Henk Neven

Baritone

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Rêves d’Espagne!

Rêves d’Espagne!


Dørumsgaard:

Spanish Traditional Songs

Ibert:

Chansons (4) de Don Quichotte

Ravel:

Don Quichotte à Dulcinée

Shostakovich:

Six Spanish Songs Op. 100


Henk Neven (baritone), Hans Eijsackers (piano)

Spain and Spanish themes are at the core of this unusual and attractive recital from Dutch baritone Henk Neven. Ibert's Quatre chansons de Don Quichote, Shostakovich's Six Spanish Songs op100 imbue the Spanish theme with an unmistakable Russian flavour, Ravel's Trois chanson de Don Quichote, Dorumgard Spanish Traditional Songs.

“There is much that is extremely beautiful here … the harmonisations are very effective and Eijsackers delivers them with commendable poise and discretion.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2016 ****

“Neven’s lightish, sensual baritone speaks volumes in both Ibert’s Chansons and Don Quichotte à Dulcinée…[Eijsackers] is superbly graceful and subtle. His solos, admirable in their strength and delicacy, are first-rate too” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas


Vivica Genaux (Dido), Henk Neven (Æneas), Ana Quintans (Belinda) & Marc Mauillon (Sorceress, Marin)

Vincent Dumestre (conductor) & Stéphane Vérité (director)

Cécile ROUSSAT & Julien LUBEK Staging, Choregraphy, Set, Costumes

Laurent CASTAINGT Lights

After the success of the DVDs devoted to Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Cadmus & Hermione, Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique continue their exploration of repertoires of the 17th century.

This piece, combining theatre and music, allowed Purcell to achieve his dramatic ideal. In fact, he wrote only a single opera in his short career – he died at the age of 36 –, but with it, he left us a gem of rare beauty and extreme concision. The work’s genius is also due in part to the quality of the libretto, skilfully put together by Nahum Tate.

Cécile Roussat and Julien Lubek, stage directors coming from the arts of the circus and the mime Marceau, had already collaborated with Le Poème Harmonique on the Carnaval Baroque. Here, they combine mime, dance and acrobatics with the music in a moving, magical production.

“Despite a largely Francophone cast, and Genaux's faint North American accent, the text is brilliantly clear. Ana Quintans's Belinda and Jenny Daviet's Second Woman are brightly characterised...Dumestre favours slow tempos in the laments, artfully sustained by Genaux. The final image of the dying queen is stunning.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2015 ****

“a strongly convincing and stylish performance from the cast led by the dark but clear voiced Vivica Genaux as a handsome, vulnerable Dido...Ana Quintan's Belinda offers bright support, providing, as she should, much of the work's forward energy...sensual richness is also the main virtue of the production.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

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The Sea

The Sea

Songs by Debussy, Fauré & Schubert


Debussy:

Trois Mélodies de Verlaine

Beau Soir

Fauré:

Poème d'un jour Op. 21

L'horizon chimérique, Op. 118

Les berceaux, Op. 23 No. 1

En sourdine, Op. 58 No. 2 (Verlaine)

Chanson du pêcheur Op. 4 No. 1

Larmes Op. 51 No. 1

Schubert:

Der Schiffer, D536 (Mayrhofer)

Meeres Stille, D216, Op. 3 No. 2 (Goethe)

Fahrt zum Hades, D526 (Mayrhofer)

Auf der Donau, D553 (Mayrhofer)

Erlafsee D586 (Mayrhofer)

Gondelfahrer, D808

Ruckweg, D476 (Mayrhofer)

Am Strome, D539 (Mayrhofer)

Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, second version, D583 (Schiller)


Henk Neven (baritone), Hans Eijsackers (piano)

The Sea, songs of water and the sea, diverse in colour and emotion. Henk Neven on his new ONYX recording: "During the recordings of my debut album 'Auf einer Burg' in Suffolk, I visited, after a day’s work, the coastal town of Aldeburgh. It was winter-time and at six o’clock pitch dark already. I was walking along the sea. Darkness all around.

Nevertheless I heard, smelt and felt the sea. Not visible but very present.

We sat by the water for ages and indulged in fancies, philosophised, and written poetry lustily about the endless deep of the sea, about the horizon and what is behind it, about the similarity to our spiritual lives, about the currents that are as our lives; about the sea that takes us with it when we are tired of living; about the restless sailor who revives between storm and waves; about the solitary wife who, rocking her baby, is left alone; about the sea in which you pour out your heart… Have all these tears made the seawater so bitterly salt?

The sea and the water have been a source of inspiration for many poets and their poems inspired the composers likewise. The songs that were created that way have inspired me".

Henk’s debut album 'Auf einer Burg', lieder by Loewe and Schumann, ONYX4052, was praised by BBC Radio 3: "songsettings by Loewe, beautifully brought to life by baritone Henk Neven and pianist Hans Eijsackers... 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. It’s the CD Review Disc of the Week and you’ll find it on ONYX Classics.”

“A delightful recital … Neven’s melodies are every bit as persuasive as his lieder … the recording team does the project proud.” Classical Music, 17th November 2012

“Rarely do you hear, even in the rarefied world of French melodie and German Lieder, a baritone who sings with such subtlety in shading of dynamic and tone as the Dutch baritone Henk Neven...and this latest disc extends my admiration even further in totally exquisite singing...Altogether a most memorable song record.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2013

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Auf Einer Burg

Auf Einer Burg


Loewe, C:

Wandrers Nachlied, Op. 9 No. 3b

Hinkende Jamben, Op. 62 No. 5

Odins Meeresritt "Meister Oluf, der Schmied auf Helgoland", Op. 118

Süßes Begräbnis, Op. 62 No. 4

Herr Oluf "Herr Oluf reitet spät und weit", Op. 2/2

Der selt'ne Beter op. 141

Tom der Reimer "Der Reimer Thomas lag am Bach", Op. 135a

Edward, Op. 1 No. 1 (Herder)

Der Pilgrim vor St Just, Op. 99, No. 3

Die Uhr, Op. 123 No. 3

Schumann:

Liederkreis, Op. 39


Henk Neven (baritone) & Hans Eijsackers (piano)

Henk Neven studied with Maarten Koningsberger and Margreet Honig at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he graduated cum laude in 2003. In 2002 he received a diploma cum laude from the New Opera Academy. He followed masterclasses with Graham Johnson, Graham Clark, Rudolf Jansen, Hartmut Höll, Jard van Nes and Robert Holl.

He was awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Fellowship in 2009, and is a BBC New Generation Artist 2009-2011.

Henk Neven has performed at the BBC Proms and at the Wigmore Hall. He also has a busy career in the opera houses of Europe, including Leporello in Don Giovanni in De Doelen Rotterdam, Patrocle in Iphigénie en Tauride by Gluck at La Monnaie in Brussels, Ottokar in Der Freischütz in Theater an der Wien, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette at De Nederlandse Opera and Gralritter in Parsifal in Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

As a recitalist he will appear with Hans Eijsackers in de ‘Vocale Serie’ of Het Concertgebouw, La Monnaie Brussels and de Beurs van Berlage Amsterdam.

This is his debut recording, and he has selected Lieder by Carl Loewe to programme with Schumann’s Liederkreis op22, repertoire he loves performing. Neven is a major new vocal talent.

“Neven possess a lightly textured, attractive voice, and his diction is focused and expressive” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 ***

“His gift of bringing out word-meaning is enhanced by the clearest possible diction and by the beautifully balanced recording. His shading of dynamics and phrasing then crowns each interpretation. It is a consistent joy to hear a Lieder singer whose tone is pure over the widest range without a trace of roughness...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.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2011

“[Neven] has a beautiful voice, flexible, rounded and warm, and sings, always in the middle of the note, with much intelligence and no affectation...both Neven and his excellent accompanist Hans Eijsackers manage almost to avoid sentimentality” International Record Review, July 2011

“Neven’s highly individual timbre is unlike any other lieder interpreter’s; he sings with astonishing technical finesse, verbal acuity and a youthful sense of wonder in these pieces from Schumann’s annus mirabilis of song, 1840...Eijsackers’s virtuoso piano-playing only enhances this remarkable young singer’s outstanding debut.” Sunday Times, 17th April 2011 ****

GGramophone Awards 2011

Shortlisted - Solo Vocal

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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Live Recording From The Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 2012


Mark Padmore (Evangelist), Peter Harvey (Christus), Maria Espada (Soprano), Ingeborg Danz (Mezzo Soprano /Alto), Renate Arends (Soprano), Barbara Kozelj (Mezzo Soprano /Alto), Peter Gijsbertsen (Tenor) & Henk Neven (Bass)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra & Netherlands Radio Choir & National Children’s Choir, Iván Fischer

This 2012 recording of the most influential and wide spread oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach features the Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer, a visionary in his field, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. The double choir is the essential musical aspect on which Iván Fischer’s interpretation of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is based. Only by consistently seizing on that duality will all the complementary layers stand out as they should. He describes this essential fundamental aspect as follows: “You can’t do the St. Matthew in an unreligious way. The only approach is from a deep, universally religious feeling.”

The internationally renowned tenor Mark Padmore is brilliant as the Evangelist, Peter Harvey gives a moving interpretation of Christ. Together with Ingeborg Danz, Renate Arends, Maria Espada, Barbara Kozelj, Peter Gijsbertsen and Henk Neven and the Netherlands Radio Choir they carry the audience through an affecting performance of this masterwork.

PCM Stereo, DD 5.0

Running Time: 174 mins

Subtitle Languages: DE (Original Language), GB, FR, ES, JP

“it would be hard to imagine a weightier, more symphonic account, beauty of sound almost an end in itself...Padmore's Evangelist is never one to short-change the narrative, and Peter Harvey's Christus emphasises a dignified humanity” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 ***

“[the Concertgebouw players] are, arguably, the most consistently compelling contributors to this performance...a suitable austere reading at times, with clarity of annunciation given priority over extended tonal coloration...Indeed, Fischer almost eschews a personal vision...The benefits are heard in his acute ear for a pure, abstract line” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“The playing is uniformly stylish and pleasing...Fischer has a fine team of aria soloists, among whom Ingebord Danz is outstanding...Padmore is simply outstanding...Fischer paces Bach’s music very well...The sound on these DVDs is very good and the camera work is good and unfussy.” MusicWeb International, 24th June 2013

“The solo voices are dominated by Padmore's Evangelist and Peter Harvey's Christus - both are immensely experienced performers of these roles, and both are on excellent form...Fischer presides over proceedings with quiet authority, his consummate musicianship shining through.” International Record Review, July/August 2013

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Arthaus Musik - 101676

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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Live Recording From The Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 2012


Mark Padmore (Evangelist), Peter Harvey (Christus), Maria Espada (Soprano), Ingeborg Danz (Mezzo Soprano /Alto), Renate Arends (Soprano), Barbara Kozelj (Mezzo Soprano /Alto), Peter Gijsbertsen (Tenor) & Henk Neven (Bass)

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Choir, Netherlands National Children's Choir, Iván Fischer

This 2012 recording of the most influential and wide spread oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach features the Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer, a visionary in his field, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. The double choir is the essential musical aspect on which Iván Fischer’s interpretation of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is based. Only by consistently seizing on that duality will all the complementary layers stand out as they should. He describes this essential fundamental aspect as follows: “You can’t do the St. Matthew in an unreligious way. The only approach is from a deep, universally religious feeling.”

The internationally renowned tenor Mark Padmore is brilliant as the Evangelist, Peter Harvey gives a moving interpretation of Christ. Together with Ingeborg Danz, Renate Arends, Maria Espada, Barbara Kozelj, Peter Gijsbertsen and Henk Neven and the Netherlands Radio Choir they carry the audience through an affecting performance of this masterwork.

PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master

Audio 5.0

Running Time: 174 mins

Subtitle Languages: DE (Original Language),

GB, FR, ES, JP

“it would be hard to imagine a weightier, more symphonic account, beauty of sound almost an end in itself...Padmore's Evangelist is never one to short-change the narrative, and Peter Harvey's Christus emphasises a dignified humanity.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 ***

“[the Concertgebouw players] are, arguably, the most consistently compelling contributors to this performance...a suitable austere reading at times, with clarity of annunciation given priority over extended tonal coloration...Indeed, Fischer almost eschews a personal vision...The benefits are heard in his acute ear for a pure, abstract line” Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“The solo voices are dominated by Padmore's Evangelist and Peter Harvey's Christus - both are immensely experienced performers of these roles, and both are on excellent form...Fischer presides over proceedings with quiet authority, his consummate musicianship shining through.” International Record Review, July/August 2013

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Arthaus Musik - 108075

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Rameau: Castor et Pollux

Rameau: Castor et Pollux

Recorded live at Het Musiektheater, Amsterdam on 21st & 25th January 2008.


Anna Maria Panzarella, Véronique Gens, Finnur Bjarnason, Henk Neven, Judith van Wanroij, Nicolas Testé, Thomas Oliemans & Anders J. Dahlin

Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera & Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset (conductor) & Pierre Audi (stage director)

Castor et Pollux is arguably Rameau’s finest creation in the tragédie lyrique style. Its libretto, based in mythology, focuses on an unusual theme: the self-sacrificing love between Castor, who is mortal, and his immortal brother, Pollux. When Castor is killed while defending his beloved Télaire from an attempted abduction, Pollux resolves to give up his immortality and take Castor’s place in the Underworld. After passionate debate over who will live and who will die, the brothers are eternally united, transformed into the constellation Gemini. The strikingly luminous sets, depicting a stylized version of the constellation, give this fabulous production, staged by Pierre Audi and conducted by Christophe Rousset, a glorious 21st-century baroque look.

‘To turn almost three hours of obscure French baroque opera into a popular hit is the kind of stunt at which the Netherlands Opera excels. … All the singers are beautiful and polished…Veronique Gens as Phebe manages to rise beyond form and truly breathe life into her character's phrases. Gens's performance is radiant and burnished, full of subtlety and character.' Bloomberg.com

Bonus Documentary: 'To serve this big spectacle…'

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 155 Mins
SOUND: 2.0 LPCM STEREO / 5.1 DTS SURROUND
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NE

“Christophe Rousset directs a superb ensemble performance with a cleanly voiced choir and an acute ear for Rameau's pungent orchestration. Patrick Kinmoth's set and costumes have an austere, almost sci-fi quality, but they match Pierre Audi's unfussy production with its genuine sense of dramatic engagement.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2009 *****

“This production of Rameau's second great tragédie lyrique has…been recorded at Netherlands Opera in January 2008. Unfussy yet handsomely done, it sits well with the leanly focused nature of the work… finding space for spectacle and dance without forgetting its essential task of telling the story of the twins whose fraternal love excepts no level of self-sacrifice. ...Rameau's brilliantly composed airs, expressive recitatives, infectious dances and sturdy choruses are of untouchable high quality. The good-looking cast includes two French... Véronique Gens, haughty and magnificent as the tormented Phébé who plots jealously against Télaïre, and Nicolas Testé... vigorous and sonorous Jupiter.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2009

“Incredibly, this is the only individual performance of Rameau's great exploration of love and mortality, but it's difficult to imagine it receiving a finer account than it does from this Netherlands Opera team, with Christophe Rousset heading up Les Talens Lyriques and the late Pierre Audi's stripped-down staging radiating austere beauty.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, October 2014

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - February 2009

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Desmarest: Vénus & Adonis

Desmarest: Vénus & Adonis

Tragédie Lyrique en 5 actes et 1 prologue (1697)


Karine Deshayes (mezzo-soprano), Anna-Maria Panzarella (soprano), Ingrid Perruche (soprano), Sébastien Droy (tenor), Henk Neven (baritone), Jean Teitgen (bass) & Anders J. Dahlin (countertenor)

Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset

This wonderful live recording is the first opera to be released by Les Talens Lyriques since their highly publicised 15th birthday, and benefits from an enthusiastic audience. World première recording

Ambroisie - AM127

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Loewe, C: Passion Oratorio

Loewe, C: Passion Oratorio


Nathalie Gaudefroy (soprano), Christianne Stotjin (contralto), Jacky da Cunha (tenor), Henk Neven (bass) & Edwin Crossley-Mercer (bass)

Ensemble Instrumental des Heures Romantiques & Ensemble Vocal des Heures Romantiques, Udo Reinemann

Naxos - 8557635-36

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Messiaen: Saint François d'Assise

Messiaen: Saint François d'Assise

Recorded live at Het Musiektheater, Amsterdam, on 30th May, 11th June & 16th June 2008.


Camilla Tilling (Angel), Rod Gilfry (Saint François), Hubert Delamboye (Leper), Henk Neven (Frère Léon), Tom Randle (Frère Massée), Donald Kaasch (Frère Élie), Armand Arapian (Frère Bernard), Jan Willem Baljet (Frère Sylvestre), André Morsch (Frère Rufin)

The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera, Ingo Metzmacher (conductor) & Pierre Audi (stage director)

Messiaen's breathtakingly intense opera on the life of St Francis of Assisi stars Rod Gilfry as the charismatic visionary, beguiled by the glory of creation, yet fearful of both its imperfections and its transience. Pierre Audi's thoroughly engaging production for The Netherlands Opera brings out the naïve imagery, the grandeur, and above all the vast tenderness of the resplendent score, revealed as a grandiose ritual with the meaning and purpose of life as its central theme. But the real drama of the work takes place in the orchestra. Elevated to stupendous heights by the sublimely inspired Ingo Metzmacher, The Hague Philharmonic and the Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera combine forces with a brilliant cast to produce the finest possible musical pilgrimage.

‘The orchestra, drilled to absolute perfection, played as if their lives depended on it, while the choral singing was superb in its intensity. The cast tellingly emphasised the physicality as well as the spirituality of Messiaen's vision. Heartthrob baritone Rod Gilfry played Francis as a charismatic visionary beguiled by the glory of creation, yet fearful of both its imperfections and its transience. The Angel, who teases, consoles and ultimately guides him was sensually sung by Mozart diva Heidi Grant-Murphy. A stupendous evening, and one of the great operatic achievements of recent years.’ The Guardian

Bonus material:

Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.

Interviews: The Children

The Message

A Chamber Piece…Really

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: TBC
SOUND: 5.0 DTS SURROUND / PCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL

“This Netherlands Opera production from Pierre Audi… is a triumph of wonderfully inventive, yet sympathetic direction. The imagery follows Messiaen's knack for sophisticated simplicity. His ingenious idea of having children as an audience for the Saint's ornithology lesson in The Sermon to the Birds is charming, while his imaginative treatment of the Angel is also a delight. ...Rod Gilfrey radiates empathy in his portrayal of the exceptionally demanding title role. Ingo Metzmacher's conducting is simply stunning, with marvellous pacing to keep the music flowing across the vast timescale, yet ensuring space and stillness when needed.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2009 *****

“Set in the smaller but still adequate confines of Amsterdam's Musiektheater, Audi's production thoroughly vindicates what may have been a practical decision to accommodate the vast orchestra at the back of the stage, with most of the action on an apron projecting into the stalls... Ingo Metzmacher is typically faithful to Messiaen's markings... and inspires his cohorts to greater feats of stamina and virtuosity than any conductor before him in the opera. Rodney Gilfry holds the stage as the Saint... Camilla Tilling's... sustains her lines with no obvious strain, swathed in the same robes as the Brothers, who all rise to the challenge of filling out their rather starkly defined characters. The chorus... is well drilled and deployed with great intelligence.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2009

“With Rod Gilfry in the title role, this performance by the Netherlands Opera is grandiose in scale, both in terms of the music itself and of the visual imagery deployed by director Pierre Audi. The incorporation of children in the Sermon to the Birds scene is a particularly delightful touch.” David Smith, Presto Classical, June 2014

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - Awards Issue 2009

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Opus Arte - OA1007D

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