Stories » Simone Dinnerstein plays with exquisite singing tone at Symphony Hall gala / The Boston Musical Intelligencer

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Simone Dinnerstein plays with exquisite singing tone at Symphony Hall gala / The Boston Musical Intelligencer

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The Terezin Music Foundation, which honors the memory of victims of the Holocaust through promotion of music old and new, celebrated its 2018 gala in Symphony Hall Monday evening, with a dinner and a concert in which pianist Simone Dinnerstein gave an hour-plus recital after a string quartet from the Boston Symphony opening the musical portion of the evening. 

 

Dinnerstein played with exquisite singing tone throughout. This loving approach to the piano carried Schubert's great Sonata in B-flat major (D 960) to excellent effect, with a full complement of limpid warmth that occasionally rose to fortissimo drama. One can get lost in this sonata full of dreams, and I saw a number of the audience with their eyes closed, seemingly from total absorption and transfiguration.

Two other short pieces filled out the Dinnerstein's portion: Satie's Gnossienne No. 3 and Philip Glass's Etude No. 2.  Satie's ostinato style belongs to the ancestry of Glass's minimalism, and he wrote this Gnossienne, like the others, without barlines, while displaying an insistent regularity of texture. Dinnerstein chose to project its melodic line ultra-slowly and with abundant rubato, even with exaggerated expressiveness, far more than is warranted for this kind of music; one might have thought she was playing Chopin. Glass's piece, relentlessly based on a four-note upward motif, B-C-E-G, never modulated at all.  For a brief encore, Dinnerstein offered another Etude (No. 8, in F Minor, sort of) from Glass's series; with all its repetitions, it nevertheless gave the impression of a page from a Chopin etude torn in half from top to bottom before ending on a half cadence.
(Michael J. Lutch photo)

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