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Naji Hakim (b1955)

Hakim plays Hakim – The Schuke organ of the Palacio Euskalduna of Bilbao, Vol. 1

Naji Hakim (organ)
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Label: Signum Classics
Recording details: March 2013
Palacio Euskalduna, Bilbao, Spain
Produced by Augustin Parsy
Engineered by Augustin Parsy
Release date: July 2014
Total duration: 60 minutes 56 seconds

Naji Hakim returns to disc on Signum with a new and powerful collection of organ works. Hakim is joined by Marie-Bernadette Dufource for the central piece of the programme, a set of meditation for two organists inspired by Lucas Cranach the Elder’s woodcuts of the Apostles. Completed in 2000, the Schuke Organ of the Palacio Euskalduna is housed in a magnificent concert hall of wood and steel—itself inspired by the Euskulduna shipyards that once occupied the area. A modern instrument, it is well-suited to the nuanced voicings of modern organ compositions, as well as being sympathetic and adaptable to the great works of the past.


'If the intention is to deliver the joy inherent in this music, he succeeds brilliantly … I would welcome further discs devoted to Hakim's music, especially on this super organ' (Gramophone)

'Naji Hakim's extraordinary virtuosity has never been in doubt, and the brilliance of the reed stops en chamade on the one hand and some delicious flutes on the other give him ample opportunity for contrasts. Much of the disc is devoted to chorale and Gregorian melodies with modern accompaniments, as in the main work, Die Apostel (in which Hakim is joined by his wife), where St Peter's forthright character is duly acknowledged. But Hakim's harmonies and textures are rather limited in scope. A disc to dip into, perhaps, rather than hear straight through' (Choir & Organ)

Other recommended albums

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Toccata (2011)

Naji Hakim’s Toccata develops a rhythmical theme in a combination of ritornello, variation and song forms. A quieter middle section on the voix humaine precedes the recapitulation. Commissioned by the Breda International Organ Competition. Premiered on 6 October 2012 at the Grote Kerk van Breda, The Netherlands, by the finalists of the Breda International Organ Competition—Rien Donkersloot, Joost de Nooijer and Richard Pinel, winner of the Hakim Prize.

Petite Suite (1983)
This triptych makes a free reference to the Iberic baroque organ and music. The opening movement, Diferencias, presents a set of variations in a light and naive character. The theme of Prélude modal (from Vingt-quatre pièces for organ or harmonium) by Jean Langlais is quoted. The second movement, Falsas is a play on dissonances evolving as a harmonic labyrinth. The concluding Batalla displays the brightness of the reeds in a popular and festive mood, paying a tribute to the Virgin through the quotation of the hymn Virgo Dei genitrix. Premiered by Naji Hakim, Abdij van Berne, Heeswijk, Holland, June 1984.

Die Apostel for organ duet (2011)
This work is a set of meditations for two organists, based on Lucas Cranach der Ältere’s woodcuts. It follows the artwork’s plan and paraphrases the choral or gregorian melodies listed hereunder:

I. Der Heiland
Jesus Christus unser Heiland (Martin Luther 1545)

II. Der heilige Petrus
Tu es Petrus (Gregorian antiphon, feast of St Peter), Christ ist erstanden (Salzburg 1160/1433)

III. Der heilige Andreas
Omnie die (David Gregor Corner’s Gesangbuch 1631)

IV. Der heilige Jakobus der Ältere
Iocundetur el Letetur (Gregorian hymn to St James)

V. Der heilige Johannes
In meines Herzens Grunde (Melchior Teschner, ca 1613)

VI. Der heilige Philippus
Philippe, qui videt me (Gregorian antiphon, feast of St Philip and St James)

VII. Der heilige Bartolomäus
Alleluia (Gregorian, feast of St Bartholomeus)

VIII. Der heilige Thomas
Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credisti (Gregorian antiphon, feast of St Thomas)

IX. Der heilige Matthäus
Magna est gloria ejus (Gregorian communion feast of St Matthew)

X. Der heilige Jakobus der Jüngere
Jerusalem, du hochgebaute Stadt (Melchior Franck, 1663)

XI. Der heilige Simon und der heilige Judas Thaddäus
Alleluia (Gregorian, feast of St Simon and St Jude)

XII. Der heilige Matthias
Vos, qui secuti estis me (Gregorian communion, feast of St Matthias)

XIII. Der heilige Paulus
Annue Christi (Cluny Antiphonale 1686) Premiered by Marius Popp and Naji Hakim, 22. Mai 2011, Christuskirche, Kronach, Germany.

Ave Maria (Fantasy on a lied by Franz Schubert) (2012)
Naji Hakim’s Ave Maria for organ, was commissioned by Dr Anthony Hammond. In this paraphrase of the famous Ave Maria by Franz Schubert (1826), Naji Hakim imagines the huge crowd of the Church and especially the countless pilgrims of Notre-Dame de Paris, reciting the two parts of the antiphon. First the Annunciation to Mary by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1: 28) and the words of Elizabeth at the Visitation (Luke 1: 42): 'Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus'. And then the singing of the Theotokos (Mother of God) expressed by St. Simon Stock on his deathbed (1265): 'Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen'. A lively perpetuum mobile in arpeggios on the fortissimo of the organ accompanies the melody of Schubert in cantus firmus on the pedal. A more agitated episode expressing the supplication, precedes the serene and confident conclusion. The prayer is answered. Premiered by Dr Anthony Hammond, Notre-Dame de Paris, 19 October 20, 2013.

Hommage à Jean Langlais (2006)
This symphonic fresco is a homage to my great friend and master, composer and organist, Jean Langlais. The work is developed in a rhapsodic style, conjugating the principle of sonata form with the variation. The thematic and certain modal or rhythmical characteristics are inspired by the organ work of the Master of Sainte Clotilde: Évocation (from Hommage à Rameau), Angélus (from Chants de Bretagne), free improvisation theme, theme from the first movement of the Première Symphonie, Prélude Modal (from Vingt-Quatre Pièces pour harmonium ou orgue), Acclamations (from Suite Médiévale), Lumen Christi (from Incantation pour un Jour Saint), Dialogue sur les mixtures (from Suite Brève), Salve Regina, Veni creator, Te Deum, Lavaromp ar chapeled (from Chants de Bretagne). This piece is a grateful testimony towards an artist and teacher with a blooming faith. Premiered by Naji Hakim, St Peter und Paul, Ratingen, 25 February 2007.

Esquisses Grégoriennes (2006)
The five movements of Esquisses Grégoriennes paraphrase the plainsongs referred to in the titles. They can be integrated in the mass as follows: Nos autem for the Entrée, Ave maris stella for the Offertoire, Pater noster for the Elevation, Ave verum for the Communion and O filii et Filiae for the Sortie. Premiered by Leo Abbott, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, MA, USA, 29 October 2006.

Arabesques (2009)

« C’est bon écrire. On regarde filer sa main, qui trace de curieuses arabesques ; et la pensée précède ou accompagne la grimace de l’encre qui s’écoule et des signes qui s’inscrivent. » François Hertel

Song and dance are at the heart of this suitefor organ, which reflects the overlapping influences of jazz and Mediterranean folk music. The six movements—Prélude, Pastorale, Libanaise, Arabesque, Litanie, Rondeau—are characterized by ornamental melodies, modal harmonies, irregular meter and an expressive quality inspired by joy. Commissioned by the ARD International Music Competition. Premiered on 4 September 2011 at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Grosser Konzertsaal, Munich, by the semifinalists of the ARD International Music Competition—Johannes Lang, Dominik Bernhard, Anna-Victoria Baltrusch, Angela Metzger, Lukas Stollhof, Michael Schöch, Anna Pikulska and Georg Oberauer.

Naji Hakim © 2013

The Schuke Organ of the Palacio Euskalduna of Bilbao

I. Manual Hauptwerk C-c4
1. Flautatua (Principal) 16’
2. Flautatua (Principal) 8’
3. Ganba 8’
4. Xirula harm. (Flute harmonique) 8’
5. Pordoia (Rohrflöte) 8’
6. Bosgarrena 5 1/3’
7. Zortzigarrena (Octave) 4’
8. Xirula eztia (Spitzflöte) 4’
9. Hamargarrena 3 1/5’
10. Hamabigarrena 2 2/3’
11. Hamabosgarrena (Octave) 2’
12. Betea V 2’
13. Txilina IV 2/3’
14. Korneta V 8’
15. Bonbarda 16’
16. Tronpeta 8’
17. Klarina 4’

II. Manual Schwellwerk C- c4
18. Pordoia (Rohrbordun) 16’
19. Flautatua (Holzprincipal) 8’
20. Salizionala 8’
21. Unda maris 8’22. Pordoia (Gedackt) 8’
23. Zortzigarrena (Octave) 4’
24. Estalitxoa (Rohrflöte) 4’
25. Nazardoa 2 2/3’
26. Hamabosgarrena (Octave) 2’
27. Flabiola (Flachflöte) 2’
28. Nazardoa 1 3/5’
29. Nazardoa 1 1/3’
30. Betea V 1’
31. Dultzaina 16’
32. Kromorna 8’
33. Vox humana 8’


III. Manual Bombardwerk C- c4
34. Pordoia (Bordun) 16’
35. Flautatua (Principal) 8’
36. Zeharkakoa (Flute harmonique) 8’
37. Biolintxeloa (Gambe) 8’
38. Vox caelestis 8’
39. Pordoia (Holzgedackt) 8’
40. Zortzigarrena (Octave) 4’
41. Biola (Fugara) 4’
42. Xirula zortz. (Fl. Octaviante) 4’
43. Oktabatxoa (Octavin) 2’
44. Piccolo 1’
45. Betea VI 2 2/3’
46. Korneta III 2 2/3’
47. Fagota 6’
48. Tronpeta harmonikoa 8’
49. Oboea 8’
50. Klan harmonikoa 4’
Kanpaiak (Röhrenglocken)

IV. Manual Chamadewerk C- c4
51. Tuba magna B 16’
51. Tuba magna D 8’
52. Trompeta B 8’
52. Klarina D 8’
53. Bajoncillo B 4’
53. Klarinaltua D 4’
54. Bioleta B 2’
54. Trompeta inperiala D 32’

Pedal C-g’
55. Sakona (Untersatz) 32’
56. Nagusia (Principal) 16’
57. Kontrabaxua 16’
58. Subbaxua 16’
59. Bosgarrena 10 2/3’
60. Irekia (Octave) 8’
61. Biolontxeloa (Cello) 8’
62. Estalia (Gedeckt) 8’
63. Hamargarrena 6 2/5’
64. Zortzigarrena (Octava) 4’
65. Flauta 4’
66. Betea VI 2 2/3’
67. Bonbarda 32’
68. Bonbarda 16’
69. Baxoia 16’
70. Tronpeta 8’
71. Klarina 4’

Naji Hakim © 2013

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