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Songs


Price: CDN$ 39.63 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00000300V
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,234 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. If My Verses Had Wings
2. A Landscape
3. Reverie
4. An Offering
5. May
6. Infidelity
7. Alone
8. The Swans
9. Nocturne
10. Three Days Of Vintaging
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. When Night Is Not Studded With Stars
2. The Loveliest Gift
3. On The Water
4. The Nightingale Among The Lilac
5. To Chloris
6. My Youth
7. Since I've Pressed My Lips...
8. Lydia
9. Neaera
10. Salinum
See all 25 tracks on this disc

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
Reynaldo Hahn's early years coincided with the sway of French impressionism, and these early experiences with introverted poetic expression affected his life for ever. Hahn's songs are by nature reflective. Many of them are set to poems by impressionist poets, such as Verlaine; some of the most sublime ones grow out of the lyrics by Victor Hugo. Some of these songs subtly reflect Hahn's personal experiences: he was gay, unreconciled with himself, and closeted till the day he died. Even some of his closest friends didn't know the source of his restlessness. A one-time lover, and a life-long friend of Marcel Proust's, Hahn learned to express himself in song, the way Proust expressed himself through the chain of forever regressing recolletions in prose. The selection of songs on these two discs presents some of the best Hahn's output, exhibiting all the hallmarks of his style: subtly undulating accompaniment, melodies full of free-flowing intimacy, imaginative cadences, and plenty of room for interpretation by individual performers. Of the wonderful vocalists here, Steven Varcoe, a beguilingly beautiful baritone voice, deserves a special mention.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful French lieder April 23 1999
By gks5q@virginia.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Reynaldo Hahn's early years coincided with the sway of French impressionism, and these early experiences with introverted poetic expression affected his life for ever. Hahn's songs are by nature reflective. Many of them are set to poems by impressionist poets, such as Verlaine; some of the most sublime ones grow out of the lyrics by Victor Hugo. Some of these songs subtly reflect Hahn's personal experiences: he was gay, unreconciled with himself, and closeted till the day he died. Even some of his closest friends didn't know the source of his restlessness. A one-time lover, and a life-long friend of Marcel Proust's, Hahn learned to express himself in song, the way Proust expressed himself through the chain of forever regressing recolletions in prose. The selection of songs on these two discs presents some of the best Hahn's output, exhibiting all the hallmarks of his style: subtly undulating accompaniment, melodies full of free-flowing intimacy, imaginative cadences, and plenty of room for interpretation by individual performers. Of the wonderful vocalists here, Steven Varcoe, a beguilingly beautiful baritone voice, deserves a special mention.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A star of the 'chansom'. Buy It. Oct. 2 2006
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
'Songs by Reynaldo Hahn',French 'chansoms' written by a Venezualean Jew and performed by an all star English team of vocalists and accompaniest, is quite enough for me to forsake my Shubert for a few hours and immerse myself in these evocations of the world's most musical language. My discovery of Hahn in this release and the similar collection by Susan Graham shows me that the salon art song did not die in the 19th century, even if offerings from artists in English, German, and Italian are a bit thin.

From my point of view of the amateur listener, these performances are simply so pretty, as with an overripe peach, they approach, but never pass over to the banal.

Beautiful songs, expertly realized.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A fine, underestimated master of the mélodie Dec 4 2004
By Charlus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Venezuelan-born Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947) was taken to Paris at age 3 and became, early enough (his most famous song, Si mes vers avaient des ailes, was composed when he was 12!) a steady feature in the musical life of Paris.

Lover of Marcel Proust, sought-after musical entertainer in the salons of the Highest Society, diarist, composer, singer, renowned conductor, influential music writer in the most powerful daily in France (Le Figaro) finally General Manager of the Opéra Comique before dying of a brain tumor in 1947, Hahn was a multi-faceted musician of the highest probity. His songs are simple, patrician, utterly elegant, and always set to the best poetry. His simplicity and purity of means accomplish in little what many pretentious thunderers fail even to approximate. He was a minor master.

Hahn had a light little baritone voice, a little croak of a voice, really, with which he made himself enourmously popular in high society drawing rooms before the First World War: the voice that charmed duchesses and made the most reserved princesses smile! He even made some 50 records between 1920 and 1930, which show his unique, expressive musicality, unfailing sense of phrasing, unpretentious elegance of style, and fine piano-playing (He almost invariably accompanies himself.)

Hahn's own 78s, and a very few others by the likes of Ninon Vallin, give a clear recorded testimony of how his songs ought to be performed: simply, sincerely, with charm.

Charm is not in oversupply in this Hyperion collection (the singers are rather wooden English people with somewhat grey voices) but the other qualities are honestly, conscientiously supplied. Many of these pieces are not easily come by, especially in such well-recorded, well-accompanied perfomances, and though Hahn might perhaps have smiled to hear such a straight-laced presentation of his little creations, this album is really quite worth the asking price.

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