Stephen Foster was the father of the popular song, and his music is indelibly stamped in the nation's consciousness. It is hard to believe that one man wrote "I Dream of Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair," "Camptown Races," "Beautiful Dreamer," and the heartbreaking "Hard Times Come Again No More." That's why this recording of his music is so special. Rather than drowning the tunes in full orchestration, a simple outfit of fiddle, piano, and guitar accompanies Thomas Hampson's superb voice. It seems this is as close as one can come to realizing the original style of this music. Due credit should be given to Jay Ungar, who provides excellent musical direction and violin playing. ~ Tim Sheridan
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