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Reynaldo Hahn - À Chloris

On Friday night we went to a Celebrity Series Concert with Anne Sofie von Otter. She's a mezzo-soprano who sings lots of opera. This recital had Sibelius, Hahn, Schumann in the first half plus a couple of piano pieces by Ravel and Dukas on the name Haydn using a generous interpretation of the letters to determine the notes; and Mehldau and some American Popular Songs in the second half. Brad Mehldau played the piano for the second half; Bengt Forsberg for the first half. One of the American popular tunes was Walkin' My Baby Back Home sung in Swedish - Otter is Swedish). The concert was in Sanders Theatre to which I haven't been in a while - it is such a lovely hall - we had great seats. I think von Otter sung a bit too softly in the higher registers for this hall - presumably her choice since I'm sure she belts it out in Der Rosencavalier and other operas; but she had delightful presence and a very fine voice.

To me the highlight was a piece by Reynaldo Hahn: À Chloris

S'il est vrai, Chloris, que tu m'aimes,
Mais j'entends, que tu m'aimes bien.
Je ne crois pojnt que les rois mêmes
Aient un bonheur pareil au mien.
Que la mort serait importune
De venir changer ma fortune
A la félicité des cieux!
Tout ce qu'on dit de l'ambroisie
Ne touche point ma fantaisie
Au prix des grâces de tes yeux.

If it be true, Chloris, that thou lov'st me,
And I understand that thou dost love me well,
I do not believe that even kings
Could know such happiness as mine.
How unwelcome death would be,
If it came to exchange my fortune
With the joy of heaven!
All that they say of ambrosia
Does not fire my imagination
Like the favor of thine eyes.

I found nothing in the iTunes store, but when I looked on YouTube I found a bunch of recordings and listened to about 10 - one was with a counter tenor, another a baritone, and one was with a violin instead of a soprano. It's fun doing these comparisons. (When I was looking for a recording of Schubert's Sonata for Piano in A Major on the iTunes store I listened to the first 30 seconds of 27 of them before choosing the one by Victor Rosenbaum.)

This is the one with Kristina Bitenc singing is the one I liked the best - although I liked von Otter's version even better.

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