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Hyperion Records

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Two Angels (c1870) by Charles Sellier (1830-1882)
Track(s) taken from CDA67141/2
Recording details: December 1995
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown & Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: June 1996
Total duration: 2 minutes 16 seconds

First line:
Quand je chemine, le soir
author of text

Séraphine is another twilit evocation of the kind in which Hahn excels. The original Heine poem (‘Wandl’ ich in dem Wald des Abends’) is from a collection called Verschiedene (‘Sundry Women’). For two bars the vocal line continues on one note—this, combined with the formula of the undulating arpeggios, provides a neutral background, like the anonymous murmurings of nightfall. And then on the word ‘rêveuse’ the voice plunges down a fifth and once again Hahn has worked his spell of seeming to create a real tune out of very little. A minimum amount of movement in the voice part seems to spin a line of the greatest eloquence—a type of trompe l’oreille where a complete musical picture is created with only a few deft strokes of outline.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996

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