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Britten: Winter Words / Nicholas Phan, Myra Huang

Britten / Phan / Huang
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Avie   Catalog #: 2238   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas PhanMyra Huang
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

BRITTEN Winter Words. 7 Sonnets of Michelangelo. Songs • Nicholas Phan (ten); Myra Huang (pn) • AVIE AV2238 (55:51 Text and Translation)

"As near as I can tell, this is Nicholas Phan’s first solo disc, and it is a welcome one. Winter Words is, to my mind, one of the strangest of Britten’s song cycles, and takes the longest to get into. The Hardy poems are on the verge of the twee (“Wagtail and the Baby”), or almost frightening by what’s left unsaid (“Midnight on the Great Western” or “At the Railway Station, Upton”), or bleakly questioning (“Before Life and After”). Phan has a generally pleasing voice and he sings them intimately, with perhaps more restraint Read more than shows his voice at its best. The Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo was written in 1940, while Britten and Pears were in the United States. In these, Phan sounds at moments uncannily like Peter Pears both in his sound and in his interpretation. There are a number of recordings of both of these sets and I would not want to be without Britten’s and Pears’s own 1954 recording. The disc is filled out with six of Britten’s many folk-song arrangements, of which “The Ash Grove” is a most delightfully out-of-kilter take on a well-beloved tune."

FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1. Winter Words, Op. 52 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 
2. Sonnets (7) of Michelangelo, Op. 22 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
3. Folksongs (7), Volume 3: no 7, Come you not from Newcastle? by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
4. Folksongs (7), Volume 3: no 1, The plough boy by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
5. Folksongs (7), Volume 1: no 6, Ash Grove by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
6. Folksongs (7), Volume 1: no 2, Little Sir William by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
7. Folksongs (7), Volume 1: no 1, Salley Gardens by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
8. Folksongs (10), Volume 4: no 9, The last rose of summer by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Nicholas Phan (Tenor), Myra Huang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; England 

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