Album review: Alice Sara Ott, Pictures (Deutsche Grammophon)

Alice Sara Ott's 2010 recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor demonstrated how capably she could handle the Russian temperament; but even so, recording Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition live in Saint Petersburg must have taken great courage and self-belief. Which was not misplaced: she negotiates the various pictures' stylistic twists and turns with confidence and expressive brio, from the mesmerically melancholy, mist-shrouded depiction of "The Old Castle" to the coyly tiptoeing chatter of the "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" and the more frantic, tempestuous hubbub of "The Market at Limoges" – before arriving with due gravitas at "The Heroic Gate (in the Old Capital of Kiev)".

Download: The Old Castle; The Market at Limoges; The Heroic Gate (in the Old Capital of Kiev)

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