad you stopped by! :)