Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simone Dinnerstein

This industrious Brooklynite bankrolled her own Carnegie Hall debut and her 2007 recording of the Goldberg Variations with microloans from friends and neighbors. The recording, by the way, blows the Glenn Gould 1955 out of the water. Those friends and neighbors were on to something; she now plays Europe by invitation and she landed a contract with Sony Records.

Since we don't live in Brooklyn, we only just now heard of her through her new album, Bach: A Strange Beauty. The album is a set of her favorite Bach concertos and suites for keyboard and orchestra interspersed with chorales. The chorales are especially wonderful... The conventional wisdom is that Old Bach would sit around nights with a cask of sherry and play around with common church tunes, turning them into boozy songs. Hopefully that's true--and if so, he'd wholeheartedly approve of her interpretations.

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