One of the Belle Epoque's top songwriters (as well as the lover and then lifelong friend of Marcel Proust), the Venezuelan-born French composer Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) has suffered for recognition o

One of the Belle Epoque's top songwriters (as well as the lover and then lifelong friend of Marcel Proust), the Venezuelan-born French composer Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) has suffered for recognition of his other works; the gem-like brilliance of his mèlodies has blinded posterity to the virtues of such works as his Piano Quintet, Violin Concerto, and a collection of "poems for piano," Le Rossignol Eperdu (The Bewildered Nightingale). It might have been a long while in coming, but the composer couldn't have hoped for a more finely wrought re-creation of the latter work. In the hands of seemingly ageless octogenarian Earl Wild, this premiere recording of the complete, two-disc Le Rossignol Eperdu should be a current cause célèbre. The 53 brief pieces are solo keyboard evocations of rare lyrical grace, and aided by sympathetic production, Wild plays them as full of sentiment but without sentimentality. Those who fell for Susan Graham's Sony Classical disc of Hahn songs should seek out this set, as should all those who adore piano music by the more household names of Satie, Debussy, and Ravel. Distributed by HNH International.—BB

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