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.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor Op. 16|