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American Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster

Thomas Hampson , Stephen Foster , Jay Ungar , Molly Mason , David Alpher , Garrison Keillor Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Price: $15.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, 1992 $15.69  
Audio Cassette, 1992 --  

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All the music, full streaming songs, photos, videos, biographies, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

American Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster + Song of America + Wondrous Free - Song of America II
Price for all three: $44.23

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Product Details

  • Performer: Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, David Alpher, Garrison Keillor
  • Composer: Stephen Foster
  • Audio CD (October 20, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Emi Classics
  • ASIN: B000002SK7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,494 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Opening Solo Violin
2. Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair
3. Hard Times Come Again No More
4. The Voice Of Bygone Days
5. Foster Favorites Medley (Ring, Ring The Banjo (1851) Oh! Susanna (1848) Camptown Races (1850)
6. Open Thy Lattice, Love (1844)
7. Beautiful Dreamer (1864)
8. That's What's The Matter
9. Old Home Medley (Old Folks at Home (1851) My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night (1853)
10. Molly! Do You Love Me? (1850)
11. Sweetly She Sleeps, My Alice Fair (1851)
12. Comrades, Fill No Glass For Me (1855)
13. Dancing On The River (Nelly Bly (1850) The Glendy Burk (1860) Angelina Baker (1850)
14. My Wife Is A Most Knowing Woman (1863)
15. Gentle Annie (1856)
16. Linger In Blissful Repose (1858)
17. Ah! May The Red Rose Live Alway (1850)

Editorial Reviews


This delightful, artfully chosen and smartly arranged collection transports the listener to the mid-19th century parlor with the baritone's wonderfully supple and characterful singing. -- Miami Herald, Lawrence Johnson, July 1st, 2007

Product Description

Stephen Foster, known as the, father of American Music , whose music has remained popular for over 150 years, has placed an indelible stamp on the American consciousness. Here, on American Dreamer, celebrated Baritone Thomas Hampson presents Foster's works as they were meant to be performed in simple beauty, accompanied by piano, fiddle and guitar. Included are classics like, 'Hard Times Come Again No More,' 'I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair' and, 'Beautiful Dreamer.' Under the musical direction of Jay Ungar, these finely crafted versions of America's greatest songs are a must have.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb c/d June 8, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Even now, in the 21st Century, I think we Americans tend to look down on Stephen Foster simply because he's so familiar. Now and again a performer comes along, treats Foster with the tenderness and respect he deserves, and whammo -- one realizes yet again that Foster is right up there with Schubert. This isn't the only fine Foster recital out there...but I can't think of any finer.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
An opera guy singing songs written 150 years ago by a fellow from Pittsburgh who pretended to know something about the South...sound irresistable to you? Well, Tom Hampson is someone who can actually handle pop, folk and Broadway stuff in spite of his classical training. And the songwriter? Only the first real "pro" in our history. For accompaniment, Hampson and the folks at Angel Records hired Jay Unger and Molly Mason, famed for their work on the PBS/Ken Burns' "Civil War" series. So what happened? The result was a great CD of Foster's finest lyrics, lovingly presented to whoever is interested. I knew Hampson's singing a little, and of course, I knew a little about Ungar and Mason's pickin' and fiddlin', and I knew Foster's top six or seven songs. When I found this item at a bargain price, I couldn't resist, although I thought I might only listen to it once. You have to be in the right mood for this, and probably one needs a professional interest in Foster, or the history of American music, to fully enjoy it on a repeated basis. But as another reviewer has noted, there is a great version of "Hard Times Come Again No More" which seemingly was rediscovered about ten years ago by several folk/country artists. Also here are "Jeanie" and "Old Folks at Home" and "My Old Kentucky Home" and "Ring, Ring the Banjo" and "Oh Susanna" and "Camptown Races" and "Beautiful Dreamer." I also liked "Nelly Bly" and "Glendy Burk" and "Angelina Baker" (all three of which have been done more often than one might think by Americana performers) along with "Gentle Annie." Surprisingly, when I sat down to find this CD and do a review tonight, it did not show up in the list for Thomas Hampson under "popular music" or by its own title or in the list for "Stephen Foster." It only appeared when I looked for "Thomas Hampson" under "Classical Music." If Amazon and Angel want to sell some records, they should correct this. I like Stephen Foster, but he is "popular music" or I'm a fish.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He gives me butterflies October 9, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I love Thomas Hampson. Not only does he have one of the most beautiful rich baritone voices that this world has to offer, but he captures text and paints it for the listener like few can. His research into his vocal projects is outstanding. The liner notes are so resourceful and interesting to read too. I have never been very crazy about opera music and often times opera singers drive me crazy. Not Thomas Hampson!!!!! Especially this album. He takes out the opera, but leaves all the technic in. He sounds American and sings beautiful English text. No overly emphasized vowels distorting a true American sound. I get butterflies when he sings "Ah, that the butterflies gilded wings" in "Ah, May the Red Rose Live Alway!" It's tops my list of favorite albums.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding the poetry in the songs of Stephen Foster January 7, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This album was a revelation for me as I discovered Stephen Foster not just to be this figure in musical history, but a writer of songs with elegant lyrics and beautiful melodies. The strength here is with Foster's ballads, particularly "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" and "Hard Times Come Again No More". The latter is one of the greatest American songs ever written and Hampson's version is especially powerful. I have since heard this song sung by a number of singers (including Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Nancy Griffiths) and none capture the song's heartbreaking elegance as well as Hampson and his collaborators do here. Listening to this led me to purchase "The Stephen Foster Songbook" which I also recommend highly. Among Mr. Hampson's collaborators are Jay Ungar and Molly Mason (who performed "Ashokan Farewell" for Ken Burn's Civil War documentary.)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Billy
Format:Audio CD
Simply one word, WOW!!!

Thomas Hampson's voice is simply fantasic. His voice is very different from regular operatic baritone voice, very sweet, and rich. I really cant believe an operatic baritone can sing folk song like THIS good, in my opinion he sounds even better than his opera works in this album. His voice and the background music matches perfectly, the outcome would move u to tears, and u can feel the origin of MUSIC. This album really shows what the word MUSIC means, and the songs simply just ALL beautiful. I like his "beautiful dreamer", "my life is well knowing woman", and "jeanie with the light brown hair" the most. When I listen the songs I would just imagine that I am in the world of past USA, and I can feel the life of the ppl in the past USA~ just like watching an old classic movie, it would touch ur heart and fall in love with this album.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's simply lovely December 13, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I didn't know Stephen Foster (I thought): wrong: Oh Susanna, etc, I knew, but had no idea who the composer was.

This CD is a revelation. The melodies are so beautiful, as are the poems, and Thomas Hampson just brings them to life as wonderfully as ever. I especially love "Beautiful Dreamer" - it gives me butterflies - and "My wife is a most knowing woman" - the way he makes the voices and the indignation is just brilliant. If one needed reminding what a brilliant singer Mr Hampson is - this disk does it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Wife loves it
Published 1 month ago by Michael Poulsen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delight
Bought this for my parents. They really loved it! Glad I was able to see reviews on which Stephen Foster collection was the best.
Published 7 months ago by Craig Spanjers
5.0 out of 5 stars American Dreamer
A wonderful group of musicians and the songs of Stephen Foster, who is America's voice of long ago. It still seems relevant today. Read more
Published 11 months ago by joyce gabriel cornett
4.0 out of 5 stars An operatic version of Foster's music!
These are good renditions of Stephen Foster's music, and the male singer on this performance has a great voice, however he is an opera singer, and it shows! Read more
Published 13 months ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars Customer Service:
I thik that Stephen Foster is one of my favorite composers.He unfortuntly came to an untimely death, which was a loss to all of America. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Larry P. Burton
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful from beginning to end
I checked this out at the library and found it incredibly beautiful and interesting. I was glad to be able to order it through you.
Published 16 months ago by Linda P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
Stephen Foster would be as enchanted as I am by these performances of his best known songs. Hampson’s creamy baritone and manifest intelligence shine in everything from the love... Read more
Published 18 months ago by George Goldberg
5.0 out of 5 stars If only the video were available
I have owned and played and loved this record for many years.

But I have just become aware that in 1997, in Pittsburgh [where else! Read more
Published on February 13, 2012 by Graeme Withers
5.0 out of 5 stars So Refreshing and wonderfully fun~
I happened upon this CD while checking out some books at our library several years ago and me and my children had such fun listening to it for several weeks! Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by Marthestar
5.0 out of 5 stars CD Purchase Through Amazon
The purchase went smoothly and the order delivery was done promptly, ahead of the estimated date. I can only recommend this site for placing orders.
Published on January 9, 2011 by Bucovina
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