Reynaldo Hahn


Born: August 9, 1875; Venezuela   Died: January 28, 1947; France   Period: 20th Century
Reynaldo Hahn is often considered an archetypal French composer -- a product of effective French music education coupled with the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Paris. The fact that Hahn was not actually French (he was born in Caracas, Venezuela) has never deterred this notion -- even among the nationalistic French -- since he made Paris his home for nearly his entire life. Today, as he was during his life, he is best known for his vocal works, Read more ranging from serious opera and operetta to solo songs. His affinity for both the stage and the human voice eventually led to his appointment in 1945 as director of the Paris Opéra.
Hahn's parents were of German and Venezuelan extraction; when he was three years old the family relocated to Paris, where Hahn entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1886. He studied harmony with Théodore Dubois, piano with Decombes and composition with Jules Massenet. Massenet's influence is clear in one of Hahn's earliest, and most famous, songs, Si mes vers avaient des ailes (If my verses had wings); written when the composer was only 13, it is a charming setting of verses by Victor Hugo. The combined forces of Massenet's advocacy on his behalf (enough to have his cycle of songs on the poetry of Paul Verlaine, Chansons grises, published in 1893) and Hahn's own fine singing voice (enabling him to accompany himself in salons and concert halls) helped to establish his reputation in the city.
Early in his career, Hahn made the acquaintance of Sarah Bernhardt and Marcel Proust; Proust, especially, would instill in Hahn a deep appreciation and understanding of poetry, which had a profound effect on Hahn's approach to vocal composition. Hahn once wrote, "The genuine beauty of singing consists in a perfect unison, an amalgam, a mysterious alloy of the singing and the speaking voice, or to put it better, the melody and the spoken word." Hahn found himself seduced by the poetry of Victor Hugo, Théophile Gautier, and Paul Verlaine; he put his efforts toward creating musical phrasing and rhythmic gestures that would allow the words to speak for themselves. Hahn believed that "[o]nly form can give a piece a chance of lasting...." This perhaps explains his predilection for the older, repetitive formal structures evident in some of his songs, such as "L'automne" (Autumn), "Le printemps" (Spring), and "Quand je fus pris au pavillion" (When I was Lured to her Pavilion).
Hahn's first stage composition was incidental music for Daudet's L'obstacle in 1890; his first opera to reach the stage was the three-act L'île du rêve, performed in Paris at the Opéra-Comique in 1898; a more successful serious opera appeared in 1935 (Le marchand de Venise, in three acts, with a libretto by Zamacoïs, after Shakespeare). Notably, with Le marchand de Venise, Hahn deliberately returned to the "old-fashioned" division between musical numbers and recitatives and returned the orchestra to a purely accompanimental role. Hahn's most important ballet, Le dieu bleu, was composed in 1912 for Diaghilev's company (to a scenario by Cocteau and Madrazo). By far, Hahn's most successful theater piece is his operetta Ciboulette; it premiered to instant acclaim in Paris in 1923, and has received innumerable performances since.
As a conductor and impresario at the Paris Opéra, Hahn favored the operas of Mozart; he found the earlier composer so fascinating, in fact, that he composed a musical comedy on his life (Mozart, 1925), in which he included pastiches of Mozart's own music. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Julian Lloyd Webber - A Span of Time
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8504053 Release Date: 04/13/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  John Ireland,  Sir Edward Elgar,  William Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  John Lenehan,  Jiaxin Lloyd Webber,  Guy Johnston  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans-Peter Hofmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  European Union Chamber Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Hahn: Chamber Music & Song / Baillieu
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 139 Release Date: 03/16/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reynaldo Hahn
    Performer:  Adam Newman,  Benjamin Baker,  Tim Lowe,  James Baillieu  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 3.
    Birds & Love / Park, Koyama, Ferey
    Label: Skarbo   Catalog: 3174 Release Date: 02/02/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  In-sik Lee,  Julius Benedict,  Giulio Caccini,  Alessandro Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Sung Hee Park,  Jean-Pierre Ferey,  Yuki Koyama
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  • 4.
    A Portrait / Mesple
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 564154 Release Date: 10/13/2017  
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Jules Massenet,  Ambroise Thomas,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Performer:  Mady Mesplé
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  • 5.
    Thoughts Observed / d'Or, Deutsch
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573780 Release Date: 06/09/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Henri Duparc,  Claude Debussy,  Reynaldo Hahn  ... 
    Performer:  Yaniv d'Or,  Dan Deutsch
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  • 6.
    Vocalise / Mayer
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002603002 Release Date: 12/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Maurice Ravel,  Robert Schumann,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Jakub Haufa,  Albrecht Mayer,  Monika Razynska,  Markus Becker
    Conductor:  Matthias Mönius,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    A Verlaine Songbook / Sampson, Middleton
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2233 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Poldowski,  Maurice Ravel,  Josef Zygmunt Szulc  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Middleton,  Carolyn Sampson
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  • 8.
    Oh, Boy! / Crebassa, Minkowski, Mozarteum Orchestra
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 557832 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Marianne Crebassa,  Christoph Zimper
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
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  • 9.
    Fin de siecle: Music for Viola & Piano / Power, Crawford-Phillips
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68165 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul-Henri Büsser,  Ernest Chausson,  Claude Debussy,  Lucien Durosoir  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Power,  Simon Crawford-Phillips
    CD: $21.99
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  • 10.
    Hahn: Violin Concerto & Violin Sonata / Clavier, Quattrocchi, Lorraine Philharmonic
    Label: Maguelone   Catalog: 358410 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reynaldo Hahn
    Performer:  Denis Clavier,  Dimitris Saroglou
    Conductor:  Fernand Quattrocchi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lorraine Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Label: Aparte   Catalog: 114 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Kosma,  Grigoras Dinicu,  Astor Piazzolla,  Andrea Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Romain Leleu
    CD: $20.99
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  • 12.
    Songs to the Moon / Myrthen Ensemble
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 443 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Warlock,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Myrthen Ensemble
    CD: $25.49
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  • 13.
    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: The Complete Recitals 1952-74
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553028 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 31
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Anny Felbermayer,  Josef Metternich  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Otto Ackermann,  Lovro von Matacic,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    CD: $91.49
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  • 14.
    Hahn: Integrale Piano Music / Deljavan
    Label: Aevea   Catalog: 15001 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Reynaldo Hahn
    Performer:  Alessandro Deljavan
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  • 15.
    Neere: Duparc, Hahn, Chausson / Gens, Manoff
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 215 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reynaldo Hahn,  Henri Duparc,  Ernest Chausson
    Performer:  Susan Manoff,  Véronique Gens
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  • 16.
    Hahn, Szymanowski: Works for Violin & Piano
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 432 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Reynaldo Hahn
    Performer:  Huw Watkins,  Tamsin Waley-Cohen
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  • 17.
    Reynaldo Hahn: Divertissement Pour Une Fete De Nuit; Le Bal De Beatrice D'este; Serenade; Concerto Provencal
    Label: Timpani   Catalog: 1231 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reynaldo Hahn
    Performer:  Frank Sibold,  Julien Vern,  Francois Lemoine,  Julien Desplanque
    Conductor:  Nicolas Chalvin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Initium
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  • 18.
    L'heure Exquise - A French Songbook / Alice Coote
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67962 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Reynaldo Hahn,  Gabriel Fauré,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Graham Johnson,  Alice Coote
    CD: $21.99
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  • 19.
    Fleurs / Carolyn Sampson
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2102 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Roger Quilter,  Benjamin Britten,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Carolyn Sampson,  Joseph Middleton
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  • 20.
    Autograph – Jose van Dam
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564619049 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Hector Berlioz,  Jacques Ibert,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  José van Dam,  Rosalind Plowright,  Jean-Philippe Collard,  Dalton Baldwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling,  Kent Nagano,  Michel Plasson,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 21.
    Green -  Melodies Francaise Sur Des Poemes De Verlaine / Jaroussky
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2564616693 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Léo Ferré,  Gabriel Fauré,  Déodat de Sévérac,  Josef Zygmunt Szulc  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Jaroussky,  Jerome Ducros
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Ebène
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  • 22.
    Nocturnes / Charlesworth, Herchenroder
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 355 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Ivor Gurney,  Franz Schubert,  Henri Duparc  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Charlesworth,  Edwige Herchenroder
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  • 23.
    Hahn: Le Rossignol Eperdu / Billy Eidi
    Label: Timpani   Catalog: 22229 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Reynaldo Hahn
    Performer:  Billy Eidi
    CD: $29.99
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  • 24.
    Rosenblatt Recitals, Vol. 1 / Tynan, Brownlee, Siurina, Meli, Perez, Michaels-Moore [6-CD Set]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 9027 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Traditional,  Henri Duparc,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Ailish Tynan,  Iain Burnside,  Lawrence Brownlee,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 25.
    La Belle Excentrique /   Patricia Petibon, Susan Manoff
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002155402 Release Date: 10/21/2014  
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Léo Ferré,  Francis Poulenc,  Francine Cockenpot  ... 
    Performer:  Patricia Petibon,  Susan Manoff,  Christian-Pierre La Marca,  Olivier Py  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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