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Simone Dinnerstein’s sensationally successful debut disc of Bach’s Goldberg Variations could easily have been a flash in the pan; happily, though, it has proved anything but. Instead, it was the first of an ongoing series in which an artist who is now much endeared to her public focuses on performing Bach, with interpretations that sound straight from the heart.

The title of this latest CD, Something Almost Being Said, is a quote from a Philip Larkin poem and seems to unite the two composers, Bach and Schubert, under the banner of their shared songfulness; both composers, after all, are arguably best known for their setting of texts, whether sacred or secular. The kindred soul between them is further highlighted by the sandwiching of the Schubert Impromptus between the two Bach Partitas, the transition from one composer to the other feeling effortless at both sides.

Dinnerstein never pretends that the piano is anything other than it is – no harpsichord mannerisms for her – and her playing proves the appositeness of the CD’s title, since a deft feel for phrasing, articulation and nuance enables her to capture that speaking quality within a beautifully singing tone. It is refreshing to hear Bach playing that needs to prove no points, instead allowing music of genius to shine out, played with intelligence, clarity and great affection – as well as high spirits aplenty in the concluding movements. The Schubert Impromptus, too, feel wonderfully natural; Dinnerstein makes the most of their songs-without-words character, giving the music plenty of space to breathe. All in all, a genuinely poetic, personal and heart-warming recording.

JESSICA DUCHEN Read the full review on Agora Classica


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