I recently discovered Alice Sara Ott a few days ago when I listened to her Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3. Even though it was my first time hearing the piece, I knew after a couple of minutes that her interpretation would be different from most other professional pianists. She was playing from her heart - not from the notes. I was captivated by her ability to bring out her inner-self, so I listened to more of her recordings and soon found that she was one of my favorite living pianists.
One of Alice's performances in particularly spoke to me, and it contained my favorite Chopin nocturnes and ballade: https://youtu.be/84AZQdPr77s. Her interpretation of the two nocturnes was by far my favorite from anything I've heard, and her interpretation of the ballade was just as rich and marvelous too.
It is sad that a person so wonderful as her suffers from multiple sclerosis - a particularly frightening disease for anyone who's work relies on their fingers and feet. All that we can do is to support her as she goes through ongoing treatment which will hopefully allow her to keep doing what she so clearly loves.
If you have the time, please listen to these 23 minutes of beauty that I have shared with you. Even though Chopin's music is very much close to the earth and to the human soul, you might drift of into another, ethereal plain if you actively listen to his brilliant work...
People like Alice are the reasons why I continue to practice. Like Chopin said: “Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
Be kind and keep striving!
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