BIRTWISTLE, BARBICAN CENTRE
Zoë Martlew - July 25th 2014
"Mention must also be made of hot new soprano on the block Katrien Baerts, who nailed the Dallapiccola with an instrumentalist’s (she used to be a violinist) rhythmic and pitched precision, as she did Birtwistle’s wildly vocally demanding Cantata, Monody for Corpus Christi and Four Poems by Jaan Kaplinski in a couple of recent Birtwistle 80th birthday concerts with ever-fabulous BCMG/Knussen combo"
Musical Opinion - July 2014
"The thrilling resonance of the soprano Katrien Baerts accompanied by the BCMG under the charismatic direction of Oliver Knussen regaled a large audience at Milton Court on Sunday May 25 in a superb concert … the programme featured core works such as Tragoedia (1965) and Silbury Air (1977) alongside less familiar gems, all received with white-hot enthusiasm."
Review by Paul Driver, The Sunday Times - June 8th 2014
"the young Belgian soprano Katrien Baerts outstanding"
Andrew Clements, The Guardian **** - May 27th 2014
"The soloist was the soprano Katrien Baerts, beautifully controlled and secure, and equally at ease with the long Boulezian melismata of Monody and the more expansive word setting of the Four Kaplinski Poems."
Review by Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph ***** - May 26th 2014
"Even more impressive was Belgian soprano Katrien Baerts. Birtwistle’s vocal lines often sound like pole-vaulting for the voice, but Baerts performed hair-raising feats of vocal agility again and again without turning a hair, and made them sound richly musical."
Review by Mark Berry on Boulezian - May 26th 2014
"This incisive performance enabled us then to take a step back to the 1969 Sappho-derived Cantata, for which the excellent Katrien Baerts joined the players. Sometimes the voice sounded instrumental, sometimes the instruments vocal; sometimes the relationship was more of contrast, sometimes more of affinity."
"In the second half, Baerts, equally precise and alluring of tone, joined the ensemble twice more, in the early Monody for Corpus Christi and Four Poems by Jaan Kaplinski."
Review by Colin Anderson on Classical Source - May 26th 2014
"The three vocal works enjoyed the mesmeric contributions of Katrien Baerts, fearless in the many technical demands made by the composer while also making characterful music. Monody for Corpus Christi (…) here stunningly sung. The revelation of the evening was Four Poems by Jaan Kaplinski, music that expressively shares with Birtwistle’s great opera, Gawain, lyrical and vivid and developing a seamless narrative that filled seven minutes to compelling effect. In all that she did, Katrien Baerts left a huge and entirely positive impression."
BIRTWISTLE, CBSO CENTRE
Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post ***** - May 13th 2014
"Katrien Baerts was the extraordinary soprano in Birtwistle’s Cantata, her declamation of these somewhat recondite ancient Greek texts brilliantly graded and articulated. And she was equally adept in the searching vocal gymnastics of the Four Poems by Jaan Kaplinski, the music reminding us at times of Birtwistle’s early masterpiece, the opera Punch and Judy."