Symphony No.3 in A minor Opus 44 Sergei Rachmaninov
The German-Russian pianist turns her hand convincingly to Beethoven's Piano Sonatas.
Repertoire: Piano Sonatas Nos. 3 and 21, ‘Waldstein’; Andante Favori; Rondo a Capriccio
Artist: Alice Sara Ott
Label: Deutsche Grammophon 4779291
The Music: After highly acclaimed discs of Liszt (solo works and Piano Concerto No.1), Chopin and Tchaikovsky, the exciting German-Japanese pianist turns her attention to Beethoven: the two great C major sonatas followed by the Andante Favori (the original second movement of the ‘Waldstein’).
The Performance: Alice Sara Ott is billed above a composer whose name appears on the cover and disc as Beet Hoven. You can hardly blame DG’s marketing people for exploiting the looks of their photogenic artist, but firmly ignoring the photo-shoot booklet and PR hype, there is some really fine playing here. Ott, we are told, has been working on the two sonatas for 10 years. Recorded with a warm tonal glow, both these and the Andante Favori are notably poised and lucid – the transition from the slow movement of the ‘Waldstein’ into the finale is wonderfully managed.
The Verdict: This is Beethoven prettified but convincing and consistent nevertheless. Only in the once-popular Rondo a Capriccio (known as ‘Rage over a Lost Penny’) does her imagination falter.
Want More? Liszt’s Twelve Transcendental Studies (DG 477 8362) and Chopin’s Complete Waltzes (DG 477 8095) show two further highly contrasted sides of the talented Miss Ott.