CD MCGONAGALL-LIEDER - CHALLENGE RECORDS
Review by Hélène Cao, Diapason - September 26th 2014
"If the recording draws attention, it is in the first place through the interpretation, especially of Katrien Baerts, who fires radiant high notes and unfolds an impressive dramatic power, there where technical difficulties would topple more than one virtuoso."
Review by Frits van der Waa, Volkskrant **** - November 6th 2013
"Although McGonagalls poetry is of a laughable quality, Zuidam takes him very seriously and pursues him in his sentimentality and exaltedness - but then in a contemporary way. Thereby Zuidam was seriously helped by the Belgian soprano Katrien Baerts, who had barely outgrown her infancy twelve years ago, but who meanwhile has emerged to Zuidam-interpreter and muse par excellence."
Review by Gerard Scheltens, Luister ***** - September 2013
"The vocal part is now reduced to the voice of the Flemish soprano Katrien Baerts, who possesses a maximum of virtuosity and expressiveness."
Review by Floris Don, NRC Handelsblad **** - June 27th 2013
"Baerts begins her homage literally with an admiring sigh, followed by an ecstatic enthusiasm starting off like a steam train. Her voice seems to dive around the bridge into glides, rising to gruesome height and then even higher. …
Baerts performs the loaded closing hymn with heartfelt intensity."
Review by Andrew Clements, The Guardian **** - June 26th 2013
Review by Andy Gill, The Independent **** - June 21st 2013
Review by Maarten Brandt, OpusKlassiek - June 2013
"Zuidam has been particularly lucky to come across the Flemish soprano Katrien Baerts - who has already shown what she is capable of in his opera Rage d'Amours and who sang the title role in his music drama Suster Bertken (2010), which she will perform again this Holland Festival in a production staged by Pierre Audi. What she achieves here concerning vocal and textual acrobatics is almost out of this world, although the music of Zuidam itself is extremely earthy. Concerning no matter what dynamic or agogic contrast, she knows how to - to put it in the terms of the main metaphor of this work - effortlessly 'bridge' everything, all with optimal empathy and concentration."
Review by Erik Voermans, Het Parool **** - May 30th 2013
"Asko|Schönberg plays it all fantastically, but the star of this recording is still the Flemish soprano Katrien Baerts, who seems to be able to do genuinely anything. She even makes a long sustained high F sound as if it is the most natural thing in the world.
In 2005, a performance of the McGonagall-Lieder took place at 'De Nederlandse Opera' in a staging by Guy Cassiers, back then with three sopranos (Claron McFadden, Barbara Hannigan and Younghee Kim). But Baerts can do it on her own."
Review by Wil Zenhorst, Mania - April 26th 2013
"Zuidam places the texts in an impressive space of sound with an important role for the piano duo Post&Mulder. These make the bridge to the text which is sung in an insinuating and impressive way by the Belgian soprano Katrien Baerts."
MCGONAGALL-LIEDER, MUZIEKGEBOUW AAN 'T IJ
Review by Richard Stuivenberg, allesoverkunst.nl - May 12th 2012
"At the beginning of the forth movement soprano Katrien Baerts, who has been singing work by Rob Zuidam more often, emptied the glass with 90 ping pong balls and angrily crashed some of them. She delivered a marvelous performance: she insinuatingly and brightly sang the poetry of William McGonagall in a sparkling version by Zuidam."