Simone Dinnerstein – The Berlin Concert
September 8, 2008
I almost feel unqualified to review the new live album by the renowned Brooklyn based pianist Simone Dinnerstein, as while I certainly listen to a good deal of music, precious little of it is classical music. That said, I’ve always loved listening to piano and keyboard based music of just about any kind, so when I came across Dinnerstein’s Bach: Goldberg Variations last winter, I was very pleased indeed. That album made her an international phenomenon, and The Berlin Concert, recorded last November at the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie, is her follow-up. Her program for this beautifully recorded live album includes Johann Sebastian Bach’s French Suite No. 5 in G, Philip Lasser’s Twelve Variations on a Chorale by J. S. Bach and Ludwig Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no. 32, op. 111. She concludes the recording with one of the Goldberg Variations, Variation 13. Dinnerstein’s performance is terrific, subtle when it needs to be, then vibrant, energized and utterly involving. On first listen, I enjoyed the Bach and the Beethoven selections the most, but on repeat listens I’ve gained appreciation for the Lasser, which is a premiere recording. Dinnerstein will be making a series of concert appearances this fall and winter, which I’m sure will be very worthwhile. Hey, I’m going. I can’t wait.