Bach to the Future

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein, whose 2007 Bach’s Goldberg Variations debuted at the number-one spot on Billboard’s Classical Chart during its first week of sales, says Bach’s piece is probably one of the greatest pieces of music ever written for keyboard.

“It’s a huge piece,” she says. “It’s like an epic poem written for piano, or for keyboard, rather. It’s a piece that’s able to marry a profound sense of architecture and structure and just unbelievable compositional technique with incredible depth. It’s not just about being dumbfounded about how he was able to compose this piece; I mean, the patterns in terms of the canons and the mathematical structure of each variation and how those variations fit together into the set of the thirty variations, it’s just stunning. It’s not just about that. You don’t even need to know that, in a way, in order to appreciate the music and how profound it is.”

Dinnerstein’s take on Bach’s Goldberg Variations has evolved somewhat since the debut album (she recently signed with Sony Classical and will record an all-Bach album in June) because she’s played it live so many times. “I think the thing that’s happened to me so far is I have a great sense of spaciousness when I play it in terms of giving it the time to breathe in performance,” she says. “So I think I take more time both in between the notes and in between the variations.”

Dinnerstein will perform Goldberg Variations at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, at Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. Tickets are $11 to $27.50; for more information, call 303-871-7720.
Thu., May 20, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon