When the global pandemic hit, many of us found solace in routine, seeking familiarity amid the chaos. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein explores this behaviour with an imaginative programme of works built on the idea of the refrain (hence this album’s title, Undersong, an archaic word for a song with a chorus). Couperin’s “Les Barricades Mystérieuses” lays its foundations on an exquisite, repeating strain while Satie’s angular “3 Gnossiennes: No. 3, Lent” creates a tense, hypnotic atmosphere through harmonic and melodic repetition. Robert Schumann’s gentle “Arabesque” and his great masterpiece Kreisleriana both feature moments of inner peace amid conflict and dark introspection. And Dinnerstein ends the album where she started, Couperin’s magical, timeless miniature returning like an old friend.

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