I once worked out a method to get the Neumann functions in terms of plane waves by physical reasoning. I think you know that if you take a uniform distribution of sine waves in all different directions in 2d space, in phase at the origin, you get the Bessel functions; the 0th order if they are in phase about the circle, the 1st order if they phase ranges over degrees around the circle, etc. Considering for a moment just the 0th order bessel function, you can map from this circular distribution into a 1-dimensional Fourier transform giving just the radial component of the wave. It's something like sqrt(x^2 - 1) with |x| < 1. (I don't remember what the actual distribution was but it had poles at +/-1.) Then if you take the analytical continuation, that is, the same function greater than 1, you get the Fourier transform of the Neumann function; that is, the radial component of it.
The question is: how do you show how the Neumann function is physically composed of sine waves? This is tricky, but here's how I did it. For electromagnetic waves, there are currents flowing in the boundary of two mediums. I divide space into two halves, on the right a vaccuum and on the left an ultra-slow dielectric (I call it the "dielectric glue") where light virtually crawls. I arrange for sine waves to arrive on the boundary from the left so they create currents on the boundary. Knowing the laws of refraction, I can calculate the currents and arrange by Fourier components so that there is a net resultant of just a single line of current on the boundary. I know that on the vacuum side, this must generate the Neumann function at a given frequency; in the zero-frequency limit this becomes the 1/r magnetic field of a wire with DC current.
The waves that make this field distribution in the vaccuum are the evanescent waves which result from total internal reflection of the ordinary waves inside the dielectric glue. By using the laws of refraction you get the right distribution of ordinary waves to give you the desired current distribution on the boundary. The resulting field in the vaccuum must be physically correct, and it is made up of the evanescent portion of the incident waves from the left hand side.