Reynaldo Hahn

Another morning name, but this time I know where it came from — an Exploring Music program (heard on WQXR) from earlier in the week (on the theme of the week, “I Didn’t Know About You”, about music the host hadn’t been familiar with). From Wikipedia:

Reynaldo Hahn (… August 9, 1874 – January 28, 1947) was a Venezuelan, naturalised French, composer, conductor, music critic, diarist, theatre director, and salon singer. Best known as a composer of songs, he wrote in the French classical tradition of the mélodie.

A brief song by Hahn, “À Chloris”, performed by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, can be heard here.

More from Wikipedia, on the gay connection:

1894 was to prove a fateful year for Hahn. At the home of artist Madeleine Lemaire, he met an aspiring writer three years older than himself. The writer was the then little-known, “highly strung and snobby” Marcel Proust. Proust and Hahn shared a love for painting, literature, and Fauré. They became lovers and often travelled together and collaborated on various projects.

Unlike a number of later gay composers (who lived long open lives with their male partners), Hahn was very much in the closet. As they say, times were different then.

One Response to “Reynaldo Hahn”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Linking from Facebook to this posting is turning up fans of Hahn’s compositions. Nice.

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