Author Topic: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau  (Read 3474 times)

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Offline ritter

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Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« on: May 27, 2015, 04:37:46 AM »


 

Le pleur qui chante au language
Du poète, Reynaldo
Hahn, tendrement le dégage
Comme en l'allée un jet d'eau
1
Stéphane Mallarmé

1 I cannot find an English translation of Mallarmé's little tribute to the teenager Reynaldo, and wouldn't dare to translate it myself  ;D

It seems there is no thread dedicated to Reynaldo Hahn. By popular demand (hat tip to Mirror Image and Brian  ;)), I cross-post my recent comment in the "Purchases Today" thread:

I must start by saying that my appreciation of Hahn is tinged by several extra-musical issues. It's probably  clear by now to many that I'm a bit of a francophile. I'm also fascinated by the world of Marcel Proust (with whom Reynaldo had a close liaison), and am myself a Venezuelan living in Europe. Furthermore, my grandmother's family was acquainted with the Echenagucias (Hahn's maternal family). None of this, of course, makes Hahn's music better or worse, or more or less interesting. And yet...

The most popular segment of Hahn's oeuvre is clearly his art songs, or mélodies (a genre which IIRC you don't care much for). He excelled at this from an early age, and some of his settings (in many occasions, of major French poets) are actually quite accomplished, and certainly go beyond the "salon music" label that has often been attached to Hahn's compositions. For example, the Chansons grises (on Verlaine) and À Chloris (on Théophile de Viau) are IMHO at the same level as anything Fauré composed in this form.

Then there's the piano music, with the four suites that make up Le Rossignol éperdu enjoying a sort of renaissance as of late. A string of minatures, some of which are character pieces, others are travel-inspired, unpretentious as a whole, and quite pleasant in general (perhaps too long to listen to in one go).

The stage works are particularly "French". His opera Le Marchand de Venise is quite beautiful (but avaialable only from semi-private sources), and his operettas (Ciboulette being the most famous one) are good if you like that sort of thing (but knowledge of the French language is a requisite to appreciate them, I venture to say).

Finally, there's the orchestral and ensemble stuff, like the CD I just bought. Here Hahn's backward-looking attitude in music is very palpable. Le Bal de Béatrice d'Este is delightful, with a curious orchestration of winds, piano, two harps and percussion. It's not really neo-classical avant la lettre, it's trying to emulate the "spirit" (more than the "style") of some renaissance music ("archaïsant" is the French term that would apply, and I cannot find an exact English equivalent).  The Concerto provençal (for flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn and strings) is a delight, very atmospheric and very carefree (surprisingly so, as it was composed in 1944, when Hahn was stearing clear in the South of France from the Nazis in occupied Paris).

Well, this is turning out too long already, and I haven't answered your question: what does his music sound like? We're in a world that rejects any sort of harmonic innovation, but that is well crafted and has a definite charm, even if at times it turns (deliberately) into pastiche and, at others (seldom), can almost be kitsch   I'd say it's compeltely imbued by nostalgia, pleasant to the ear,  and deliberatly démodé by the time it was composed. But, with these features, Hahn does have a very personal style, which could not be confused with that of any other composer. The sound world of a certain period  in France that had ended long before Hahn stopped compsoing, and directed to some social circles ("le grand monde") whose influnece had also vanished by then.

If you wish to explore Hahn's orchestral/ensemble music, then the new Timpani CD is great (it's the best performance of Béatrice d'Este I've heard). Another good entry point would be the Piano concerto, where this "nostalgic" fealing is really accomplished, and which I think is a piece that deserves wider recognition:



Here it's performed by the wondeful Magda Tagliaferro (under the composer):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/mEFe46xfIXg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/mEFe46xfIXg</a>

The above, of course, is only a cursory (and very personal) appreciation of Hahn's oeuvre, and I hope other GMGers share their views on his music.

Fortunately, some record companies have recently released some CDs whose focus is on music other than Hahn's mélodies . Three highlights, IMHO:





And Actes Sud in France has published a rather thick collaborative tome on the composer, that seems to be a major addition to the bibliogarphy on the composer (I've already bought it, but haven't had the time to start reading it  :-[).



Bien cordialement,
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 12:39:17 PM by ritter »
ritter
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pjme

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 05:28:23 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/d2jyRovBYT4" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/d2jyRovBYT4</a>

Hahn wrote some lovely music.

I wonder how his La pastorale de Noël sounds...



P.


Offline ritter

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 05:37:12 AM »
I wonder how his La pastorale de Noël sounds...



P.
The Pastorale de Noël is available on this album:



Cute, unpretentious and quaint are the words that come to mind... :)
ritter
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pjme

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 05:40:32 AM »
Thanks!

I might explore...

Sincerely,

Peter

Offline ritter

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2015, 11:59:09 AM »
Stephen Greenbank has reviewed the recent Timpani issue of Hahn orchestral pieces for www.musicweb-international.com . IMHO, a  well written and positive review, which can be found here

ritter
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Spineur

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 02:17:00 PM »
So I went ahead and bought this set of Reynaldo Hahn mélodies, with among others, Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson as interpreters.  In this repertoire, the marvelous Felicity Lott, is unsurpassable: she has this music in her veins.
All Hahn melodies are based on very famous poems from Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, Francois Coppée, Théophile Gauthier, Charles d'Orléans, Théodore de Banville, Heinrich Heine and of course, his lover Marcel Proust.  The music is designed to enhance the text meaning, very much in the same way that Schubert and Schumann provide the drama on Goethe and Schiller poems.  These mélodies are Lieders "à la française".
Everything is meaningful here.  It is not simply mellow tunes of the early 20th century.  We are not in wild rhythms and dramatic crescendos.  No just the phrasing that fits best the verses.  This is why I enjoy his songs much more than Fauré cycles which texts are "convenus" and academics, in fact pretty boring.  This is I am sure a very unpopular opinion among some GMG members.

Among the other works mentioned here, I am most interested by "Le marchand de Venise".  Hahn was 1/2 Jewish and he had to go in hiding during WW2 in the south of France.  He has a particular relationship and interest toward israelites.  So this work may reflect quite a bit from his feelings.  Furthermore Hahn was one of Massenet students, so he knew a great deals about lyric opera.  It turns out that this opera was recreated last year (2015) in Saint Etienne and I missed it.  Apparently they filmed it and there are some plans to broadcast it on Mezzo, so I may have a second chance.

Finally, I found out that there is a Reynaldo Hahn association, http://www.reynaldo-hahn.net/ and guess who is the the honorary president ?  "Dame Felicity Lott" of course !!!

I am heading on holidays (Portugal) for a couple of weeks.  So don't get angry if there are no answers.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 01:21:21 AM »
Chamber Music
====================================================

 Le carnaval des vieilles poules, string qt, piano,  1891
 Serenade, string qt,  1892
 Piano Trio, f, 1896
 Romance, A, vn, pf, 1901
 Sarabande, thème variée, cl, pf, 1903
 Pavane d’Angelo, fl, cl, guitar, harp, string qt,  1905
 Variations chantantes, cello, pf, 1905
 Variations on a Theme by Mozart in Eb, fl, pf,  1905
 Romanesque in C, fl, viola, piano,  1905
 Nocturne in Eb, vn, pf, 1906
 2 Improvisations on Irish Airs, cello, piano,  1911
 2 Pieces, Danse pour une déesse-L’enchanteur, fl, pf, 1913
 Piano Quintet, 1921
 Sonata C, violin, pf, 1926
 Divertissement pour une fête de nuit, str qt, 1931
 Eglogue, wind trio, 1936
 Soliloque et forlane, va, pf, 1937
 String Qt Nr.1 in a, 1939
 Romance, fl, va, vc,  1939
 2 préludes, org
 String Qt Nr.2 in F, 1943
 Serenade, fl, ob, cl, bn,  1942
 Piano Quartet No.3, G, 1946
 Lamento et tarantelle, cl, pf

Orchestral
==================================================

 Illustration pour le jardin de Berenice, chamber orch., 1891
 Nuit d'amour bergamasque, sym. poem, 1893
 Marine, chbr orch, 1898
 Prelude, valse et rigaudon, hp, strings,  1903
 Le bal de Beatrice d’Este suite, 1905
 Wedding March, chamber orch, 1905
 Cello Conc. in a, 1905
 En sourdine, chamber orch,  1914
 Violin Conc. in D, 1927
 Piano Conc. in E, 1930
 Divertissement pour une fete de nuit, sax, piano, string qt, orchestra,  1931
 3 Cadenzas for K.299-Mozart, 1939
 Conc., 5 insts, orch, 1942
 Conc. provençal, fl, cl, bn, hn, str, 1945
 Suite honogroise, vn, pf, perc, str,  1948
 Cello Conc. ‘Révision et cadence de Ferdinand Pollain’ (Paris, 1955), unfinished

Piano
=========================

 Une abeille, 1889
 Suite concertante, 1889
 Hippomène et Atalante, 1890
 Les impressions, 1890
 Scherzo lent, 1891
 Notturno alla italiana, 1891
 Variations sur un thème de Charles Levadé, pf 4 hands, 1892
 3 préludes sur des airs populaires irlandaises, pf 4 hands, 1895
 Portraits de peintres, 1896
 Premières valses, 1897
 Le rossignol éperdu, 1902–10
 Berceuses, pf 4 hands, 1904
 Variations puériles sur une mélodie de Carl Reinecke, 1905
 Bacchante, 1905
 Les jeunes lauriers, 1915
 Pour vercer un convalescent, 1915
 Le ruban dénoué, 1915
 2 études, 1927

Opera
====================

Incidental Music
====================

Film Scores
====================
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Jay F

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 07:40:38 AM »
Orchestral
==================================================

 Le bal de Beatrice d’Este suite, 1905

I saw this performed by Carnegie-Mellon's Wind Ensemble on Saturday. Just delightful. If you happen to be local, they're doing it again this Saturday afternoon (October 7 @ 4 PM).

This is from New York's Harmonie Ensemble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pup_oKtj8X4&list=PLhg0Zg758_1zJSiPkF4Orw6B4xvgF6_V5

Offline kyjo

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 08:36:08 AM »
I saw this performed by Carnegie-Mellon's Wind Ensemble on Saturday. Just delightful. If you happen to be local, they're doing it again this Saturday afternoon (October 7 @ 4 PM).

Oh, are you a fellow Pittsburgher? I'm a student at Carnegie Mellon!

The only work by Hahn I know is Le bal de Beatrice d'Este, which is delightful. Must investigate more of his music.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Jay F

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 11:12:19 AM »
Oh, are you a fellow Pittsburgher? I'm a student at Carnegie Mellon!

The only work by Hahn I know is Le bal de Beatrice d'Este, which is delightful. Must investigate more of his music.

Are you in the orchestra?

Offline André

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 12:23:07 PM »
Civilized music at its best. Hahn's music defines good taste, wit and complicity with his listeners.

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 01:13:44 PM »
Since I heard Hahn Venizia (in venizian dialect) cycle sung by Felicity Lott earlier this year, I cant get it out of my head.  Here it is sung by Anna Caterina Antonacci

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/KumBHuX4DLg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/KumBHuX4DLg</a>



Offline kyjo

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2017, 03:07:47 PM »
Are you in the orchestra?

Yep, I'm a cellist.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Jay F

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2017, 04:33:46 PM »
Yep, I'm a cellist.

Well, then I have heard you perform. I enjoy the CMU concerts very much. My friend and I sit in the first balcony, right over the bass and cello section, so I can't say I've actually seen you.

Are you taking the Mahler class, by any chance?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 04:36:11 PM by Jay F »

Offline kyjo

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2017, 06:27:31 PM »
Well, then I have heard you perform. I enjoy the CMU concerts very much. My friend and I sit in the first balcony, right over the bass and cello section, so I can't say I've actually seen you.

Are you taking the Mahler class, by any chance?

Great to hear! No, I'm not taking the Mahler class, but I might in the future.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline ritter

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2017, 12:25:43 PM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:

Some Reynaldo Hahn today. Portraits de peintres, for speaker and piano, on texts by Marcel Proust.


I knew the work in recordings sans voix, but it makes much more sense as originally conceived (as a mélodrame, that is). I am not particularly keen on how Mme. Gautier declaims the text, as she is simultaneously too vehement and does not enunciate it all that clearly, but the superimposition of spoken text on the piano line is most agreeable. Both authors (who were starting an intimate liaison at the time) were very young men in  1894, the year of the piece's composition (Proust 23 and Hahn 20 years old).

Just as Proust's text--short prose poems "portraying" Albert Cuyp, Paulus Potter, Anton Van Dyck and Antoine Watteau--does not really presage the greatness of things to come, Reynaldo's music already shows a full command of his capabilities. Actually, it's fair to say that Hahn the composer was better known than Proust the author at the time.

The first piece is the most engaging IMHO, with some very seductive modulations, and well-thought  changes in the piano line. It's also nice to hear in the last piece ("Watteau") a phrase that Reynaldo had already used in his setting of Paul Verlaine's Mandoline a year earlier (in his song Fêtes galantes); this is quite fitting, as Verlaine's poem is a Watteau-esque as it gets.   8)

« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 10:59:46 AM by ritter »
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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2017, 02:08:36 PM »
Two nice CDs of Reynaldo Hahn chamber music which I may or may not have posted in the WAYLTN thread





« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 12:17:09 PM by Spineur »

Offline ritter

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2018, 11:00:21 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:

...
First listen to this recent release of Reynaldo Hahn’s chamber music:
Rr



The major pieces on this CD (the Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor from 1921, and the late Piano Quartet No. 3 in G major from 1946) were already available in other releases (on the Hyperion and Maguelone labels), but these idiomatic and very convincing renditions by pianist James Baillieu and his fellow musicians are a welcome addition to the composer’s discography. The main attraction IMO is the Quartet, where Hahn deploys his skills in his usual arch-conservstive idiom, and producies a work of poignant nostalgia. Of the four movement piece, the third (and longest), andante, seems to me some of the best music in its composer’s catalogue. and has some interesting (for Hahn, I’d even say daring) harmonies. In case anyone gets confused, as far as I understand it, there are no piano quartets Nos. 1 & 2. This Quartet No. 3  was preceded by two string quartets (in F major and in A minor), from the late 30s / early 40s, and recorded by the Quatuor Parisii (on an OPP Naïve CD).

The transcriptions of two of Hahn’s most famous mélodies for violin (À Chloris) and cello (Si mes vers avaient des ailes) and piano are much less interesting, as they emphasise the “salon” side of the music, and rob us of the possibility of appreciating Hahn’s considerable talent in setting French verse to music.

A highly recommended release for anyone interested in Hahn’s music.

The release has been favourably reviewed on musicweb-international and by The Guardian.
ritter
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Offline ritter

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2018, 12:52:57 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYLTN thread:

Some Reynaldo Hahn this morning:


Venezia is a delightful cycle of six songs (on texts in Venetian dialect), famously first performed on a gondola (how they managed to get an upright piano on to a gondola beats me), during the trip that Hahn, Proust and other members of the Parisian glitzy set undertook to the city on the lagoon in 1900–a trip that is evicated in À la recherche... . This is the recording to have, as all the other ones I know either omit the sixth song (the joyful La primavera), which requires several voices, or arrange it for a solo voice.


Portraits de peintres was Hahn and Proust’s only artistic collaboration, a set of four piano pieces written by the 20 year old Hahn to accompany Proust’s four prose poems on Cuyp, Potter, van Dyck and Watteau. Here they are beautifully performed by Ronald Brautigam sans récitation*.

* As opposed to the “Mélodrames Français” CD on the Accord label mentioned a couple of posts above. The absence of the spoken text probably makes the work more approachable to non-French speakers,
ritter
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Offline Zeus

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Re: Reynaldo (Hahn's) jet d'eau
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2018, 09:30:03 AM »
Is anyone familiar with this disc?
Hahn: Oeuvres Concertantes, Vol. 1
Maguelone Music



I can't say I've even heard of the record label Maguelone Music.  But they seem to have a few interesting Hahn discs, all recorded around 2001 to 2002.  I have no idea about the recording quality or musicianship.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, as I'm considering buying it.

By the way, I don't have a lot of Hahn (yet), but I have and love Susan Grahams's album of Hahn's songs on Sony; and I have also the Timpani disc with Le bal de Beatrice d'Este.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 11:02:40 AM by Bubbles »
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