Bach: Goldberg Variations

Bach: Goldberg Variations

5.0 1
by Simone Dinnerstein
     
 

2007 has been a banner year for Goldbergs; no less than five recorded versions of the piece had appeared by the end of July, including a digitally reinterpreted incarnation of Glenn Gould's famous 1955 recording and Wilhelm Middelschulte's bizarre, psychedelic 1924 transcription of the work for organ.…  See more details below

Overview

2007 has been a banner year for Goldbergs; no less than five recorded versions of the piece had appeared by the end of July, including a digitally reinterpreted incarnation of Glenn Gould's famous 1955 recording and Wilhelm Middelschulte's bizarre, psychedelic 1924 transcription of the work for organ. In the face of such circumstances, no one would blame music critics for throwing up their hands and saying something like "enough already!" Nevertheless, thankfully the "Goldberg Variations" is not that kind of a piece, its appeal is both immutable and universal. Ultimately it comes down to the personality of the keyboard player to make something out of the "Goldberg Variations" that stands apart from the pack, and young pianist Simone Dinnerstein has managed to do that with her glorious rendering of Bach's cycle for Telarc. Her rendering of the Aria is slower than the norm and her approach to tempo throughout is very elastic; there is nothing rigid about her interpretation of the work. Dinnerstein's reading involves a great deal of give and take, seeking to deepen the expressive potential of Bach's music without losing sight of its basic shape. Dinnerstein's Goldbergs might be a tad bit Dionysiac for those who like them at a more Apollonian pace, but if one is willing to let go and luxuriate in her romantically inclined performance, played on a 1903 Steinway model "D" concert grand with a rich, generous tone, then this will prove highly satisfactory. Telarc hasn't made very many solo piano recordings to date, and this one has excellent sound -- perhaps this is the beginning of a new trend? If so, it's certainly a welcome one.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Anne Midgette
It is a distinctive approach to the work: colorful and idiosyncratic, a contemporary pianist's rather than a harpsichordist's account. It starts with a long, thoughtful, hesitant Aria that seems to be struggling to lift itself uncertainly out of silence.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
Overall, this recording creates a world that you just don't want to leave.
Baltimore Sun - Tim Smith
[Dinnerstein] takes the aria at an unusually broad tempo and in an unusually dreamy mood, creating a poetic glow that permeates the entire performance, even through the virtuosic passages.
Audiophile Audition - Gary Lemco
Within this leisurely aesthetic, Dinnerstein projects a lovely tone and a gracious sensibility for Bach’s architecture and harmonic intricacies. The entire aura of the realization is upbeat and optimistic.
O Magazine - Lisa Kogan
If you only have 1 hour, 18 minutes: Listen to pianist Simone Dinnerstein’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Telarc), a timeless, meditative, utterly audacious solo debut.
Audiophile Voice - Alfred Fredel
Within its profound sense of structure and organization, Dinnerstein has managed to explore different moods, tonal color, and her own emotions through this piece.... She is expressive yet controlled in her playing.
The New Yorker - Russell Platt
An elegant and assured recording.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2007
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408069222
catalogNumber:
80692
Rank:
9221

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)  - Johann Sebastian Bach  - Anilda Carrasquillo  -  Robert Woods  - Simone Dinnerstein

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Album Credits

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Bach: Goldberg Variations 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ClasseekGeek More than 1 year ago
The photo spread of New York City and the bustling cityscapes says it all about Dinnerstein's tone and intent for this recording. The 30-something mom exemplifies the grit and strength from within that great classical music exemplifies: that, in essence, the human spirit is celebrated and the fruit of one's labor is an inner peace. This recording reflects that inner peace, one that speaks for the "masses", not just highly paid critics. In listening to this recording, this listener has found a gifted pianist who is unafraid of showing her true intuitive gift for music. Unlike "professional" Bach scholars like Gould, Landowska and Tureck, Dinnerstein does not have to intellectualize on the structural dynamics of the Variations. Instead, she allows each variation to sing out for itself. Dinnerstein's recording has a very songlike quality to it. It is as if she is intending to sing out each variation herself with vocalizations. This is unique to the overall scope of this work; overall optimistic, hopeful and exuberant. This is a welcome tonic indeed for this distressing and rather depressing economic times. It should also be of note that Dinnerstein succeeds on her talents alone, not just by being another pretty face. By the way, the wise investor should allow him/herself to include at least three recordings of the Goldbergs including this one: the GV's happen to be among my very favorite works in all of classical music. I do recommend sampling Egarr, Labadie and Feltsman for your consideration.