Nearly every setting of the poems by Kerner, Chamisso, Andersen and Heine heard in this recital dates from 1840, the year Schumann found himself totally engrossed with the song genre, producing no fewer than 138 individual lieder. This creative vein seems to mirror the inner torments that gripped the young composer at the time, while revealing the extraordinary range of his musical invention and unequalled talent of storyteller, as Samuel Hasselhorn demonstrates here, after winning first prize at the 2018 Queen Elisabeth Competition: the young German baritone?s first recording for harmonia mundi is a veritable love letter to this most intimate of art forms.
Presto Classical September 2020
The voice is beautifully secure and even throughout its wide range, and the top in particular is rock-solid and incisive without any hint of harshness. Highlights include a pacey but bluster-free Die beiden Grenadiere, and superbly involving accounts of Die Löwenbraut and Belsatzar - he and Middleton certainly know how to tell a good story together.
The Observer 17th September 2020
[The Kerner-Lieder] suit Hasselhorn’s rich, dark sound very well and highlight his ability to evoke emotional extremes, without ever losing his poise or sense of style.