“The young pianist Alice Sara Ott . . . elicited one sleight of the hand after another from the instrument in breathtaking displays of virtuosity enhanced by a sparkle of poetic charm.” – Basler Zeitung, May 2008
Rising young piano virtuoso Alice Sara Ott makes her international recording debut on Deutsche Grammophon with the complete waltzes of Chopin, available January 19, 2010. “I feel a deep attachment to Chopin’s waltzes,” says Alice Sara Ott. “They reflect the whole arc of his composing life, and they also reflect his split personality – between Polish and French – and his lifelong search for identity. I feel split in a similar way, between Japanese and German. Only in music do I feel completely at home.”
Though still young, Ott’s commentary on the waltzes is often illuminating. Of the A flat waltz, op. 64 no. 3, Ott says, “I don’t take this one too fast. It needs to retain its waltz quality – these are salon pieces, and they must entertain in that style. Virtuosity would obscure the underlying melancholy and longing.” In her view, Alfred Cortot and Dinu Lipatti are the pianists who have come closest to that spirit. She is constantly striving to find “the true smell, the true color” of each one.
In a search for authenticity as well, Ott has chosen to play from the autograph manuscripts rather than the more popular published editions. She feels that this helps her maintain fidelity to Chopin’s intentions and aids in finding that unique smell and color for each.
Alice Sara Ott makes her US orchestral debut January 22 & 23, 2010 with Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.