Amour sans ailes

songs of Reynaldo Hahn - Recital & CD Release Party

Aug. 25

at 7:30pm


Piedmont Recital.jpg


Michael Morgan, Music Director of the Oakland Symphony, presents two of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed Classical artists, baritone Zachary Gordin and pianist/conductor Bryan Nies in a special recital and CD release party at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, on Saturday, August 25th at 7:30pm.

The event includes a meticulously crafted musical program which tells the fascinating story of one of France’s most artistically influential, yet relatively unknown composers, Reynaldo Hahn. Through his music, his teachers, and his contemporaries a drama unfolds: from his early success as child prodigy and star of La Belle Époque through his return to a changed France post WWI, and his struggles to find a new musical identity. This touching and exciting concert celebrates the release of the CD “Amour sans ailes” on the MSR Classicslabel, and includes a reception with beverages and delicious bites following the concert. 

“Gordin and Nies bring to their traversals of the twenty-one songs on Amour sans ailes an artistic alliance of near-perfect symbiosis. “ Voix des Arts, Best Lieder Recording 2017

- About the artists:

After Bay Area based baritone Zachary Gordin and conductor/pianist Bryan Nies first collaborated on a tumultuous production of Puccini's Tosca, they both thought that any future performances together were over, and that even speaking to each other was doubtful. Years later, however, through numerous concerts, opera productions, recitals (and a few cocktails), they have forged a musical synergy and passion for sharing music from composers with compelling stories to tell. This disc marks the culmination of that artistic partnership, spanning more than ten years and many veins of repertoire. Combining a unique and friendly concert style that joins moving music with informative and witty banter, the duo approach their concerts with an enthusiasm that is equally comfortable in modern spaces and concert halls.

- About the Recording:

Through poignant and descriptive programming, “Amour sans ailes” musically depicts a biography of this undervalued and fascinating composer. Venezuelan born composer Reynaldo Hahn, was one of the most influential artists to 20th Century French music and culture. While Reynaldo was still young his family moved to France, and he became a musical marvel and darling of the Salon “circuit,” and rare prodigy accepted into the Paris Conservatory. Interested in all forms of art, he became influential to many artists, poets, and painters for the French art scene, most notably, Marcel Proust, his first lover. (Marcel would make Reynaldo this hero of his first novel.) After serving as a general in WWI, he returned to a changed Paris, and artistic culture. While still influential, his happy days as a salon darling had passed. Yearning for a return to a time long gone, Hahn shut himself inward, never having another lover. His songs reflect the pain of unrequited love, melancholic harmonies of days past, and momentary bliss from the serenity of nature.

“When he takes his place at the piano, with a cigarette in the corner of his mouth, everyone is quiet and gathers around to listen. Every note is a word or a cry. His head is slightly tilted back: his mouth is melancholy and rather scornful. Thence emanates the saddest and warmest voice you can imagine. This instrument of genius, by name Reynaldo Hahn, moves our hearts, moistens our eyes, cures us one after the other in a silent and solemn undulation. Never since Schumann has music painted sorrow, tenderness, the calm induced by nature, with such brush strokes of human truth and absolute beauty.”  Marcel Proust 

- Critical acclaim:

Best Lieder Recording of 2017 - Voix des Arts

“Gordin communicates tangible pleasure in his material. There’s wit in ‘Fêtes galantes’, pride as well as wonder in ‘À Chloris’ and lofty nobility in the extracts from Études latines. It’s an engaging disc…” Gramophone Magazine

“Gordin’s voice is well suited to these songs. Much of his elegant singing is hushed and very tender; he brings an intimate and appropriately dreamy quality to the songs… I’ve appreciated Hahn’s songs since I first discovered them a decade ago and never more than here; Gordin’s singing is so intoxicating that I could hardly stop listening.” American Record Guide