New Classical Tracks®

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein finishes her pandemic trilogy

Simone Dinnerstein in dress rehearsal for 'The Eye is the First Circle.'Courtesy

New Classical Tracks - Simone Dinnerstein (Extended)


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March 09, 2022

Simone Dinnerstein — Undersong (Orange Mountain Music)

New Classical Tracks - Simone Dinnerstein

“It was a very funny afternoon because I was lying on my bed with my dog, Daisy, watching it on my phone,” pianist Simone Dinnerstein said about learning her recording American Mosaic received a recent Grammy Nomination for ‘Best Classical Instrumental Solo recording.’ “When they announced my name, I couldn't believe it. I almost fell off the bed. It was a hysterical moment”.

American Mosaic was one of two recordings Dinnerstein released last year. Now she’s releasing her third album composed during the pandemic, the final in an inspired trilogy of recordings titled Undersong.

Undersong is a beautiful word that I discovered. I was looking around for words that would speak to the idea of a refrain, because every piece of music on this album has a refrain,” said Dinnerstein. “The has an almost rondeau form to it with its returning theme.

“I also thought that under song has also been used as the underlying thread that holds together our world. I think that's why composers and people are drawn to refrains. It connects us to something quite deep. We like to return. We like to go home. We like to revisit things and this music is doing that.”

Can you talk more about the overall cohesion of the album?

I think a lot about how pieces of music from different time periods can speak to each other, and this particular program is one that I conceived a few years ago. I was touring it before the pandemic started. It has Couperin, Schumann, Glass and Satie on it.

“One part that I find particularly striking is I have performed Schumann's ‘Arabesque’ and then I go into Philip Glass's ‘Mad Rush.’ In this ‘Arabesque',’ that final epilogue is like Schuman stepping out of time and writing something that we could hear composed today. The way it flows into ‘Mad Rush’ feels like it could have been the same person who composed both of those pieces.”

What is the importance of François Couperin’s tracks on the album?

“‘Les Barricades Mysterieuses,’ is a piece that I first discovered in a film that I really love called The Tree of Life. That film is all about family. The music is used loosely as a theme throughout the film and I associated that piece with family.

“The under song for me is my connection with my family, husband, son, parents and my roots here.”

To hear the rest of my conversation, click on the extended interview above, or download the extended podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


Simone Dinnerstein — Undersong (Simone’s Website)

Simone Dinnerstein — Undersong (Amazon Music)

Simone Dinnerstein (official site)