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Hahn / Bizet / Chabrier: L'Heure Exquise Import


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Audio CD, Import, April 3, 1990
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$37.65 $6.00

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B00000DP66
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,211 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jt52 on November 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD contains mostly songs by Reynaldo Hahn, composed around the turn of the prior century. The recording includes the seven "Grey songs" (Chansons grises), published in 1890 when Hahn was all of 16. The songs are often simple and I hear them as formative efforts, but formative efforts by a very talented and inspired composer. Attractive songs such as "L'heure exquise" (The Exquisite Hour) and "Chanson d'automne" (Song of Fall) are beautifully crafted and immediately interesting. Yakar also includes twelve selections from Hahn's major songbooks, the two Receuils and the Rondels (1899), including the attractive "Quand je fur pris au pavillon" and the beautiful and still "D'une prison". In addition to the Hahn, Yakar sings three songs each by Georges Bizet dating from the late 1860s and by Emmanuel Chabrier, dating across the span of the composer's lifetime, from 1862 through 1890. You'd think Bizet would be an excellent song composer and this proves to be the case. The songs are obscure but are really very beautiful and effective and were the big discovery here. If you are a fan of romantic songwriting or "Carmen," you will want to hear these three works. Chabrier's songs are lighter but enjoyable. In short, this is an unusual and very worthwhile selection of French songs, picked by someone who knows this period of music well and knows where to find the little-known nuggets of exceptional songwriting.

How is the performance? It's pretty good. Rachel Yakar is a well-known French soprano. She has a light, high voice and a very expressive interpretive style. Downsides are rather poor diction; she sometimes loses control in the highest range, but all in all she is a good musician with an attractive voice. Her long-time accompanist, Claude Lavoix, joins Yakar here.
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