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Tchaikovsky & Liszt: First Piano Concertos


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Tchaikovsky & Liszt: First Piano Concertos + Chopin: Waltzes + Liszt: 12 Études d'exécution transcendante
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Product details

  • Conductor: Thomas Hengelbrock
  • Composer: Tchaikovsky, Liszt
  • Audio CD (11 Oct. 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B003XIDDKU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,293 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat Minor, Op.23 - 1. Allegro Non Troppo E Molto Maestoso - Allegro Con Spirito20:57Album Only
Listen  2. Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat Minor, Op.23 - 2. Andantino Semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo I 7:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat minor, Op.23 - 3. Allegro Con Fuoco 7:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Piano Concerto No.1 In E Flat, S.124 - 1. Allegro Maestoso 5:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Piano Concerto No.1 In E Flat, S.124 - 2. Quasi Adagio - Allegretto Vivace - Allegro Animato 9:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Piano Concerto No.1 In E Flat, S.124 - 3. Allegro Marziale Animato - Presto 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Alice Sara Ott follows up the Complete Chopin Waltzes – her highly successful international debut – with her first concerto recording on Deutsche Grammophon. The young artist presents two of the greatest hits in the repertoire: Tchaikovsky’s and Liszt’s First Piano Concertos.

She recorded this partly live (Tchaikovsky) album in her home town of Munich with the superb Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock, known as a modern interpreter with strong ideas (and a strong work ethic).

The two concertos are works that have accompanied Alice Sara Ott since her early youth. She played the Liszt before an audience the first time when she was 14 and the Tchaikovsky at 17. She has an intense relationship with both works, something clearly audible in the 21-year-old pianist’s vivid interpretations. Alice says about the Tchaikovsky: “This piece is a revolution for me. It actually contains very different perspectives on life: the melancholy and gloomy, the majestic and, then again, the bright and light, lyrical and soaring. In any case it’s a challenge. A physical one, of course, but, in the end, really a mental one.” A challenge she has mastered, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung confirmed: “In the midst of Tchaikovsky’s avalanche of notes, Ott somehow manages to tease out the quiet passages, and with great poise to make room for lyricism and gently grazing the keys for a dreamy but distinct play of colours.”

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Marc Haegeman on 31 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD
When releasing a disc with two multi-recorded concertos like the Tchaikovsky and Liszt First Piano Concertos, a young artist is taking huge risks. The Deutsche Grammophon label or not behind you, when you have to face the competition of a Horowitz, Gilels, Richter, Weissenberg, Argerich and so many other giants and lesser gods for Tchaikovsky, and again Richter, Janis, Zimerman, Argerich, among others for Liszt, you have to know what you are doing. But then again, 22-year old Alice Sara Ott has been a pleasantly surprising artist who seems to know where she's going, as could be experienced from her miraculous take on the Chopin Waltzes and her equally brilliant Lizst Etudes d'exécution transcendante.

And here again, Alice Sara Ott surprises in the most felicitous manner by giving us a recording that proves fascinating from start to end. Tired of hearing Tchaikovsky's 1st piano concerto? Nothing more to say about it? It's mega-popular so it's boring, right? Well, not exactly. Alice Sara Ott with her poised youthful enthusiasm and controlled abandon might be the perfect antidote against such feelings. From the ravishingly phrased opening, which for once doesn't slap you in the face, you realize she is inviting us for a thoroughly enjoyable ride, which promises to shed a refreshing light at about every corner or stop on a work deemed oh so familiar. And promise is kept. Listening to her Tchaikovsky was indeed like visiting an old friend who all of the sudden appeared much younger, brighter and more enchanting than one ever imagined.

Ms. Ott calls Tchaikovsky's piano concert in B flat minor "revolutionary" and she makes us hear and understand why. It's more than just the formal experimentation of the piece which she rightly emphasizes in the liner notes.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Oyarsa on 22 July 2011
Format: Audio CD
I cannot add more to what Mr. Marc Haegeman has said.

I have listened to Tchaikovsky's several times but when listening to this performance I was amazed at the new feelings the same music can raise when played with the magic Alice Sara Ott displays here. Fantastic performance and fantastic recording!

Liszt concerto is equally magic and her great interpretation makes me include her Etudes in my wish list.

Be careful, Miss Ott, because I'll be watching you. Please more!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JC on 1 Nov. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good version
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Killer coupling of two popular piano concertos 31 Oct. 2010
By Marc Haegeman - Published on Amazon.com
When releasing a disc with two multi-recorded concertos like the Tchaikovsky and Liszt First Piano Concertos, a young artist is taking huge risks. The Deutsche Grammophon label or not behind you, when you have to face the competition of a Horowitz, Gilels, Richter, Weissenberg, Argerich and so many other giants and lesser gods for Tchaikovsky, and again Richter, Janis, Zimerman, Argerich, among others for Liszt, you have to know what you are doing. But then again, 22-year old Alice Sara Ott has been a pleasantly surprising artist who seems to know quite well where she's going, as could be experienced from her miraculous take on the Chopin Waltzes and her equally brilliant Lizst "Etudes d'exécution transcendante."

And here again, Alice Sara Ott surprises in the most felicitous manner by giving us a recording that proves fascinating from start to end. Tired of hearing Tchaikovsky's 1st piano concerto? Nothing more to say about it? It's mega-popular so it's boring, right? Well, not exactly. Alice Sara Ott with her poised youthful enthusiasm and controlled abandon might be the perfect antidote against such feelings. From the ravishingly phrased opening, which for once doesn't slap you in the face, you realize she is inviting us for a thoroughly enjoyable ride, which promises to shed a refreshing light at about every corner or stop on a work deemed oh so familiar. And promise is kept. Listening to her Tchaikovsky was indeed like visiting an old friend who all of the sudden appeared much younger, brighter and more enchanting than one ever imagined.

Ms. Ott calls Tchaikovsky's piano concert in B flat minor "revolutionary" and she makes us hear and understand why. It's more than just the formal experimentation of the piece which she rightly emphasizes in the liner notes. It's, even more, through her own intelligent analysis of the canvas of emotional states that the concerto holds and which place it among the greatest of its kind, but which very few artists manage to disclose in such a captivating way, that she makes the strongest case for it. She doesn't sound mannered, capricious, vulgar, or just out to be different, everything seems to flow naturally from the feeling of the moment. (The Tchaikovsky was recorded live.) And that is a tremendous achievement for an artist of her age. Moreover, as could be heard in her earlier discs the quality and precision of her piano toucher is totally ravishing - and what an impressive recording DG gives us here. Every note sounds exactly right, possessing the right meaning, and while the more exuberant passages are undeniably thrillingly played, they are balanced by that equally impressively molded sonority which made her Chopin and Liszt such a treat. In this respect Thomas Hengelbrock and the Münchner Philharmoniker provide the ideal accompaniment. The second movement is a gorgeous moment, softly nostalgic and lyrical, with Tchaikovsky's orchestration sounding more beautiful than ever.

Alice Sara Ott's rendition of Liszt's 1st Piano Concerto is much of the same calibre. Soloist and conductor avoid the pitfall of empty virtuosity, but it's above all Ott's stylistic accuracy and emotional flexibility which strike a convincing balance and hoist the piece above banality. We know from her Etudes she commands Liszt's broad range of colors like none else. It's the delicate, nocturnal quality of the quasi adagio which lingers on as much as the full-blooded bravura passages.

A sublime disc that makes me look out for the Second Piano Concertos.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
DG bets on another young virtuoso, with extraordinary results 26 Oct. 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Despite her apparently English name, Alice Sara Ott is a native of Munich from a family of German-Japanese parents. To be put forward by the yellow label at 22 years old is clearly a huge step and a gamble just as huge. She has no big wins on the competition circuit so far, but somebody in a position of influence wants to market her as the equal of Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, and other young powerhouses.Ott has already been featured in the most difficult of Liszt's solo piano music, the Transcendental Etudes; now she ventures into the technical demands of Tchaikovsky and Liszt concertos. I had a sinking heart approaching this CD, but my premonitions wee misplaced. Ott is quite a phenom.

She grabs hold of the Tchaikovsky in a way that even the young Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin, who also recorded it for DG, cannot surpass. The heroic technique is there, but so is her musical grasp and reach. There are other ways of playing tis work besides conquering it, yet ever since Van Cliburn made his epochal recording fifty years ago, the Tchaikovsky first stands as a kind of Everest in the public imagination. (Actually, Horowitz mounted the same kind of ultra-virtuoso assault a generation before that.) Ott manages all the heroics but also makes interesting music. I was very taken with her phrasing in this thrice-familiar score. She knows how to find passing moments in which to make personal statements, and you get the feeling that she is always engaged, not simply throwing off sparks. Hengelbrock doesn't have much of a name in the U.S., but he conducts with the same attention and naturalness.

The proof of the pudding is in the light, offhand accompanying figures that Tchaikovsky gives the piano in the second movement while the orchestra passes around the main melody. Ott doesn't make these overly prominent, as if reluctant to surrender the limelight, nor does she play the routinely. Instead thee's a musical blending with the orchestra that keeps you interested in both the melody and accompaniment. She's really quite beguiling throughout this movement, which usually bores the audience as it awaits the explosions in the finale. Ott doesn't pounce on the opening passages in the finale with the abandon of Argerich (but who does?), and Hengelbrock hangs back a little too much. No one can erase for me the staggering power displayed by Horowitz in this movement -- even Richter didn't dare to rival him -- yet on her own terms Ott's springy rhythms and musicality justify themselves very convincingly. Tchaikovsky lights a long fuse for the piano's final cannon roar, and happily, Ott takes full advantage with an exciting explosion. If only she had raced with abandon to the end, but she and Hengelbrock prefer a stately exist.

With the Liszt Cto. #1 we take a step lower in musical quality and several steps higher in vulgar flash. The modern way is to try and maintain one's dignity while living up to the work's technical demands. Ott's version of this tactic is perhaps too low key. She doesn't roar at the beginning, and her way with the lyrical second subject is Chopinesque. The effect is undeniably musical, however, and kudos go to any soloist who can keep the piano part as interesting as she does, using considerable rubato and many inward touches of phrasing. This might also be the place to mention that Ott plays a spectacular-sounding piano captured in full depth by the DG engineers.

In sum, there are two highly performances that comes as a complete surprise. The yellow label are on a winning streak with Ott and Yuja Wang as their young keyboard hopefuls.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Alice Sara Ott-Tchaikovsky/Liszt:Fisrt Piano Concerto 20 Oct. 2012
By Bella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very good peformance.She is young and pretty artist!She will be much more better in the future with her talent.One of the best young Pianists.Bravo,thanks!
Four Stars 28 Oct. 2014
By Peter Searby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautifully played, good balance between Piano and Orchestra.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
struggling to stop yawning 9 Dec. 2011
By Jurgen Lawrenz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I can't help wondering why recording producers - and DGG of all people! - bother putting out recordings like this. But maybe this is the age of teenage stardom and there is a buck in it. But for you, as a prospective buyer being asked to shell out real money, there is no real incentive. The pianist's technique is fine, and she can cope with the demands of these works quite well - but there are 200 competing recordings, and this is not especially good. In fact I found my mind wandering half way through the first movement, thinking of dozens of virtuosos who have tried, after gaining maturity and insight, to make something of these concertos that gives more than momentary satisfaction, goodness knows they might be works of art!?
Frankly this pianist is one of a dozen (or three) who can all rattle off the notes, but who lack the experience to do more than infuse a bit of idiosyncrasy here and there.
Two other issues which put this recording down. The orchestra - capable of soaring when the occasion calls for it - here sounds like a village band. They were probably as enthusiastic about this assignment as I am. But they are professionals and discharge their duties with perfunctory professionalism. The sound itself is no recommendation for DGG. It sounds clean and detailed when you sample; but when you listen all the way through you soon become uncomfortably aware of a boxed-in ambience, a flat canvas that puts the horns as close as the strings. After a while you get choked feeling from the flatness of this aural canvas. Close miking deceives you at times that you might be hearing the Munich Chamber Group. The piano has no bass and the highest notes are clangerous - a cardinal sin for a recording engineer.
No alternative recommendation. When almost any other recording will do as well you might as well go for a pretty girl on the cover if you wish. If you're serious about the music, you will know where to look.
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