At a Glance
Composer Reynaldo Hahn wrote some 125 songs distinguished by
their charm, elegance, and sophistication. Nine were discovered by
his friend René Schrameck after Hahn's death and published
posthumously. This evening, we hear three on texts by Léon Guillot
Another turn-of-century composer was Hugo Wolf, one of the great
masters of German song. He, like so many, was drawn to the
enigmatic character Mignon in Goethe's novel Wilhelm Meister's
Apprenticeship, and set her songs to music in his own rich,
intense, post-Wagnerian style.
American composer Samuel Barber particularly liked the poems of
Irishman James Joyce; we hear two of his Joyce songs, as well as a
nocturnal song of erotic passion and betrayal.
Before the great pianist-composer Sergei Rachmaninoff left Russia
in the wake of the Revolution in 1917, he composed his last set of
songs in his native language, three of which appear on tonight's
"I like my songs best," operatic genius Richard Strauss once said
to singer Hans Hotter. He was a gift to sopranos—he was married to
one—and tonight, we hear one song of unbounded maternal love and
three songs of love well beyond the cradle stage.