The short transcription of Hahn’s youthful setting (1888) of Victor Hugo’s poem Si mes vers avaient des ailes
(‘If my verses had wings’; the original song, dedicated to Hahn’s sister Maria, is recorded on Hyperion CDA67141/2
) casts a backward glance towards the music of compatriot Léon Boëllmann (1862–1897) in its arpeggiated piano figures, its arch-shaped melodic lines and clear harmonic restraint. Hugo’s original text reflects the Romantic aspiration of the heart.
from notes by Jeremy Filsell © 2004