"Young dutch baritone Henk Neven has an exceptional voice - perfectly controlled, ideal for German Lieder. It is hardly an exaggeration to think of him on the evidence of this fine disc as a successor to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau....His gift of bringing out word-meaning is enhanced by the clearest possible diction and by the beautifully balanced recording....it is a long time since I enjoyed a disc of Lieder from a young singer quite as much as this, and I long to hear more from him..."
Edward Greenfield - Gramophone magazine - June 2011
"...He (Neven) has a beautiful voice, flexible, rounded and warm, and sings, always in the middle of the note, with much intelligence and no affectation...Neven and Eijsackers give the ballads the kind of whole-hearted but entirely straightforward treatment that suits them best. The harness bells and woodland birds in ’Tom der Reimer’ with the sinister speed of the ride, are lightly and scarily touched in by Eijsackers. Equally straightforward, until Neven’s over-shocked last line , is their performance of ’Der selt’ne Beter’(on Schumann’s Liederkreis)..they ask for inwardness in the singer and gentle attentiveness to detail in the accompanist, both of which demands are exceptionally well met by Neven and Eijsackers...
This is a very good recital by a young singer..."
International Record Review - June 2011
"Here’s a name to watch. The young Dutch baritone was made a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist two years ago and richly deserves his chance to shine on his first solo album. Neven’s highly individual timbre is unlike any other lieder interpreter’s: he sings with astonishing technical finesse, verbal acuity and a sense of wonder in these pieces from Schumann’s annus miserabilis of song, 1840 (the year of his long-delayed marriage to Clara). This is an entirely fresh account of a familiar cycle, Eichendorff Liederkreis, op39, preceded by a group of Loewe ballads, steeped like Schumann’s songs, in romantic nostalgia for medieval Germanic folklore. Eijsacker’s virtuoso piano-playing only enhances this remarkable young singers’s outstanding debut." ****
Hugh Canning - The Sunday Times - 17 April 2011
CD of the week
A debut song recital that offers a world of fantasy and dreams.”
"Brave enough in their first recorded recital to choose something as oft-traversed as Robert Schumann’s op.39 Liederkreis, whose sometimes enigmatic mood pieces and Romantic fantasies have attracted some of the great Lieder singers on disc. But how imaginative to dedicate more than half the recital to the much less known Romantic Carl Loewe, 14 years Schumann’s senior, whose ballads give Neven a sense of joyful recognition, he tells us, as his childhood fantasies of castles, fair maidens, knights and minstrels come to life again in song ...songsettings by Loewe, beautifully brought to life by Baritone Henk Neven and pianist Hans Eijsackers. They really make the most of the repertoire’s spell-binding qualities...A world of fantasies and dreams and reflections on the passing of time and the transience of life. That’s what it says on the sleeve, and that’s exactly what they deliver so successfully..."
BBC Radio 3 CD Review - 30 April 2011
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