NICK PERFORMS BRITTEN'S WAR REQUIEM WITH MARIN ALSOP & THE BALTIMORE SYMPHONY
"Most of the emotional weight in the 'War Requiem' comes from the Owen verses, assigned to tenor and baritone soloists. The BSO was fortunate to engage two exceptional vocal artists who learned the piece for these performances and articulated every word with admirable clarity.
Tenor Nicholas Phan sang with a poignant, plangent tone as he communicated the haunted and haunting imagery of the poems. "Move him into the sun" was delivered with particular beauty. McKinny likewise poured out a warm sound and phrased with remarkable nuance, achieving profound results in the finale.
In the "So Abram rose" duet, the two men sang with mesmerizing tenderness at the line "When lo, an angel called him out of heaven." They produced another ethereal sound at the end of the work for the lyrical mantra "Let us sleep now" that reduces the enormity of war to its essence -- lives lost before their time."
"Outstanding, too, were the three soloists, Wilson, Phan and McKinny.
The trio teamed seamlessly throughout with the chorus and Phan and McKinny paired extremely well in the evocative Dies Irae and in the reflective Offertorium.
Tenor Phan had his sweetest moments with the second movement’s closing solo, “Move him into the sun– ” Phan was also pleasing with the plaintive:
Near Golgatha strolls many a priest
And in their faces there is pride
That they were flesh-marked by the Beast
By whom the gentle Christ’s denied."