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  • ORF
    Barnieck's playing demonstrates emotional warmth, but never drifts into the kitschy. The music: Natural, unobtrusively sophisticated. — Andreas Maurer
    The melodic ingenuity that pervades Friedrich Gernsheim's chamber music also infuses the piano sonatas, cheerful youthful works. And if its verbose writing is flattering on the fingers, it is never garrulous. One feels the influence of Beethoven with its rhythmic structure combined with the effervescence and enthusiasm of Mendelssohn. The Third Sonata (1854) reaches its climax with the Adagio, beginning with a chorale - after which melodic formulas expand that would not come as a surprise in Brahms either. The 6 Preludes Op. 2, dedicated to Théodore Gouvy's wife, show echoes of Chopin and Schumann: No. 1 (Un poco lento et sostenuto) winds in dreamy arpeggios like a distant echo of the final Etude, while No. 5 (Allegretto vivace et leggiero) would not offend the "Album for the Young". In the manner of a miniature park, in which the monuments of a country are shown in a small format, allowing one to walk through the whole thing in just a few steps, Gernsheim's piano works paint a pleasant panorama of the entire span of music in the first half of the 19th century. century. Nothing revolutionary, but the composer's inspiration is always felt. Jens Barnieck underlines the charm of the pieces that have finally risen with his colorful and balanced playing. — Jerome Bastianelli
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
    ... high mental and emotional presence of his energetic recording. — Doris Kösterke
  • Fanfare Magazine
    Gernsheim has found a committed and competent advocate in Jens Barnieck. This project is obviously an affair of the heart, because it not only includes the processing of a completely neglected repertoire, but also the decoding and edition of the three unpublished sonatas and the Gewind March. The manuscripts of the sonatas presented a variety of difficulties, as there were a multitude of revisions, deletions and contradictory indications that required a decision. The performances are consistently convincing and bring out the merits of the works very well. Barnieck has a bewitching tone and a no-nonsense style, playing everything with sensitivity and empathy. While I could perhaps envision a little more subtlety in the dynamic nuances and a large use of rubato for expressive effect, it is not often that a neglected composer is blessed with such a convincing advocate. The recorded sound is absolutely natural and well-proportioned; William Melton's booklet notes are informative and well-written. Once again, Toccata Classics have landed a coup by reviving unknown but valuable repertoire; I look forward to the completion of this series and the compositional and interpretive riches it will bring. — James A Altena
  • WTJU University of Virginia Radio Station -piano-series-begins-beginning/ Toccata Classics launches a timely overview of Gernsheim's piano music. The pianist Jens Barnieck plays two of Gernsheim's early sonatas and his op. 2, a collection of preludes. Gernsheim began composing at the age of seven. The two sonatas, which Barnieck carefully reconstructed from the manuscript, were written when Gernsheim was about fourteen. The sonatas were written as compositional tasks, but there is nothing academic - or childish - about them. The sonatas show a composer who was heavily influenced by Beethoven but did not imitate him. Gernsheim's harmonies seem to look to Schumann and thus give the works their own voice.   The Six Preludes were written much later, when Gernsheim was 25. At that time he was teaching at the Saarbrücken Conservatory under Ferdinand Hiller. On the surface, Gernsheim's Preludes are reminiscent of Chopin, but if you listen closely, the differences soon become apparent. Like Chopin, pianistic writing is his forte. Cascades of arpeggios, syncopated cross-rhythms and grand chords that seem to make the knuckles jump are found in all six preludes. And there are quiet, simple passages of great beauty. Jens Barnieck plays with solid technique and real authority. He knows these works and understands Gernsheim in a way that few modern pianists do. It is through this understanding that the works come to life. And make me curious about the rest of the recordings.
  • Music Web International
    All three recordings are made with great understanding and explored by Jens Barnieck. He undoubtedly invested a lot of himself and his time in producing this very worthwhile result. He captures what feels like the right news for works that haven't seen the light of day in over a century. — Rob Barnett
  • Wiesbaden courier
    ... she [the soprano Elena Lyamkina] is accompanied by the pianist Jens Barnieck in a dance-like, springy manner. He also guides you through the program in a charming and knowledgeable way and plays a variety of works for four hands with Patrick Leidinger on the organ, sometimes on the grand piano ... Sometimes they play as if they were made of one piece, festively solemn and uplifting. Sometimes they offer a precise interplay, in which Barnieck takes over the fast, bright runs and Leidinger the powerful rhythm.
  • Art Voice Buffalo
    ... a tasteful and subtle game. Barnieck's understanding of balance and dynamic control was outstanding.
  • Buffalo News
    ...cultured and subtle...One of the final variations in soft staccato counterpoint was a special treat. (On the American premiere of South African composer Dirk de Klerk's Variations on an English Lullaby) ...Alexina Louie's Music for Piano... like 'Children's Scenes' or 'Songs without Words' in the language of Scriabin and Messiaen. Beauty spread almost majestically in the last movement, played elegantly by Jens Barnieck.
  • Baden latest news
    ... a piano recital with works by Franz Liszt... an extremely demanding and rich program. A great memory and power of concentration ... Berlioz once spoke of endless masses of tones, which are created under Liszt's hand. Barnieck let them unfold with a fascinating technique ... Feux Follets, Will-o'-the-wisp, ... the pianist presented in a manner that was just as bravura as the song arrangements. Barnieck presented the funeral gondola in a musically convincing manner ... Jens Barnieck showed technical brilliance and an unusually virtuoso talent.
  • Wiesbadener Kurier
    Doris Kösterke sprach mit Jens Barnieck über die aktuelle Veranstaltung in der Wiesbadener Walkmühle. Der Artikel erschien am 4. November 2022 im Wiesbadener Kurier.
  • The Graduate Quill
    Jens Barnieck's intelligent playing helped clarify the structures of these songs in both ways: 'locally' in each individual song and 'globally' spanned throughout the cycle. I was particularly touched by the way the tempo was slowed down in 'Annunciation to the Shepherds' to add dramatic tension, and the way the long drawn crescendo was sustained without losing steam in 'Mariä Annunciation' (Das Marienleben by Paul Hindemith with Sarah Leonard)
  • The Rhine Palatinate
    Jens Barnieck also showed great empathy on the piano, who accompanied absolutely congenially. Between discreet ecstasy, exquisite sound culture and sensitive, ritual inwardness, he demonstrated all shades of concert brilliance.” (Recital with Kurt Ollmann, SWR Studio Kaiserslautern)
  • Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung
    The evening organized by the German-American Institute made it clear that this is not about pianistic self-portrayal, but entirely about disclosing traditions and their developments, about establishing a relationship between works and their content. ... The pianist applied finely dosed sound values, musing and dreaming (Louis Gruenberg "Jazz Masks")... It was small stories that Jens Barnieck let ring out (Gershwin "Préludes") ... Great charm lies in the puzzling harmonies, which the pianist provided with great brilliance and clarity. He gained strong insistence from the motoric rhythms and ostinato figures. The pointillistic and lightly dabbed notes were made to sound like speckled stars in a very special way and with the most beautiful tonal concentration. It went deep into the magical realm of sounds, exquisitely introspective. (Aaron Copland "Sonata"). In Samuel Barber's "Nocturne" the proximity of a Rachmaninoff was palpable, beautifully rich in rubato and played elegantly. ... Running your fingers along the strings, faster or slower, creates ghostly sounds with changing pitches. This and the harp-like plucked tones made the water spirit sing mysterious myths. (Henry Cowell "The Banshee")
  • Passau New Press
    It was one of the most fun cultural events this summer. As part of the series of lectures that the university is contributing to the European Festival, Jens Barnieck presented ‹PianAmerica – the sound of the New World›... The technically enormously difficult pieces that Barnieck interpreted delighted the listeners. It became clear: America also has a lot to offer musically.
  • Mainzer Allgemeine Zeitung
    ... The good rhythmic understanding between soloist and conductor was particularly inspiring in the delicate endings of the first and second movements with the finest accuracy. Barnieck revealed a stupendous pianistic spectrum between filigree, shimmering virtuosity and powerful, virile thunder paw. (2nd Piano Concerto by Edward MacDowell with the Philharmonic State Orchestra Halle)
  • Wiesbaden courier
    Jens Barnieck, who mainly dedicates himself to contemporary music and is a particular expert on American music, stood up for the often underestimated Aaron Copland after the break - in an impressive way, committed more to pianistic understatement than virtuoso navel-gazing. Copland's intricate 1941 Piano Sonata turned out to be a rousing work inspired by complex jazz rhythms. The thought of the vastness of the American landscape made it easier for him to access this sonata, said Barnieck, taking his listeners with him on this fascinating long-distance journey. (Concert Kulturforum)
  • The Rhine Palatinate
    ... the highly concentrated and creatively conscious pianist unfolded the entire wealth of melodic and rhythmic finesse, for example chiseled out thematic contours and motivic connections with relentless sharpness, found plausible tempi relations, vividly characterized the individual sections and stayed at the same time playful - with its perfection in detail - above all criticism. The playing and accompanying figures corresponded with each other with captivating clarity, developing rhythmically in an organic way and inspired by the pianist's will to express himself, who so meritoriously opened up a work that was difficult to access with his analytical flair and his committed, seemingly unleashed playing style. (Charles Ives, 1st Piano Sonata)
  • local newspaper
    ... Such top vocal performances can only be achieved, however, if a pianist is available who knows every detail as well as her accompanist Jens Barnieck: He is a magician on the grand piano who paints timbres and masterfully joins the ranks of the world-wide well-known big duo partners... these extraordinary artists who should definitely be hired again! (song recital with Julia Oesch)
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