Alice Sara Ott’s latest release is titled “Wonderland”, because, well “Alice”, you know, finds herself enchanted in Grieg’s Lyric Pieces. It makes for a catchy play on words and suggests a concept album. Not surprising, because these days, every release from Deutsche Grammophon seems to be a little bit of a cross-over release; chasing the Zeitgeist, but with shoelaces tied together. It fits that Alice Sara Ott writes in the generally lucid liner notes how these Lyric Pieces (what with trolls and elves and speluncean royalty and lepidoptera being depicted) are a ‘Wonderland’ to her.
On the cover she’s is surrounded by what are – I think – paper origami butterflies, a reasonably subtle hint at Grieg’s Sommerfugl (op.43/1) and perhaps Alice Sara Ott’s half-Japanese background. In a PR department’s mind she is probably considered the ‘classical’ answer to her ‘romantic’ contemporary pianist colleague Yuja Wang (born in 1988 & 1987 respectively); sharing an instrument, the technical skill (Ott’s perhaps not quite as furiously prodigious), and beauty – where Ott scores high(er) on classical beauty and dress – even with the occasional skin-tight