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Naji Hakim (b1955)

Anne Warthmann sings Naji Hakim

Anne Warthmann (soprano), Naji Hakim (organ)
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Label: Signum Classics
Recording details: October 2020
St Martin's Church, Dudelange, Luxembourg
Produced by Augustin Parsy
Engineered by Augustin Parsy
Release date: December 2023
Total duration: 68 minutes 4 seconds

Naji Hakim was organist of La Trinité in Paris from 1993 to 2008 (succeeding Olivier Messiaen), and has won innumerable competitions both as performer and composer. This new album showcases his works for soprano and organ.

Other recommended albums

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Abana for soprano and organ (2019)
Abána is the arabic text of the Pater Noster following the Gospels of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” The world premiere was given by Anne Warthmann and Naji Hakim, Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Liban, Paris, 02.02.20. (Schott Music, Mainz, Germany.)

Assalamu for soprano and organ (2019)
Assalámu Aalaiki is the arabic text of the Ave Maria, 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 “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.” The world premiere was given by Anne Warthmann and Naji Hakim, Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Liban, Paris, 02.02.20. (Schott Music, Mainz, Germany.)

Our Lady’s Minstrel (2013)
Our Lady’s Minstrel is an ensemble of two works, Prelude and Dance for clarinet and organ, and Three Poems for soprano and organ, inspired by a tale of mediaeval France, Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (Our Lady’s Tumbler), after an idea of my daughter, Katia-Sofía Hakim. The works could be played either separately or in a same program in the following order: Prelude—Three Poems—Dance.

The Prelude for clarinet and organ paraphrases the gregorian Salve regina (tonus simplex) in a slow expressive waltz style. The Three Poems for soprano and organ use selected verses from the English translation of Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame, Our Lady’s Tumbler [1898, Isabel Butler]. The music is through composed, following the structure of the text, in a syllabic style. As in the clarinet pieces, the colourful harmonies and rhythms are influenced by jazz. The declamatory initial poem, 'Most sweet Queen', is followed by the bouncing and joyful display of the central piece, 'Most sweet Friend', before the venerating last verse, 'Holy Mary'. The Dance for clarinet and organ is a gipsy-like plurithematic sonata form with a serene waltz in the middle-section recalling the opening Prelude. World premiere by Regula Schneider, Soprano and Clarinet - Wolfgang Sieber, Organ, Hofkirche Luzern, 07.09.14. (Schott Music, Mainz, Germany.)

Adoration for soprano, flute and organ (2015)
Adoration, triptych for voice, flute and organ is based on the three first Introits after Epiphany, expressing the adoration of the Lord by the angels next to his throne (In excelso throno), by all creatures on earth (Omnis terra adoret te, Deus), by all the angels and Sion (Adorate Deum omnes angeli). The choice of texts as a triptych were suggested by gregorian chant specialist Prof. Dr. Inga Behrendt. The vocal part could be sung by a soprano or a tenor, as well as by a schola. The world premiere was given by the Ensemble Trifolium – Nina Junk (soprano), Sibylle Schwantag (flute) and Jürgen Poggel (organ) – at St Joseph Kirche, Siegen, Germany, 06.03.16. (Schott Music, Mainz, Germany.)

Römisches Triptycho for soprano and organ (2010)
The Roman Triptych meditations by Saint John Paul II struck me by their depth, their simplicity and their vigor. I wanted to choose the poems in which I found an echo or an extension of my own theology and which seemed to me the most suitable to be expressed in music.

In order to balance the proportions of the composition, I chose 2 poems in each of the three parts of the triptych: I drew my inspiration and was guided by the very structure of the poems, their rhetoric, their keywords, real vectors of the literary and musical speech: Stream/Torrent – Source – Word – Movement – the Voice (that invites Abraham to leave) – Mystery. The world premiere was given by Andrea Reuter and Naji Hakim, Kaiserdom St. Bartholomäus Frankfurt am Main, 08.05.10. (Schott Music, Mainz, Germany.)

Naji Hakim © 2023

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