Reynaldo Hahn: À Chloris

In category: Song of the Day

Published February 26, 2018

From Caramoor’s Vice-President of Programming, Kathy Schuman:

I can’t say for sure the first time I heard this song, but I remember distinctly when it first made a serious impression—as an encore at Susan Graham’s recital at Carnegie Hall in 2003. I was absolutely swept away by the beauty of it.  Up until then I didn’t really know anything about Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947), a Venezuelan-born composer who lived in France. Now I see his songs pop up on recital programs frequently. Whenever I see “À Chloris” listed on a program, or announced as an encore, I heave a deep sigh and settle back in my chair and let this simple beautiful song wash over me. From the first notes of the piano introduction, I am transported to another realm. His songs are a bit old-fashioned compared to contemporaries like Ravel, and it may lack the depth and intensity of Schubert lieder, but for me it captures perfectly the rhapsodic feeling of a newly discovered love.

Over the years I’ve heard it sung by Anne Sofie von Otter, Sarah Connolly, Philippe Jaroussky, David Daniels and others. It’s hard to beat Susan Graham’s version here.

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This week our curators of the Song of the Day blog are the Artistic Administration staff of the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. Our next concert, “From Lute Song to the Beatles: Songs of the British Isles,” features Caramoor’s 2018 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars, young artists who will participate in a week-long residency dedicated to exploring this rich vocal repertory. Hear the stunning results in their performances at Caramoor on March 11 and at Merkin Concert Hall on March 13.

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