Various: GODS & MONSTERS
with Myra Huang
GODS & MONSTERS is an expression of acclaimed lyric tenor Nicholas Phan’s life-long fascination with myths and legends, and a testament to this singer’s great gift for storytelling through the medium of song. Phan joins forces with regular collaborator Myra Huang to explore this thematic program of Lieder by the great Romantic composers of the Germanic tradition: songs recounting tall tales of the godly, the gallant and the grotesque – the fantastical and the fearsome.
"Nicholas Phan and Myra Huang offer musical storytelling at its finest in a new recital of legends, tales and horror stories drawn from the nineteenth-century German Lieder repertoire. In addition to superb narrative skills and dramatic conviction, Phan possesses enough musical imagination and vocal daring to bring each story and character vividly to life, and Huang matches the tenor with pianistic arsenal of colors and attacks, controlled by her astonishing technique...Among many high points of the recital is Mahler’s Wunderhorn song, “Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen,”...Both artists sustain the magical nocturnal atmosphere, with generous phrasing and restrained dynamics in a sophisticated, beautifully felt and expressed performance..."
- Opera News
(Critic's Choice - May 2017)
"...throughout the disc, whose programme is subdivided into four sections and a postlude, his narrative prowess, care with words and desire to bring these stories to life immediately draw you in...this is an appealing, charming and clearly lovingly planned recital, engagingly performed."
"There are so many jewels here...Wo die Schönen Trompeten blasen is outstanding, made so by Phan’s impeccable diction and pianist Myra Huang’s deft characterisation..Phan's sheer sensitivity is a delight. An absorbing recital disc, and an ideal introduction to the joys of lieder. Beautifully recorded..."
- The Arts Desk
"...Huang's fleet fingers make light of some fearsomely virtuosic accompaniments. At his best. Phan offers some exquisitely calibrated soft singing supported by a rich acoustic and crystal-clear sound."
- BBC Music Magazine
"Tenor Nicholas Phan serves up ravishing selections from the German Romantic song repertoire. His lovely Schubert interpretations benefit from his intuitive phrasing, as well as from the fiery and tender accompaniment of pianist Myra Huang."
- iTunes Editor's Notes
"Few voices are as reliable (or beautiful) as Phan's, which gives him freedoms he takes. In everything he sings, storytelling is paramount. Perfect diction, too, is a given, to which Phan adds a kind of around-the-campfire confidentiality that draws you into the tales rather than talking you through them. It's a voice born to sing German Lieder...There's a story in each of the songs about lesser and super humans by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Wolf, and Phan finds the magic (sometimes black) in each."
- Bay Area Reporter
"With his wonderfully animated quality as a natural storyteller, Phan’s program could be a good way for a family to introduce children to lieder. Their performances of some of the dramatic songs have a spellbinding quality...[Phan] has a wonderful legato style and delivers clear articulation of the text. He packs intensity into the words with a commanding display of dynamic gradation and vocal color..."
- American Record Guide
Many thanks to the army of generous supporters who have contributed to the production of this album:
John W Adams, Anonymous, the Amoray family, Fotine Assimos, Barr Foundation, Matthew Beck & Chad Smith, Jesse Blumberg, Teddy Dean Boys, Kevin Bylsma, Rob Caverly-Paxton, Hayley Downs, Jocelyn Dueck, Larry & Arlene Dunn, Eugenia Edmonds, Judith Erb, Andrew Gillespie, Bruce Gillespie, Scott Allen Jarrett, Joe Law, Will Leben, Jeffrey Leong, Lynn Luckow, Da Ping Luo, Michael McGaghie, Janet Pascal, Sharlene & Louis Phan, Isabelle Phan, Jeff Phillips, James & Marcy Plunkett, Leah Plunkett & Michael Lewis, Trevor Pollack, Ian Ritchie, Jennifer Rivera, Miguel A. Rodriguez & Barry A. Hume, Maria Sampanis, Aaron Sheehan, Gina Soter, Roland Spahr, Xenia Varelas, Patrick Vaz, Frank Villella, Christopher Weimer, Lawrence A. Whitney, Douglas Williams, Emily Wilson-Tobin & Yi-Heng Yang
Special thanks to
Anonymous, Roxi Cargill & Peter Weston, William Ginchereau, Leslie Ann Jones, Robin & Steve Kunkel, Dagmar Moore & Lisa Seischab.
Gods & Monsters is a part of Nicholas Phan's solo recording projects, which is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.
Contributions for the charitable purposes of Nicholas Phan's solo recording projects must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.