Album info



Label: PentaTone

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Vocal

Artist: Thomas Hampson & Maciej Pikulski

Composer: Georges Bizet (1838-1875), Charles Gounod (1818-1893), Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894), Ernest Chausson (1855-1899), Jules Massenet (1842-1912), Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921), Alberic Magnard (1865-1914)

Album including Album cover


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  • Charles Gounod (1818-1893):
  • 1Sérénade03:35
  • 26 Melodies: No. 2, Ô ma belle rebelle02:46
  • 3La chanson du pêcheur05:43
  • Georges Bizet (1838-1875):
  • 420 Mélodies, Op. 21: No. 9, Pastorale02:49
  • 520 Mélodies, Op. 21: No. 16, La coccinelle04:43
  • 620 Mélodies, Op. 21: No. 12, La chanson du fou02:22
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864):
  • 7Siciliènne04:30
  • Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894):
  • 8Villanelle des petits canards02:09
  • Ernest Chausson (1855-1899):
  • 92 Poèmes, Op. 34: No. 2, Le chevalier malheur03:53
  • 102 Mélodies, Op. 36: No. 1, Cantique à l'épouse03:01
  • 11Poème de l'amour et de la mer, Op. 19: Le temps des lilas (Version for Voice & Piano)03:41
  • Jules Massenet (1842-1912):
  • 12Les yeux clos02:17
  • 13Heure vécue01:49
  • Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921):
  • 14Le pas d'armes du Roi Jean (Arr. for Voice & Piano)05:05
  • 15Danse macabre, Op. 40, R. 171 (Arr. for Voice & Piano)02:28
  • 16Si vous n'avez rien à me dire03:08
  • Albéric Magnard (1865-1914):
  • 174 Poèmes en musique, Op. 15: No. 2, Les roses de l'amour ont fleuri sur tes joues03:32
  • Total Runtime57:31

Info for Serenade

Thomas Hampson's acclaimed portrayals of iconic roles in French operatic works have spanned the duration of his singular international career. A longtime champion of French repertoire, he has starred in the title roles of Chausson's Le roi Arthus at Opéra National de Paris; Massenet's Werther (baritone version) at the Metropolitan Opera and Théatre National du Chatelet; Massenet's Thais (Athanael) at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera; Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Four Villains) at the Royal Opera Hous - Covet Garden; and Thomas' Hamlet at the Theatre National du Chatelet. He has also performed in Massenet's Manon (Lescaut), Gounod's Faust (Valentin), Berlioz' Les Troyens (Chorèbe), and Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias (Gendarme). Additionally, Hampson has been featured on critically lauded recordings of Faust, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Thais and Werther. Mr. Hampson carries the title of Commendeaur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France.

With "Serenade", his first album exclusively dedicated to French Song, Mr. Hampson brings his passion for works by French opera composers to the PENTATONE label. Curated with the French Literature scholar Sylvain Fort and in a first collaboration with the Polish pianist Maciej Pikulski, the track listing includes romantic and introspective as well as humorous selections by BIzet, Chabrier, Chausson, Gounod, Magnard, Massenet and Saint-Saens, featuring texts written by some of France's most revered writers including Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, Rosemonde Gérard, and others.

"This is a welcome French recital from Thomas Hampson. Given his long and distinguished pedigree in the operas of several composers presented here, it is surprising that he has explored their songs so little on disc. Especially so given that the Melodie has a particular association with the baritone voice, and Hampson's charm, insight and care rightfully take their place in that tradition. Bearing the title 'Serenade', this collection is full of stimulating connections, progressions and juxtapositions, all captured in Pentatone's typically warm, natural sound. Bizet's night-time warning La Chanson du Fou is followed by the more carefree amorous nocturne of Meyerbeer'sSicilienne. The ducks of Chabrier's skittish Villanelle des petits earnards might appear to have little in common, yet, for a few moments, the piano introduction seemingly echoes the Meyerbeer. With the finely judged support of pianist Maciej Pikulski, Hampson's changes of mood and character between and within the songs reflect his long experience. So, too, does his attention to detail, as is evident in the opening Gounod Serenade. Many a lesser singer would take an easier option with the flourishes that end each section, but Hampson punctiliously articulates each note. Here, as elsewhere, this is even when his approach draws attention to areas where his voice has lost a little of its former lustre and sparkle. Such moments are rare, though, and his tone and phrasing in the closing Les roses de l'amour by Magnard are simply exquisite. Christopher Dingle." PERFORMANCE ****/RECORDING *****. (BBC Music Magazine)

Thomas Hampson, baritone
Maciej Pikulski, piano

Thomas Hampson
Long recognised as one of the most innovative musicians of our time, American baritone Thomas Hampson has received countless international honours for his singular artistry and cultural leadership. His operatic repertoire is comprised of more than 80 roles, and his discography includes more than 170 albums, with multiple nominations and winners of the GRAMMY Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque.

Hampson opened the 2023/24 season performing Walton’s “Belshazzar’s Feast” with Klaus Mäkelä and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms which had The Guardian writing his “ever compelling” singing. He goes on to perform the piece with The Cleveland Orchestra and Klaus Mäkelä later this season. Hampson sings Mahler’s “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra with Jaap van Zweden as well as with the Athens State Orchestra and joins the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi on their European Tour. Hampson also reunites with the Janoska Ensemble for a New Year’s Eve Gala at the Wiener Konzerthaus.

Further highlights include performances of Weill’s “Four Walt Whitman Songs” with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert, and a semi-staged production which Hampson also directs, of Mozart’s famous opera “Così fan tutte” with the Orchestre National de Lyon and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider. Thomas Hampson will once again return to the stage with Evgeny Kissin to perform “Address Unknown” at the Marylebone Theatre, London. In recital, he will appear in Kronberg, Krün, Heidelberg and Schloss Elmau with pianist Wolfram Rieger. Thomas Hampson will also return to Waiblingen for the annual Internationale Opernwerkstatt, where he leads masterclasses, and he returns for the sixth edition of Schubert Week at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. Hampson continues as Director of Heidelberger Frühling Liedakademie which supports singers and pianists from all over the world.

Last season also saw him return to the opera stage, where Hampson made his role debut as Richard Nixon in Adams’ “Nixon in China” at Opéra national de Paris, led by Gustavo Dudamel. His debut received critical acclaim, with Res Musica hailing, “The casting, dominated by Thomas Hampson’s noble, luminous voice, calls for nothing but praise.” Hampson starred as Creonte in a concert version of Haydn’s last opera “L’anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice” together with Cecilia Bartoli at the Salzburger Festspiele. In concert, he opened the season with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, led by Daniel Hope, and joined Martha Argerich for a performance in Lucerne.

He is an honorary professor of Philosophy at the University of Heidelberg and an honorary member of London’s Royal Academy of Music. In addition to several Honorary Doctorates, he is the Kammersänger of the Wiener Staatsoper and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France. In 2017 he received the Hugo Wolf Medal, together with Wolfram Rieger. He is the co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Lied Academy Heidelberg, in 2003, he founded the Hampsong Foundation, through which he uses the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding. His international master class schedule is a continuing online resource of, the Manhattan School of Music, and The Hampsong Foundation livestream channel. Additionally, he serves as an Advisor for Opera for Peace.

Maciej Pikulski
Soloist, chamber musician and accompanist to leading singers, Maciej Pikulski has already performed in over 300 concert halls on 5 continents.

He received his diploma in piano, chamber music and vocal accompaniment at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, Paris, where he also studied as a postgra- duate and was a prize-winner of the France Telecom Foundation.

A pupil of Dominique Merlet and Clive Britton (himself a former pupil of the legendary Claudio Arrau), Maciej Pikulski has performed as soloist in Liszt's "Totentanz" and Gersh- win’s “Rhapsody in Blue” at the Música em Trancoso Festival, Brazil; Gershwin's “Concer- to in F” at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and Sala São Paulo; Rachmaninoff's Concerto no. 2 in Logroño, Spain; Beethoven's “Emperor” Concerto no.5 in Biarritz , France; Chopin's Concerto no.2 in Olsztyn, Poland, and given solo piano recitals in Uruguay, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Poland and Belgium.

Together with bass-baritone José van Dam he has given recitals at Carnegie Hall, New York; La Scala, Milano; Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Bruxelles; the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires; Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris; and with Renée Fleming, recitals at Salle Pleyel, Paris; the Musikverein, Vienna; Grand Theatre de Genève; the Barbican, London; Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden; Dublin Concert Hall; Rudolfinum, Prague; as well as with Thomas Hampson, Natalie Dessay, Diana Damrau, Aida Garifulina, Elina Garanca, Nicolas Testé, Dame Felicity Lott, Luca Pisaroni, Maria Bayo, Sumi Jo, Anna-Caterina Antonacci, Laurent Naouri, Joseph Calleja, Patricia Petibon, Paul Gay, Angelika Kirschlager and others. ​

Maciej Pikulski has recorded 16 CDs and DVDs and given masterclasses in Paris, London, Rome, Parma, Milano, Vienna, Bruxelles, Amsterdam, Graz, Antwerpen, Washington, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Sao Paulo, Manilla and Warsaw. He holds a professorship with tenure at the Centro Superior de Música, San Sebastian, Spain and in Ecole Normale de Musique, Alfred Cortot, in Paris. ​

The specialist music press has acclaimed Maciej Pikulski for his "poetic sensitivity" (Globe and Mail, Toronto) and "powerful technique" (New York Times), praising him as a "magnificent musician" (Le Figaro), »great pianist" (Corriere de la

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