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Lucette in de Pers

Leeuwarder Courant

Leeuwarder Courant

NIW #49 (New Jewish Weekly)

Lucette van den Berg/ Benkshaft/ Dot Time Records, 2012 (Jiddisj)

Nederland heeft een groepje Jiddisje zangeressen in huis om trots op te zijn. Om beurten brengen ze totaal nieuw, vaak eigen materiaal uit. Na Shura Lipovsky is nu de eer weer te beurt aan Lucette van den Berg en haar cd Benkshaft (=verlangen).
Was haar vorige cd Friling geheel gewijd aan de liedjes van haar bejaarde vriendin Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, de nieuwe cd staat geheel in het teken van haar vriendschap met de dichter-schrijver-componist Mikhoel Felsenbaum.
Voor dit muzikale poëziealbum heeft hij haar een tiental liedjes toegeschoven, waarvan er enkele zelfs speciaal uit genegenheid voor haar geschreven zijn. Daarnaast heeft Lucette zes gedichten van andere Jiddisje dichters van vroeger en nu op muziek gezet, waaronder de titelsong ‘Benkshaft’, een bewerking van een gedicht van J.L. Peretz.
De composities van Felsenbaum zijn duidelijk geënt op Roemeense klanken als doina’s, hora’s en sirba’s, maar ook een walsje of een tangootje zingt heerlijk weg.
Door de onderwerpen van de gedichten – kersenbomen, acacia’s, chrysanten – kun je deze cd met recht een geslaagde bloemlezing noemen. Het zou me niet verbazen als een aantal liedjes hieruit binnenkort ook op het repertoire van haar collega’s zal prijken.
De composities en alle welluidende arrangementen van Lucette brengen haar bijzondere Jiddisje liedjes zeer dicht bij de klank van folk en chanson (JW)

Lucette van den Berg / Benkshaft / Dot Time Records, 2012 (Yiddish)

The Netherlands has a group of Yiddish singers to be proud of. Alternately they record totally new, own material. After Shura Lipovsky it is Lucette van den Berg’s turn again with her new CD Benkshaft (= desire).
Her previous CD Friling was dedicated to the songs of her elderly friend Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, this new album is entirely dedicated to her friendship with the poet-writer-composer Mikhoel Felsenbaum.
For this musical poetry album, he has given her a dozen new songs, some of which have even been written out of affection for her. In addition, Lucette composed six poems by other Yiddish poets of the past and present put into songs, including the title song 'Benkshaft', an adaptation of a poem by JL Peretz.
The compositions of Felsenbaum are clearly based on Romanian sounds like doina's, hora and Sirba, but also a waltz or tango is deliciously sung.
With the subjects of the poems - cherrytree, acacia, chrysanthemums - you can call this CD a successful anthology. 
It would not surprise me if some songs here soon will shine on the repertoire of her colleagues.
The compositions and all it’s meodious arrangements brings Lucette’s beautiful Yiddish songs close to the sound of folk and chanson (JW)

All About Jazz

Lucette van den Berg

It might seem like the Latin American standards of Maria Mendes and Lucette van den Berg's Yiddish music are worlds apart, but in fact they're more like kindred spirits. What they share is a deep sense of feeling and the ability to tell a story through music. A story that can be told through tears, but also be carried by strength and will.

Benkshaft is the third album from Lucette van den Berg. Here, her congenial understanding of Yiddish balladry is allowed to shine. The accompaniment is sparse, but effective, and the combination of guitar, upright bass, subtle percussion and classic Klezmer- instruments like violin and accordion provide the perfect foil for Van den Berg's musical tales.

The opener, "A Kleyn Wiglid Far A Groyse Libe," is an achievement in itself. With its eight minutes, it's a ballad of epic proportions that starts with a gently picked guitar before Van den Berg's voice enters. The song slowly builds in tension as bass and a weeping violin is added and in the end, percussionist Ines Klink joins as Van den Berg's swirls in a wordless cry.

The violin is a prominent instrument on the album and Madelien Verheij really makes it sing like a human voice. So much so, that it's almost like a duet where Verheij makes the strings burn with emotion. But it's not all deep balladry, there's also room for a joyful dance on "Wolekh" where Sanne Möricke's accordion takes the spotlight in a song filled with restless energy. Like all the music on the album, it's intense and soulful and proves that folk music isn't a thing of the past, but a timeless expression of the human heart.

Weekkrant de Peperbus

Interview about my new album 'Benkshaft'

Interview for SBS yiddish radio, Australia

Radio interview in yiddish, about my music and my collaboration with Mikhoel Felsenbaum

Wochenpost Online

Ahauzer Zeitung

NIW (New Jewish Weekly)


Jüdische Allgemeine


Leeuwarder Courant

Ahauser Zeitung

De Stentor


De Stentor

De Stentor

    Program 'Friling'
    Synagoge Zwolle 

    The image of Yiddish songs in the mind of most music lovers is that of traditionals out of the past. This tradition exists indeed, and it is a very strong tradition. Most people don't know that this tradition is being continued today by those who write songs and thereby extend the repertoire.One of these people is the venerable Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, Lucettes friend, mentor and teacher. Sunday evening's programme was entirely dedicated to a set of seventeen new songs written by this colourful lady. None of these had ever been performed in public or recorded before.
    In keeping with tradition, the songs had been passed on by singing. This means that Lucette heard them sung by Beyle, sung them after her, then wrote them down and finally made sure of a fitting orchestration.Most of the songs show a decidedly wistful character: 'A sheyner tog in grin und blo'and my favourite 'Kranker foygl.'
    In this sense it is a very demanding genre since the texts and music are so fragile, tender and intimate. Songs like a budding flower, like the colourful wings of a butterfly. They demand lots of empathy and one can only carry this off by living this small, fragile world with all of one's soul.
    Lucette feels that her roots are in the fascinating world of sounds that is Yiddish music and she has, without doubt, the ability to carry away and enchant those who listen. Right from the first song, 'Friling', she put her audience under her musical spell. It's easy to imagine her singing the subtle lullaby of 'A klezmers viglid' to her little son at home. Moreover, her classical training has not been wasted on her and is used to best effect. Her technique, tuning and timing were impeccable. The main strength of her performance, however, was her heartfelt musical interpretation, the intense interaction with the audience and, in some cases, the frank, heart-warming (and sometimes heart-rending, for example in 'A falsher krants' and 'Di simfonye fun gas') aspects. In my opinion the orchestrations in minor scales, including a country song, a real tango (Di royte roys') and a merry tune ('A nay gezets in Nyu-york') were done with good taste and the right sense of tradition and style. The co-operation of the excellent guitarist Reinout Vrijhoef and the singer was above all praise, which is essential, an absolute condition in this kind of repertoire. I eagerly await the cd including these beautiful songs which is to be published. Possibly the sound can be extended using typical klezmer instruments like violin, clarinet and accordion. 

De Stentor

Review theatreconcert 'Zing shtil/ yiddish songs'
Papenstraattheater, Zwolle 

'Voice and violin made an alliance wich gives you chicken-skin all over'

'Just by humming, Lucette brings the audience in ecstasy.'

'It must be wonderfull dreaming, when Lucette sings 'Shteyt in feld a beymele' at your bedside'

NIW (New Jewish Weekly)

NIW (Jewish weekly)

CD Review 'Zing shtil/ yiddish songs'

'The repertoire is of a very good level, especially when one considers that this is a debut...'

'The singer gives these songs a rendition full of respect for the texts, dreamy and skilful.'

'These five men ( musicians ) together draw up a background of marvelous eastern European sounds.This makes every song, not into an art song, but a precious jewel to listen to at one's leisure.'

'Therefore, this debut easily gets the better of many American products.

'The Netherlands now have another fine Yiddish singer at their disposal, one whom, we hope, will let us hear much more.'


De Stentor

CD Review 'Zing shtil/ yiddish songs'

It's no ordinary performance when a singer is able to surprise us with a collection of Yiddish songs. Soprano singer Lucette van den Berg proves that by using good taste, having a splendid voice and picking a choice orchestra a cd can be made that does, in fact, add something substantial to what is already there. It's a good thing that her repertoire deviates from the usual, and that she chose songs carrying a consistent atmosphere, songs that fit her voice perfectly. The subdued accompaniments are a testimony of her feeling and class. When you hear 'Du shaynst vi di zun' or the intense ' Mayn rue-plats' you will be convinced as well. It's a dream debut!


Yiddish Forward

Letter of Mrs. Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman

Zwolse Courant

De Stentor

Program 'classical Late-Romantic songs
Zwolle, SMZ

'Only a few privileged people are able to express the love lyricism of the Romantic masters in view of its heavy and incisively serious overtones. Lucette van den Berg can do this like no other singer'

'She really believes in what she sings'.

'Moreover she has the kind of voice that's most suited to Works by Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. She has a great instinct for avoiding the technical snags in this repertoire..'

'The way Lucette presented it, it did not become hilarious, a risk that often crops up, but instead it all became fascinating and new'

Zwolse Courant

De Geldelander

De Stentor

'Zing shtil', A recital of Yiddish songs

Odeon: Manegezaal, Zwolle 
'Far from diminishing any of her 'classical' performances I found what I heard last Thursday more astounding, fuller of life and emotion, and straighter from the heart than anything I had hear her sing before.'

'Every song became a personal statement, fragile, full of feeling, breathtaking.'

'...she picked five musician friends to accompany her that were exquisitely able to shape the now extravagant and festive, then again heart-rendingly tragic atmosphere of the music.'

De Stentor

Program with songs of Chopin, Viardot and Schuman
'She delivered a fine rendering of the deeply romantic Schumann pieces that are so full of 'Sehnsucht'. The cycle became a heart-rending story of melancholy and longing, with some examples of excellence to satisfy the connoisseur. A marvelous performance!'

'She performed the charming, but nearly unpronounceable Chopin pieces in grand style, like she has done nothing else for years.'

'The title of the encore, 'La soeur du rossignol' was, in my view, a fitting summary of Lucette's performance at this concert: The nightingale's sister...'

Upcoming concerts

  • November 22, 2018
    Explore the North festival, Leeuwarden, Frl
  • November 24, 2018
    Explore the North, Leeuwarden, Frl
  • January 20, 2019
    Synagoge Meerssen, Meerssen, Limburg

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