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Goldberg Variations BWV 988
Played by Simone Dinnerstein
Discussions

K-1

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Simone Dinnerstein (Piano) [1903 Hamburg Steinway model D concert grand]

Telarc

Mar 2005

CD / TT: 78:17

Recorded at the neoclassic auditorium of the Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY, USA.
Review: Dinnerstein's Goldbergs [S. Schwartz]
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

Yet another Goldberg Variations

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (May 3, 2008):
Awhile ago someone (maybe me) mentioned that Simone Dinnerstein had recoded the Goldberg Variations on the piano. I was browsing at EMusic last month and found the recording. This caught my eye - A previously
unsung 35 year old Brooklyn piano teacher tackles one of the most famous pieces ever written. Well, I am not from Brooklyn and no longer 35, but I can relate to the part of being an unsung piano teacher. I downloaded this album.

It is lovely. Simone Dinnerstein is no Glenn Gould or Angela Hewitt but certainly a major pianist. I recommend the recording.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (May 3, 2008):
[To Nessie Russell] If anyone's interested, I have a review here: http://www.mcelhearn.com/article.php?story=20071003191031487

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (May 3, 2008):
[To Kirk McElhearn] Excellent review Kirk. I agree that she is at her best in the slow movements. I rather liked the contrasts in tempi though.

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 3, 2008):
Nessie Russell wrote:
< Awhile ago someone (maybe me) mentioned that Simone Dinnerstein had recoded the Goldberg Variations on the piano. I was browsing at EMusic last month and found the recording. >
There are also several web sites from radio broadcasts where she was a guest on the show, and then played some of the variations "live" (and very slowly....).

Harry W. Crosby wrote (May 3, 2008):
Ah yes, the ongoing wonders of B-C.com membership/presence/participation!

Anne introduced Simone and Kirk; Kirk seconded the nomination of Simone -- in a thoughtful reaction kind of review -- I decided to try and got it post haste from Amazon, and Amazon introduced me to La Dinnersteins enchanting recording of the early Beethoven cello sonatas. Was there really life before the net?

My response to Kirk's original review is not a criticism, only an observation from a listener's viewpoint that he simply cannot share. I live literally daily with Bach's vocal music and most of his chamber works short of solo keyboard. For that genre, by any composer, I have relative aversion; basically don't own 'em, don't play 'em, don't buy tickets to go listen to 'em.

But, thanks to Kirk, I decided to give this recording a try, got it, and love it. His criticisms fall on deaf ears because I have no other visions of this grand work in my head. This is it. And I found it beautiful and intriguing (OK, OK, Julian and Ed, I know I'm a sucker for blue eyes and a classic face, but I tell you, there's more to it than that . . .).

No extended remarks about the Beethoven disk, since B-C.com is, after all, not his bailiwick. I'll just say it is a sonorous, heartfelt, beautifully recorded look at music I do somewhat know. If anyone wants to call this interpretation "mannered", it is a manner that works for me. So, thanks Aryeh, Anne, Kirk, and Simone, and I mean it!

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (May 4, 2008):
Keyboard Music [was: Yet another Goldberg Variations]

Harry W. Crosby wrote:
< I live literally daily with Bach's vocal music and most of his chamber works short of solo keyboard. For that genre, by any composer, I have relative aversion; basically don't own 'em, don't play 'em, don't buy tickets to go listen to 'em. >
I am so glad that you found some keyboard music you enjoy. I do hope you try some more.

I have to admit that I am biased as I make my living playing the piano and organ.

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 4, 2008):
[To Harry W. Crosby] Yo Harry, I wonder how you would like Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording of it. She leaves Dinnerstein's ponderous tempos in the dust. Plus, she's arguably at least as pretty, plus she's certainly lived a tougher life (including five years in a concentration camp). Her musicianship sounds like the joy of being alive, plus the bonus of getting to play Bach's music. Yum.

My much longer review of it, 2001-2: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/zhu-goldbergs.htm

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 6, 2008):
It's this one on Mandala, perhaps out of print (argh!): Amazon.com

BUT: there's a new issue on Mirare: Amazon.com

that (according to my squinting at the timings on their back-cover scan)
is apparently the same performance. Hurrah!

French Amazon has samples: http://www.amazon.fr/Variations-Goldberg-BWV-988-Xiao-Mei/dp/B000U7V9YO
It sounds like the same performance as on the Mandala CD.

Stephen Benson wrote (May 6, 2008):
[To Bradley Lehman] I'll second the "Yo Harry" and I'll also humbly second Brad's recommendation of the Zhu Goldbergs. Hers is one of the 3 Goldberg recordings on piano to which I listen most frequently, the other two being Gould's 1981 recording and that of Ekaterina Dershavina, a young Russian pianist, or at least, she was in 1994 when she recorded it at 27. These are all very different performances, but they all have something to say to me.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 7, 2008):
Was bedeutet "Keyboard"? [was: Yet another Goldberg Variations]

Harry W. Crosby wrote:
< My response to Kirk's original review is not a criticism, only an observation from a listener's viewpoint that he simply cannot share. I live literally daily with Bach's vocal music and most of his chamber works short of solo keyboard. For that genre, by any composer, I have relative aversion; basically don't own 'em, don't play 'em, don't buy tickets to go listen to 'em.>
It is fun to see Harry's open admission of living with JSB's vocal music (and chamber music) and not being able to stomach what he labels as KEYBOARD solo music.

I too personally do not have a fondness for PIANO music. I do not have an aversion to it. I do however in Baroque music vastly prefer the plucking of the harpsichord and even the schlaging of the clavichord to the monotony of the piano and I rarely will myself listen to e.g. Chopin but will enjoy a good Schubert or Beethoven sonata on the fortepiano. I wonder whether our good buddy Harry has equal aversions to harpsichord and piano music. In Baroque they are to me roughly like a full voiced adult female mezzo vs. a boy alto. All analogies are bad of course. I totally love many adult female mezzos and altos, as we all know.

I recently roused our resident harpsichordist's hackles by suggesting that newbies to KdF (BWV 1080) might do well wian orchestrated version or even with Lukas Foss's Art of Fuguing. I stand by that although, to repeat, I love harpsichord music.

I recently lost my aversion to Bach on the piano when someone on Operashare uploaded his LP transfers of the Gould Bach Piano Concerti and a few other Gould Bach items. I found them so good that my piano antipathy evanesced.

All dogmas have exceptions.
All Bachians are nice persons,

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (May 7, 2008):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] In response to Yoel's post:

I am going to come right out and admit that I am non-HIP. I play Baroque keyboard music on both the piano and pipe organ. I prefer the piano.

I agree with you about Glenn Gould's Bach keyboard concerti. May I also recommend his French Suites?

I also parially agree with you on the Art of Fugue. Rather than a full orchestra I like it in a small ensemble - one voice per part.

John Pike wrote (May 7, 2008):
[To Bradley Lehman] Many thanks. Great review on your web site. I have ordered it. Do you have a link to the Gould 1959 recording on Amazon? there are 4 versions around, and it is hard to know which is the 1959 one.

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 7, 2008):
[To John Pike] Search Amazon for "gould salzburg bach".

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 7, 2008):
[To John Pike] Take a look at Glenn Gould's recording page on the BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/Gould.htm
where all his GV recordings are listed, including Amazon links for each.

John Pike wrote (May 7, 2008):
[To Aryeh Oron] Many thanks, Aryeh. As wonderful as ever.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 9, 2008):
Nessie Russell wrote:
< In response to Yoel's post:
I am going to come right out and admit that I am non-HIP. I play Baroque keyboard music on both the piano and pipe organ. I prefer the piano. >
I have no doctrinaire views as to how Bach should be played, far less as to how anyone should enjoy his/her bach. I do have strong and violent views on French opera and how most modern recordings simply sicken me. My strong musical interest next to bach I would make bold to say these days is French opera and its destruction. Again of course I cannot prescribe for anyone else how he/she should enjoy his/her Berlioz (if at all). I have a Persian Bahai friend who uses in English his/her indiscriminately irrespective of the sex of the referent.that sounds good to me currently.

< I agree with you about Glenn Gould's Bach keyboard concerti. May I also recommend his French Suites? >
Here's my problem. I have 2.5 Classical Radio stations. When they play Bach keyboard, it is ALWAYS piano. I have been subjected to a lot of Bach piano and I know that I vastly prefer harpsichord and clavichord. Now as to Mezzos and Contraltos I really love them, I find them however unbachic. I do listen to them all the time.

< I also parially agree with you on the Art of Fugue. Rather than a full orchestra I like it in a small ensemble - one voice per part. >
Again I was only suggesting that each serves a different purpose and audience and a different time for even me.

I cannot prescribe for any other. I do wonder whether harry enjoys other solo bach such as violin and cello sonatas, partitas, and suites. I love them all but again I would say that they are "austere" compared to either chamber music, as Harry saith, or vocal music. "Austere" is not a pejorative for me.

 

Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019
Comparative Review: Goldberg Variations on Piano:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Comparative Review: Round-Up of Goldberg Variations Recordings:
Recordings | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
GV - R. Barami, J. Crossland, O. Dantone, D. Propper | GV - M. Cole | GV - J. Crossland | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - S. Dinnerstein | GV - R. Egarr [Lehman] | GV - R. Egarr [Satz] | GV - R. Egarr [Bright] | GV - Feltsman | GV- P. Hantai | GV - P. Hantaï (2nd) | GV - K. Haugsand | GV - A. Hewitt | GV - R. Holloway | GV- H. Ingolfsdottir | GV - J. Jando | GV - B. Lagacé | GV - G. Leonhardt | GV- K. Lifschitz | GV - A. Newman | GV - T. Nikolayeva 3rd | GV- J. Payne | GV - W. Riemer | GV - C. Rousset | GV - S. Schepkin, M. Yudina & P. Serkin | GV - A. Schiff [ECM] | GV- H. Small | GV - M. Suzuki | GV - G. Toth | GV - K.v. Trich | GV - R. Tureck [Satz] | GV - R. Tureck [Lehman] | GV- B. Verlet | GV - A. Vieru | GV - J. Vinikour | GV - A. Weissenberg | GV - Z. Xiao-Mei
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Quodlibet in GV | GV for Strings
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
GV - D..Barenboim | GV - P.J. Belder | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - S. Dinnerstein | GV - R. Egarr | GV - V. Feltsman | GV - C. Frisch | GV - G. Gould | GV - P. Hantaï | GV - R. Holloway | GV - J. Jando | GV - K. Jarrett | GV - G. Leonhardt | GV - V. Makin | GV - A. Newman | GV - S. Ross | GV - A. Schiff | GV - R. Schirmer | GV - H. Small | GV - G. Sultan | GV - G. Toth | GV - R. Tureck | GV - S. Vartolo | GV - B. Verlet
Article:
The Quodlibet as Represented in Bach’s Final Goldberg Variation BWV 988/30 [T. Braatz]

Simone Dinnerstein: Short Biography | Recordings of Non-Vocal Works
Reviews of Non-Vocal Recordings:
Dinnerstein's Goldbergs [S. Schwartz]
Discussions of Non-Vocal Recordings:
Goldberg Variations BWV 988 - played by Simone Dinnerstein

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Last update: ýMay 21, 2008 ý11:18:51