I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman

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Alice Sara Ott’s Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Piano Sonata #3, Op. 2 #3
Piano Sonata #21 “Waldstein”, Op. 53
Andante favori, WoO 57
Rondo a capriccio, Op. 129

Alice Sara Ott, piano
Deutsche Grammophon 4779291 DDD

Alice Sara Ott

Alice Sara Ott plays Beethoven

Alice Sara Ott almost apologizes for documenting her encounter with Beethoven at an early point in her career. Indeed, she was only 22 at the time of this recording, although, as she continues in the liner notes of this CD, she had been studying and working on the two C major sonatas paired here for some ten years already. In any case, the result is nothing to make apologies for and her Beethoven debut on disc constitutes a welcome addition to the beginning catalog of this remarkable young pianist.
Read the full review on Classical Net

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Swans in despair

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20
Russian National Orchestra/Mikhail Pletnev
Ondine ODE1167-2D 2CDs 78:44 + 64:08

Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake

Swan Lake by Pletnev

Piotr Tchaikovsky’s first ballet Swan Lake (1877) has fared rather well on disc. The score – melodious, brilliantly orchestrated, imaginatively constructed, evocative and dramatic – has understandably always been tempting conductors, seasoned in the theatre or not, to take it out of its balletic context, often with great conviction. From the pioneering, first-ever complete version by Antal Doráti with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1954, by way of the colorful, supremely elegant renderings by ballet specialists like Pierre Monteux and Ernest Ansermet, the incisive Ferenc Fricsay or the surprising Herbert von Karajan (for abridged versions or the suite), to the tragic full-length ones by Evgeny Svetlanov, Anatole Fistoulari, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vladimir Fedoseyev among several others: in any case there is no doubt that the music of Swan Lake can easily stand on its own as powerful lyrical drama without words. And now we have Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra on the Finnish label Ondine trying their hand at the complete ballet.
Read the full review on Classical Net