Hyperion Records

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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