Exceptional singer Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947) owes his early successes to the “songs for voice and piano” genre, whose raison d’être he defines in his journal as follows: “To highlight a poem, word for word but without uniformity; to emphasize its meaning without distorting it; to shine light upon one idea, obscure another and present it all in vocal, sung form; to produce a sharp, precise sensation by touching a heartstring or evoking an image - all in a well-structured and tastefully written piece”.
Enhanced by an audio version attached as a download card, this anthology of songs should dispel a good many misconceptions. This is no salon miniature: L’Heure exquise radiates an infinite tenderness, exalted by the high vocal cadences of Ô Bien-Aimée! and C’est l’heure exquise, which surely wrought tears from the author of the verses, Verlaine. Tyndaris, the jewel of Heures latines, clears a crystal-clear space given over to the delights of slumber and of love. Like D’une prison and Cygnes, these songs do more than wet the eyes: they grip the heart.