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Classical - Released January 14, 2011 | Sony Classical

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Following the success of her recordings of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and The Berlin Concert for Telarc, Simone Dinnerstein switched to Sony for her 2011 album, Bach: A Strange Beauty, which presents a mix of Bach's keyboard works performed on piano, including transcriptions by Ferruccio Busoni, Wilhelm Kempff, and Myra Hess. Lest there be any confusion, Dinnerstein's performances are not aimed at the Baroque purist who would prefer in the first place to hear this music played on harpsichord in period style and would reject the modern arrangements out of hand. Rather, she appeals to a mainstream audience that accepts modernizing Bach and enjoys hearing the full sonorities of a piano. Once past this stylistic hurdle, Dinnerstein offers three chorales that reflect the taste of a bygone age, when the Lisztian idea to dress Bach's counterpoint in pianistic textures dominated. Busoni's thickened version of Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ; Kempff's robust take on Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein; and Hess' substantial bolstering of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring provide opportunities to make the piano reverberate with rich sonorities, but take away the essentially modest and sacred character of Bach's originals. In the Concerto No. 1 in D minor and the Concerto No. 5 in F minor, Dinnerstein is joined by the Kammerorchester Staatskapelle Berlin, and the performances are acceptably polished and accurate, if somewhat lacking in intimacy and individuality. Dinnerstein is at her best without modern adaptations or an orchestra, but by herself. As she demonstrates in the English Suite No. 3 in G minor, it is enough to play the notes as written, letting her expression and technique take care of themselves and trusting Bach's music to convince and move the listener. Here, her personality and skills are shown to their best advantage. Sony's audio reproduction is first-rate, but there is a somewhat boosted bass in the concertos. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 6, 2019 | still point

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Classical - Released January 17, 2014 | Sony Classical

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Brooklyn-born pianist Simone Dinnerstein made her mark with Bach, diverging from time to time into modern crossover experiments. This recording of Bach's well-worn Inventions and Sinfonias, BWV 772-801, follows in the path blazed by her earlier Bach releases and even extends it a bit, for the Inventions and Sinfonias are easier to treat as individual character pieces than, say, the Goldberg Variations. And that's just what Dinnerstein does here. Each piece has a specific atmosphere teased out of its simple counterpoint, and it's a bit hard to imagine Bach's reaction to a few of these. But really Dinnerstein is no Glenn Gould, and her interpretations are personal rather than radical. Mostly they're on the quiet side, and even if you couldn't play them like this on the harpsichord the dynamic range and the variety of tempi are not unduly wide. The trouble with such a subjective reading of Bach is that its reception depends pretty heavily on the individual, but unless you're a confirmed follower of the historical approach you should try this set of Inventions and Sinfonias that turns them into Albumblätter. A point in the album's favor is warm, clear sound from perhaps the premier American recital hall, the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 27, 2012 | Sony Classical

Booklet
"The trees are coming into leaf/Like something almost being said." Taking a cue from these lines of Philip Larkin, pianist Simone Dinnerstein casts her album of the music of J.S. Bach and Franz Schubert in poetic terms. Her understanding of the composers is summed up in her own words: "The music of Bach and Schubert share a distinctive quality, as if wordless voices were singing textless melodies." Of course, Bach and Schubert were masters of setting texts to profoundly expressive music, so it is fruitful to look for the lyrical impulse in their keyboard works and appropriate to find songful interpretations. Yet Dinnerstein doesn't merely serve up rhapsodic renditions or treat the music as some kind of tuneful vehicle for idiosyncratic or personal reveries. Her playing is quite in character for both composers, and her treatment of the material is far from self-indulgent. Indeed, counterpoint and harmony are carefully balanced against the upper lines, and Dinnerstein is completely in control of the inner parts in Bach's partitas and the rhythmic subtleties of Schubert impromptus. Dinnerstein's playing is well-rounded and skillful, and the care she lavishes on the smallest details of execution may well remind listeners of Glenn Gould (without his attendant eccentricities) or Angela Hewitt. To find the poetry in this 2012 album from Sony, listeners may make their own connections, but Dinnerstein certainly opens up the music for aesthetic appreciation and deep reflection. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 21, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released March 6, 2019 | still point

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Classical - Released April 21, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released February 6, 2015 | Sony Classical

American pianist Simone Dinnerstein has attained extraordinary popularity with programs that put familiar repertory into new contexts, and also with novel kinds of concertizing (almost alone among classical musicians she has performed in prisons, for example). For those wondering what rabbit Dinnerstein will pull out of the hat next, Broadway-Lafayette (the title is both the name of a subway station in New York and an evocation of the album's Franco-American theme) may come as a bit of a disappointment. George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major, a work that brilliantly submitted itself to Gershwin's influence, have been recorded numerous times, often enough together, and the new work that links them, Philip Lasser's The Circle and the Child, doesn't make the case for its place on the program with them. The primary point seems to be that Lasser has one French and one American parent, but its musical progenitors are Bach and Debussy: an interesting mix, but one that doesn't bounce off Gershwin and Ravel very well. The better news is that the performances of the two major works, which frame the Lasser, are unusually good. Dinnerstein avoids fooling with the Rhapsody in Blue, delivering a straightforward performance of the common Grofé orchestration, not larding it down with sentiment or with jazz that isn't really there, and focusing on getting the notes clearly and cleanly played. In the Ravel, the jazz elements speak for themselves if given the chance, as Dinnerstein does here. The MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra under Kristjan Järvi does better with the Gershwin than almost any other European orchestra, and the result, if not a major release in the Dinnerstein canon, is a more-than-solid performance of two major 20th century piano concertos. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 6, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released March 31, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released March 3, 2017 | Sony Classical

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