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Simone Dinnerstein - 5 Things I Learned About Playing Bach / Keyboard

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American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. The Independent praises the "majestic originality of her vision" and NPR reports, "She compels the listener to follow her in a journey of discovery filled with unscheduled detours . . . She's actively listening to every note she plays, and the result is a wonderfully expressive interpretation." The New York-based pianist gained an international following because of the remarkable success of her recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which she raised the funds to record. Released in 2007 on Telarc, it ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to many "Best of 2007" lists including those of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker.

Since its inception 40 years ago, keyboard has covered classical music in addition to rock, pop, jazz, and electronic genres. I grew up as a Glenn Gould addict and for many years that both inspired and inhibited me from conducting a personal investigation of Bach's music. In the 1990s, I was given Jacques Loussier's recording of the Goldberg Variations with his jazz trio. It was a revelation for me to hear the music through his lens-to feel the rhythmic stresses in unexpected places and to hear new articulations in the bass. I decided to learn the Goldberg Variations and explored the myriad ways in which to shape the phrases, the places where breaths could be taken, where dissonances could be highlighted. I treasured the irregularities in Bach's music and realized that for me this was where the expressive "spoken" nature of his music existed. Here are five things I've learned about playing Bach.