Simone Dinnerstein

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Simone Dinnerstein

Postby pianoman342 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:07 am

Yesterday morning I was checking out the website of NPRs Deceptive Cadence, which is basically their classical music blog and sometime in October they had a recording artist and classical pianist record some Bach, someone I have never heard of before, Simone Dinnerstein. They said she came to fame when she recorded the demanding Goldberg Variations in 2007, and that the album was self-financed. Needless to say, I was curious to know more about this pianist.

I tried but wasn't able to download the file on the npr website, it was her playing Bach's, "Partita 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825" so I went to Amazon and typed in her name. I found her album (released at the front of this year) titled, "Something Almost Being Said: Music of Bach and Schubert." I immediately was shocked to see the Partita on this recording. Shocked to see that the runtime was 3:02. This was a shock to me because in my PS collection I have a recording by Wui-Ming Gan that is 1:53 and technically and artistically sounds great, and so I wondered what I would be listening to, would it be at half time? What would that sound like? I purchased the Mp3 of the Partita from Amazon and yes, the piece is at half time, has a contemplative mood to it. If you are looking for an in time recording, look elsewhere!! It's quite rubatoey, as if we are swimming through the music instead of walking through it.

If I had heard this in the audition room, I would say, "i heard your piece, the recording quality is very good (what piano are you using? I'd like to imitate your setup :lol: ), you seem to have all of the notes right, but I think this piece by Bach just doesn't... it sounds too romantic for Bach. It would be fine for any number of pieces by Chopin or Brahms, but I don't think this type of playing suits a BWV. Sorry. :roll:

That's what I would say. I will say, it's interesting to hear a "new" interpretation of the music, but I think there are some better and worse ways to play certain types of music. Like I get mad when I hear Cubus dk on Youtube playing Bach. He plays a Bach march on his digital with his signature spacey-cathedrally echo... :evil: makes me sick! And though I can't speak for him, I do not think Bach would approve! :P

Any other thoughts? Has anybody else heard of Dinnerstein?
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Re: Simone Dinnerstein

Postby johnlewisgrant » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:53 pm

Yes, heard her play the Goldbergs in Toronto. Correct me if I'm wrong, but she's "risen" in the cut-throat world of solo pianists really because of her GoldbergV; not through the usual competition route? (A bit like Valentina you-know-who, but without the incredible one-woman marketing machine that V. has made for herself.) Still Dinnerstein is the real deal in my view. That's because Bach is so revealing of a pianist's limitations, the GV being no exception in any way. She does a great (original) job with these, where save a small number of pianists, everyone esle is ordinary. Romantic, yes. But still full of musical insights, that is, new ways of "hearing" the GV which are communicated with assurance. And likewise with the little remaining Bach she's recorded.

A propos of self-made pianists, I heard Valentina last night, in the same hall I heard Dinnerstein, but playing on a great Bos that (regrettably) was not perfectly tuned! V. deserves credit for giving classical piano a broader audience. Even if she did nothing else, that makes her work hugely important. The rep is completely different (not a Bach specialist), and she blows hot and cold. Sure a great technique, but only in the narrowest sense of that word. With the likes of the young Yuja Wang or younger Daniil Trifonov or much, much younger George Li to set the technical bar, she's already quite outclassed. And the latter three pianists have remarkable interpretive resources as well, which V. doesn't. Occasionally, as in her Schubert Songs via List she's a great pianist; she lets up on the pedal, for once, which is not always judiciously used by her, for example, in her Chopin where she ends up being pretty ordinary.

Can't knock her rep., however, which is HUGE. A veritable workhorse at the piano, but not someone I'd see again.


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Re: Simone Dinnerstein

Postby pianolady » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:22 pm

Interesting thoughts, guys. :)
In general, I like older performers. They seem more at ease and relaxed and aren't afraid of dipping into different repertoire, like Hamelin and Osorio. I'm debating whether or not to purchase tickets to see Louis Lorte. He's close to my age and will be playing all Liszt-Wagner transcriptions and stuff like that. Different music, but I'm not sure I can take a whole concert of it. Still pondering....
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Re: Simone Dinnerstein

Postby luissarro » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:35 am

I really would like to listen to her 1st partita. Pianists usually play the prelude in a fast, strict way, but those who study Baroque practice discover it can be played with lots of liberties and inflections, which sounds much more convincing and Baroque-like. I myself have completely changed my way of playing Bach. I finally discovered that the suffocating restrictness teachers always obliged me to play with, is simply wrong, with historical evidences pointing in quite a different direction. Baroque has lots of rubato, much more than that of Romanticism, but it doesn't mean it is the SAME kind of rubato. The rubato is quite different, so it still doesn't justify a romantic approach.

I looked for her 1st partita on YouTube, and didn't find it. :roll:
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