Echoes of Life

Alice Sara Ott

Echoes of Life
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Echoes of Life

Alice Sara Ott

For her tenth Deutsche Grammophon release, pianist Alice Sara Ott returns to the music of Frédéric Chopin. She approaches Chopin’s 24 Préludes op. 28 from a fresh perspective, finding a personal thread that parallels the music’s dramatic arc and wide-ranging moods. The pianist frames the Préludes within a contemporary context by interspersing them with seven works by 20th- and 21st-century composers.

Echoes of Life is a personal reflection on the thoughts and moments that influence and change our lives. It also portrays the journey and transformation I took to become the person and artist I see myself as today. In interpreting music from composers who, in their own time, challenged the system and redefined music, I see it as my role as a classical musician to carry this spirit forward by not insisting on reproducing bygone traditions and limitations.’ - Alice Sara Ott

Echoes of Life includes works by: Tristano, Ligeti, Chopin, Rota, Gonzales, Takemitsu & Pärt 



The past will always echo through the years, affecting the future in ways that are surprising and often far reaching. Would Chopin have guessed that in the year 2021 we would still be playing and revelling in his music? It’s been over 180 years since he originally wrote the 24 Preludes, Op. 28 but they continue to be an integral part to any pianist’s repertoire, and when you’re an internationally renowned musician you can’t help but be influenced by their bite-sized beauty. Alice Sara Ott certainly is, but more than that she’s found other works that give these preludes a contemporary context. Interspersing the 24 Preludes are seven pieces ‘from composers who, in their own time, challenged the system and redefined music’, writes Ott. Ligeti, Nino Rota, Takemitsu and Ott herself each have a moment here that blends almost seamlessly with the charm of Chopin’s Preludes.

At this moment in my life, I’m definitely doing some comfort reading and listening, but I still yearn for something more. I listened to this album on repeat for an entire day in lockdown and it gave me the emotional space I wanted; in the refinement of Ott’s playing, I found a moment of peace.

Kate Rockstrom is a friend of Readings.

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