The Berlin Concert

Artist: Simone Dinnerstein
Release Date: August 26, 2008
Label: Telarc

The Berlin Concert is a live recording of Simone Dinnerstein's recital debut at the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie in Berlin, which took place on November 22, 2007. The program features J.S. Bach's French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816; the world premiere recording of American composer Philip Lasser's Variations on a Bach Chorale; and Beethoven's landmark Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111. Grammy-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse is the album’s producer and engineer. 

Simone chose this program because of how the pieces speak to each another and because of their relationship to the music of Bach. "My hope with this concert was to program a group of pieces that would contrast with and relate to each other, despite being separated by hundreds of years," she explains. "So much music written since Bach has been influenced by him, and the Beethoven and the Lasser recorded here are no exceptions. Philip Lasser's variations on the very dark Bach chorale, "Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott" ("Take from us, Lord, Thou faithful God"), draw on Bach's intense and meditative side. Lasser's writing is intricately crafted and encompasses a range of styles, from a contrapuntal energy reminiscent of Bach, to French Impressionism and even jazz. Beethoven's Opus 111 sounds surprisingly contemporary in this company. The first movement looks ahead to Liszt, and the second movement, with its set of variations on a chorale-like arietta, looks back to Bach and ahead to jazz. All three works are densely layered but also have a sense of freedom and directness of expression. Though they span almost 300 years, in many ways, to me, they each feel grounded in the present."