is another Hugo setting and, if less famous than Si mes vers
, it has always had its admirers. The theme is unforced, dreamy charm; the pianoís vamping (alternating legato with staccato) at first seems almost comic in its accommodating will to please, and then strikes us as ever so slightly cheekyóan antidote to the romanticism of the words. The elegant onrushing of triplets against a background of steady duplets gives a delightful elasticity to the vocal line if the singer knows how to make use of the rhythmic freedom. In a cadential phrase like ĎDonne un baiserí the composer, young as he is, is able to suggest not only the pleasure of entering into an emotional attachment but also the possibility of pain and uncertainty. It is this suggestion of a lifetimeís experience which makes Hahnís precocious achievements so remarkable. At a similar cadence the phrase ĎDe mes chansonsí (with a long-held note on the final syllable) suggests the sound of love songs of the past melting into thin air.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996