Hyperion Records

Je me souviens
Je me souviens is another Guillot de Saix setting, a slow melancholy waltz with the subtitle: ‘Un soir, au reçu d’une lettre bleue.’ This denotes a telegram and it is possible that in this scenario it contains news of a lover’s death, perhaps during the 1914–18 War. Here is something for those listeners (and they are in the majority) who are disappointed to see our composer quit the world of Fauré in favour of that of Messager. The piano here begins to stand in for a missing orchestra. This is of course another type of Hahn, without literary pretensions or ambitions but infinitely willing (and able) to touch us. And without casting aspersions on this composer’s important contributions to the mélodie, this is also the purest and most natural Hahn; a side of his nature that was profoundly at home in the theatre. Once again he could be little Reynaldo entertaining the great and the good, the Reynaldo who could both write and sing (not to mention play!) a ‘hit’.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996

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