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Albums

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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
Alice Sara Ott's 2013 CD of keyboard works by Modest Mussorgsky and Franz Schubert was part of a recital she gave at St. Petersburg's White Nights festival, recorded on July 3, 2012, in the Mariinsky Theatre. This album was the result of discussions between Ott and Deutsche Grammophon to release a disc of solo repertoire, and recording her live presented an appealing opportunity to add the ever-popular Pictures at an Exhibition to her discography. If the atmosphere of the occasion can be detected in Ott's expressions, it is perhaps most noticeable in subtle nuances, rather than in the bigger gestures. For all of the piece's grandeur and weight, Ott seems to shine most in the quieter sections, and her delicate playing takes on a poetic quality that is lacking in the loud, clangorous passages, which are all vigor and bravado. On this disc (though not in the order of the recital), Pictures is followed by Schubert's Sonata in D major, D. 850, which balances the program with its length and gravitas, though its moods are more enigmatic and elusive. Ott's controlled handling of the Con moto and Finale is admirable, though her playing in the first movement and the Scherzo is fairly aggressive and hard-edged. Ott's many fans will want this CD for the energy and fire she displays, though newcomers may want to hear her studio albums to get a clearer impression of her abilities.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 9, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
The Wonderland in the title of this release by the young pianist Alice Sara Ott is merely the music of Grieg, well-worn favorites of which are sampled here. To add to the sum total of interpretive knowledge for the Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, is a tall order, but Ott delivers here in a live performance with the Bavarian Radio Symphony under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen. From her brilliant first note, her reading is a series of sharp markers filled in with liquid, lyrical episodes. The whole thing is carefully shaped, yet has the essential energy of live performance. In the short selections from the various books of Lyric Pieces and from the Peer Gynt Suite Ott is a little more conservative, but her gossamer, web-like technique in lyrical passages is never less than enjoyable to hear. There are reasons for the buzz surrounding this young artist, and this well-recorded program is an excellent place to start exploring what those reasons are.
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Classical - Released September 9, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released September 2, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released August 5, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
£14.99
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Classical - Released January 4, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott is a performer who appears to care more about the score and the composer than about her image and interpretations. After promoting Lang-Lang, a pianist of maximal technique but debatable taste, DG has given Ott an exclusive recording contract, and her first release, the complete waltzes of Chopin, shows her to be a pianist of taste and restraint. That is not to say that her performances here are ever less than dazzling, because she plays with supreme ease, or any less than affecting, because she brings out everything in the scores, from sparkling wit to darkest melancholy. But Ott is not interested in demonstrating her technique or in grandstanding her interpretations. Everything here is in the score: the tender countermelodies, the long legato phrasing, the exquisite harmonic balances, and the lilting rubato. It sounds fresh and natural because Ott herself seems fresh and natural, and apparently not at all a showoff. Though by no means the greatest performances of the waltzes ever recorded -- Dinu Lipatti's EMI recording is now and likely always will be the most beautiful, the most masterful, and the most moving version of these works -- Ott's recording is well worth hearing by anyone who loves the music. The sound of DG's digital recording is limpid.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Alice Sara Ott's 2008 recording of Franz Liszt's 12 Transcendental Etudes may be the right prescription for jaded listeners who are sure they've heard all they need of this composer. To the extent that any pianist can make Liszt's music sound fresh, innovative, and interesting again, after years of mistreatment at the hands of sentimentalists and show-offs, Ott succeeds brilliantly on all three points. The sound of her playing -- from her precise articulation and clear separation of contrapuntal lines, to her enormous dynamic range and wide palette of colors -- is piquant, crisp, and clean, so there is no murkiness or ham-fisted playing to muddy up Liszt's dazzling effects. These effects can seem hopelessly clichéd in the hands of a mediocre pianist, but Ott makes them seem utterly novel and arresting by not exaggerating them, and by letting the natural timing and momentum of the music prepare for them. Because she plays with meticulous clarity and lets the music speak for itself, Ott draws attention to Liszt's abundant inventiveness and originality and reminds us that the Transcendental Etudes were startling and exciting when first played and that they can still captivate if executed with her extraordinary levels of musical understanding and technical accomplishment. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is exceptionally clear and sensitive to every nuance. Highly recommended.

Artist

Alice Sara Ott in the magazine
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