Musical selection for the birthday of Reynaldo Hahn in the museum Sound Library
Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) was a French composer, pianist, musical critic, conductor and orchestra leader and one of the most prominent musicians of the Belle Époque. The biography of Reynaldo Hahn is the story of a musical prodigy: he was already playing the piano fluently at the age of five began composing music at eight and he entered a Conservatory at ten. His teachers were Charles Gounod, Camille Saint-Saëns and Jules Massenet; Maurice Ravel and Édouard Risler studied with him at the Conservatory. At the age of 15, Reynaldo composed his most famous melody, If My Poems Had Wings, to the lyrics of Victor Hugo. He became friends with the family of Alphonse Daudet and Paul Verlaine, and composed a cycle of songs to his poetry ("Slightly Tightly Songs"). His vocal compositions came to fashion, the composer became a regular in the best salons of the capital, where he played his songs and the music of other composers, met Stéphane Mallarmé, Edmond de Goncourt, Marcel Proust, and Sarah Bernhardt (in 1930 he wrote a book about her). After 1900, Hanh worked mainly in the sphere of musical theatre: he composed music for ballets and pantomimes, operas, operettas, musical comedies, music for dramas and movies. He conducted performances, including those at the Paris Opera, and collaborated with Sergei Diaghilev and his company. In 1909, he became a French citizen. During the First World War, he volunteered at the front, and then served in the Ministry of Defense. While at the front, he wrote a cycle of five songs to the lyrics by Robert Louis Stevenson and a sketch for the opera based The Merchant of Venice by on Shakespeare.
From 1920 Reinaldo Hanh taught at The École Normale de Musique de Paris. As a conductor, Hahn focused on the music by Mozart. When the Salzburg Festival was revived after World War I, he took an active part in its organization.
In the late 1920s, he wrote his most famous orchestral work, The Piano Concerto, which was premiered by Magda Tagliaferro. He wrote music for stage and cinema, as well as symphonic, piano and vocal compositions.
During World War II, he had to leave Paris for fear of Nazi antisemitism. He returned to Paris in 1945, was elected as the Académie des Beaux-Arts member and headed the Paris Opera.
Reynaldo Hahn died in Paris in 1947.
Musical selection for the birthday of Reynaldo Hanh is posted in the museum Sound Library.
The concert ""Emile Galle: the ensouled glass" was organized within the framework of Belcanto Foundation and museum Collection joint project in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. Musical pieces composed by Emile Galle contemporaries were performed at that concert, Reynaldo Hahn among them. The concert was accompanied by a video series with the images of objects from the museum Collection section - 'Western European glass and ceramics'.