horizontal line

Nowadays, the Venezuelan-born, French composer Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) is known primarily as a song composer. Yet he also wrote 17 operas, eight ballets, theatre music and film scores. His instrumental magnum opus is the 53 poèmes pour piano known collectively as Le rossignol éperdu (the title can be rendered variously as the ‘ecstatic’, ‘distracted’ or ‘baffled’ nightingale), composed between 1898 and 1910. The first 30 pieces were collated into a huge Première Suite playing for well over an hour, while Orient (nos 31-37), Carnet au voyage (nos 38-45) and Versailles (nos 46-53) are all much briefer. Claims that the collection constitutes a 20th-century equivalent of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words are a little exaggerated, though Yoonie Han makes a fine case for them individually. There are a number of rival accounts, notably by Earl Wild (nla) and Billy Eidi (Timpan – slightly swifter overall), but this is competitive. The sound is serviceable but not exceptional.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


   Read full review   


To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.



Read more classical music reviews online here:



Piano International, 2019 - ©Rhinegold Publishing