Illuminations - Faure, Debussy, & Britten / Nicholas Phan

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A New York Times 25 Best Tracks Selection for 2018 - Fanfare

Following acclaimed albums devoted to Britten, baroque lute songs and German lieder, Grammy Award-nominated tenor Nicholas Phan continues to spread his wings with Illuminations, an album featuring compositions by Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy and Gabriel Faure who were each inspired by the poetry of two nineteenth century French literary titans, Paul Verlaine and his protégé and eventual lover Arthur Rimbaud. The intertwined lives of the French poets and composers manifested themselves in Faure’s impassioned Verlaine-inspired ‘La bonne chanson’ and Debussy’s ‘Ariettes oubliees’ drawn from Verlaine’s ‘Romances sans paroles.’ Just decades later Britten was inspired by Rimbaud’s influential prose-poetry ‘Les Illuminations.’ Critical acclaim for Nicholas Phan has been widespread.


Britten captures the blend of bizarre, beautiful, decadent, and courtly elements in Rimbaud's symbolist poems. These mingled emotions enliven Mr. Phan’s singing on this recording, starting with the opening “Fanfare,” in which, in trembling voice, he declares that he alone holds the key to this savage parade (of life).

– New York Times

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: AV2382

  • UPC: 822252238228

  • Label: Avie

  • Composer: Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: The Knights

  • Performer: Myra Huang, Nicholas Phan