Accompanied by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the talented Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, the German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott, one of the most requested artists at the classical music scene, performs Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major. Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall, on February 13, 2019.
The Piano Concerto in G major was a long time in the making. Ravel started thinking about it in 1928 (cf. his visit to Oxford) after his return from America; he took it up again in 1929, but then broke off to write the Concerto for the left hand, then continued with in 1930, and completed it in 1931.
For a long time Ravel declared his intention to perform the work himself and to undertake a world tour with it. But in recognition of his diminishing health and his technical limitations as a pianist, he handed over the role of soloist to Marguerite Long (November 13, 1874 - February 13, 1966), the French pianist and teacher, to whom the work is dedicated. Together they gave the first performance at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on January 14, 1932.
The Concerto observes traditional 3-movement form, albeit with great contrasts of style between movements and indeed within them.
Allegramente: The first movement opens with a single whip-crack, and what follows can be described as a blend of the Basque and Spanish sounds of Ravel's youth and the newer jazz styles he had become so fond of. Like many other concerti, the opening movement is written in the standard sonata-allegro form, but with considerably more emphasis placed on the exposition.
Adagio assai: In stark contrast to the preceding movement, the second movement is a tranquil subject of Mozartian serenity written in ternary form (sometimes called song form, it is a three-part musical form where the first section (A) is repeated after the second section (B) ends. It is usually schematized as A-B-A.
Presto: The third movement recalls the intensity of the first with its quick melodies and difficult passage-work. Possibly due to its short length, the third movement is often repeated by the orchestra and soloist as an "encore" after the concerto.
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
♪ Piano Concerto in G major (1931)
ii. Adagio assai
Erik Satie (1866-1925)
♪ Gnossienne No.3 (1889-1890)
Alice Sara Ott, piano
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Santtu-Matias Rouvali
The 2018-2019 season marks a significant year for German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott (b. 1988, Munich, Germany), one of the world's most in-demand classical pianists. She releases her latest album, Nightfall, featuring works by Satie, Debussy and Ravel, including Gaspard de la Nuit, one of the greatest challenges of piano literature. The album marks ten years since Alice has been signed as an exclusive recording artist to Deutsche Grammophon. She will tour the recital programme across the world, with European dates including Paris' La Seine Musicale, Stuttgart's Liederhalle, Vienna's Mozart Saal, Munich's Prinzregententheater, Baden Baden's Festspielhaus, London's Wigmore Hall and the Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Duisburg. These European dates are in addition to a nine-date recital tour across Japan, including Tokyo Opera City, in autumn 2018.
With her talent not limited to a global career as a high level performing artist, Alice Sara Ott also expresses her diverse creativity through a number of design and brand partnerships beyond the borders of classical music. She was personally requested to design a signature line of high-end leather bags for JOST, one of Germany's premium brands. Alice has also been global brand ambassador for Technics, the hi-fi audio brand of Panasonic Corporation, and she has an ongoing collaboration with the French luxury jewellery house, Chaumet.
A prominent figure on the international classical music scene, Alice Sara Ott regularly performs with the world's leading conductors and orchestras. In 2018-2019 as well as the international Nightfall recital tour, Alice will perform with NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo (Gianandrea Noseda), Philharmonia Orchestra (Santtu-Matias Rouvali), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic (Edward Gardner), London Symphony Orchestra (Elim Chan), St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Yuri Temirkanov), and for a European tour with Gothenburg Symphony (Santtu-Matias Rouvali). She continues her collaboration with London Symphony Orchestra via her chamber music residency at LSO St Luke's, where she will give several Alice and Friends concerts with fellow artists including Ray Chen, Pablo Ferrández, Nemanja Radulovic, Alexey Stadler, Dimitri Ashkenazy and Francesco Tristano.
Alice Sara Ott has worked with conductors at the highest level including Lorin Maazel, Gustavo Dudamel, Pablo Heras-Casado, Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi, Sir Antonio Pappano, Gianandrea Noseda, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sakari Oramo, Osmo Vänskä, Vasily Petrenko, Myung-Whun Chung, Hannu Lintu and Robin Ticciati. She continues to perform with ensembles such as Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Washington's National Symphony Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Wiener Symphoniker and Dresdner Philharmonie.
Hailed by The Guardian as "the latest sit-up-and-listen talent to emerge from the great Finnish conducting tradition", the 2018-2019 season will see Santtu-Matias Rouvali (b. 1985) continuing his positions as Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, alongside his longstanding Chief Conductor-ship with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra close to his home in Finland.
Rouvali has regular relationships with several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. As well as making his debut with the Münchner Philharmoniker this season, he also returns to North America for concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Following a very successful Nordic tour with Hélène Grimaud last season, the Gothenburg Symphony is back on the road in February 2019 for a tour hitting major centres in Germany and Austria with pianist Alice Sara Ott, and percussionist Martin Grubinger who premieres a new percussion concert by Daníel Bjarnason. Rouvali looks forward to other ambitious touring projects with his orchestras in the future, including appearances in North America and Japan.
In addition to the extensive tour, Rouvali's season in Gothenburg opens with Strauss' Alpine Symphony accompanied by Víkingur Ólafsson Mozart Piano Concerto No.24, and he looks forward to collaborations with Janine Jansen, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Baiba Skride throughout the rest of the season.
As another cornerstone to his tenure in Gothenburg, he is adding his mark to the Orchestra's impressive recording legacy. In partnership with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride, a recording featuring concertos from Bernstein, Korngold and Rozsa is released in autumn 2018. This continues his great collaboration with Baiba Skride following their hugely successful recording of Nielsen and Sibelius' violin concertos with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in summer 2015.
Rouvali has been Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013. Highlights of the tenure so far include a Sibelius symphony cycle in autumn 2015, and the Orchestra's first tour to Japan in spring 2017 where they were accompanied by an exhibition of original Moomin drawings by Tove Jansson to mark the opening of the new museum at the Tampere Hall. He opens the 2018-2019 season with a Beethoven programme with pianist Javier Perianes.
Alongside an extremely busy symphonic conducting career, as Chief Conductor in Tampere he has conducted Verdi's La forza del destino and most recently world premiere of Olli Kortekangas's My Brother's Keeper (Veljeni vartija) with Tampere Opera in spring 2018.
Alice Sara Ott – All the posts
Santtu-Matias Rouvali – All the posts
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts
Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major – Hélène Grimaud, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Lionel Bringuier (HD 1080p)