Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947)

According to his friend Marcel Proust, Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) has a “temper of a literary musician” (letter to Suzette Lemaire, [mi-November 1894]). He began writing around 1890 by keeping his diary and through his correspondence. His regular exchange of letters with Edouard Risler, his friend at the conservatory - who until 1893 frequently stays in Germany to master his piano with several of Liszt’s students - is of great importance. Aesthetic exchanges around Wagnerism and the value of French music (Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Fauré) dominate the two young men's discourse and testify to their mutual passion for probing the future of musical creation at the very end of the 19th century.

In 1897, this literary expression became public with Hahn’s first music reviews in Le Gaulois. Under the title “Journée parisienne” (Parisian Day), he reported in November and December on the series of “intimate concerts” organized by Édouard Colonne at the Nouveau-Théâtre. From 1907 onwards, this journalistic activity was supplemented by his work as a lecturer, which took on its full scope in November 1913 with his lectures on singing at the Université des Annales, first published as a review and then in volume form. We should also mention both of his functions as a translator with the “literal translation in prose” of the Italian libretto Don Giovanni of Da Ponte (Paris : Nouvelle Imprimerie, Thivet, [1903-1912]) and the English translation of the novel The Coward written by Robert-Hugh Benson (Le Poltron, in La Revue hebdomadaire, 7 June-6 September 1919, then in volume, Paris : Fayard, 1922).

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birth year1874
death year1947

Publications (23)

23 results


23 results