Sivan Magen is featured on the recording “Still Falls the Rain,” by tenor Nicholas Phan, which has made it to James R. Oestreich’s list of The Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012 for the New York Times. The recording features works by Benjamin Britten, and Magen can be heard onCanticle V: Death of Saint Narcisuss, andA Birthday Hansel. Marion Lignana Rosenberg described Magen as “a magician” in her review of the disc for WQXR.
We asked Magen to tell us about his collaboration with Phan. “The work is the second all-Britten recording [by Phan]. It includes all the music that Britten wrote for his life partner Peter Pears and harpist Osian Ellis towards the end of his life, when he couldn’t play any more and Osian Ellis became Pears’ principal recital partner. Nick and I have met and started working together at the Marlboro festival in Vermont, where we’ve worked on the Canticle V and A Birthday Hansel. Even though his carrier encompasses a lot of concert music and opera (including theMessiah and B Minor Mass at Carnegie Hall, and performances with the Philadelphia, Chicago and New York orchestras, among others), he is becoming a Britten song expert—his previous all-Britten CD was chosen for “best of 2011” lists of the New Yorker, Time-Out NY, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle and others. We also performed A Birthday Hansel together on my Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2010.”
Also on the recording are hornist Jennifer Montone, pianist Myra Huang, and actor Alan Cumming.