‘Something Almost Being Said’. Music of Bach and Schubert. Simone Dinnerstein, piano

by Audiophilia on February 23, 2012 · 7 comments

in Classical Recordings

by Anthony Kershaw

Simone Dinnerstein is another musical talent from the piano stable of The Juilliard School. To some, ‘musical’ and ‘stable’ may be at opposite ends of the artistic spectrum — the institution has a tendency to promote fist slammers and hard pounders. As such, for Dinnerstein’s label Sony Classics, maybe another Rach 2 was on the cards? Lucky for us, clearer, musical heads prevailed. Something different from this young lady. Dinnerstein is a singular talent. She is incredibly musical, possesses a golden touch, and will challenge and delight you.

Dinnerstein’s previous Sony albums have all featured Bach. ‘Something Almost Being Said’ (I thought it was a pop album when it arrived at the office) stars her favoured composer but she also treats us with Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Op. 90 D. 899.

Peter Serkin trained (another pianist with a lovely touch), Dinnerstein’s playing is a constant pleasure in both the Bach and Schubert. Her Bach Partita’s are forthright (think Angela Hewitt at her very Bach best) and highlight an exquisite touch. This beautiful, tactile technique is always in service to the phrase and the bigger musical picture. Melodies are phrased squarely (correctly), and then are spun in development into webs of glorious sound. And her cadences? Superb!

These qualities are also much in evidence in her Schubert Impromptus. At times, she sounds like the late, great John Bingham, whose Meridian Schubert LPs are my benchmark for this composer’s piano music. Her sound in concert with wonderful technique (listen to the filigree sound in the Ab Impromptu) portends great things to come in other repertoire. I’d like to hear Dinnerstein in some early Beethoven and Schumann, more Bach, and a lot more Schubert.

Dinnerstein takes great care to mention the piano technicians who prepared the superb piano. This care is also evident in the brilliant recording. Pianos are very difficult to record, especially with the decay of the sound and its direction. Adam Abehouse’s recording in New York’s American Academy of Arts and Letters is a knockout. I love piano recordings where the touch and sound can be felt as well as heard, especially in quiet, reflective music.

This CD will be in the running for Audiophilia Recording of the Year. Yes, it’s that good. Highly recommended.

Simone Dinnerstein, piano
J. S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826; Schubert’s Four Impromptus, Op. 90; J. S. Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825
Sony Classical
Playing time: 75:49

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick 02.23.12 at 7:25 pm

I’ve ordered a copy based on your review…looking forward to it. I’m hoping it’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

admin 02.23.12 at 7:31 pm

OMG, Rick, the pressure! ;)

Please drop us a line with your thoughts after you’ve had a listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The Bach is sublime, the Schubert even better!

I have an email into Simone. Hopefully, she’ll drop us a line.

Cheers, a

Rick 02.23.12 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for the chuckle, will do :-)

Sarah Salter 02.28.12 at 2:08 pm

I have a copy - and concur in the reviewer’s praise of Dinnerstein - altho I also enjoy Hewitt’s Bach. Also, the recording quality the reviewer notes is most pleasing.

admin 02.28.12 at 2:15 pm

Hi Sarah:


Have you heard Angela’s early DG recording? Her prize for winning the Bach Comp. A superb recording.

Cheers, a

Rick 03.05.12 at 11:35 am

Got my copy from Amazon at the end of last week and listened to it over the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances. Maybe I enjoyed the Schubert piece the most…hard to say, they were all excellent. I look forward to listening again. So you can relax now, the pressure is off! Thanks again for the recommendation.

admin 03.05.12 at 11:41 am


I, too, thought the Bach wonderful, but her Schubert is stunning!

Thanks for the update. Cheers, a

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