eMusic Review 0
With dozens of the greatest pianists in recorded history having recorded this piece, including the remarkable (and remarkably different) versions that bookended the career of Glenn Gould, it's natural to ask: do we really need another pianist doing Bach's “Goldberg” Variations? Surprisingly enough, the answer appears to be a resounding yes. Even more shocking, the evidence comes not from one of the overhyped young virtuosos currently smashing keyboards from China to Chattanooga, but from a previously unsung 35-year-old Brooklyn piano teacher.
Simone Dinnerstein was not completely unknown — a few critics in Philadelphia and New York were aware of her singular talents. She had, for example, attracted praise for playing a beautiful, nocturnal piece by George Crumb based on Thelonious Monk's “Round Midnight.” And with her "Goldberg" Variations, she approaches Bach in much the same way — as if this were a completely contemporary work, as opposed to a hoary museum piece. Her Goldbergs live in the same kind of half-lit, late-night world as Crumb's music. Which is entirely appropriate, given the legend of the piece: Bach is said to have composed it for a virtuosic Russian count who had insomnia, so he'd have something to… read more »