Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 11-13, 15, 22 & 27 Mari Kodama
- Piano Sonata No.11 in B flat, Op. 22
- 1I. Allegro con brio07:22
- 2II. Adagio con molto espressione06:59
- 3III. Minuetto03:17
- 4IV. Rondo: Allegretto06:24
- Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat, Op.26
- 5I. Andante con variazioni07:58
- 6II. Scherzo: Molto allegro02:42
- 7III. Marcia funebre sulla morte d'un eroe06:09
- 8IV. Allegro molto03:37
- Piano Sonata No.13 in E flat, Op. 27/1 (Sonata quasi una fantasia)
- 9I. Andante – Allegro – Tempo05:01
- 10II. Allegro molto e vivace01:55
- 11III. Adagio con espressione02:58
- 12IV. Allegro vivace05:43
- Piano Sonata No.22 in F, Op. 54
- 13I. In tempo d'un minuetto05:37
- 14II. Allegretto - Piu allegro05:37
- Piano Sonata No.27 in E minor, Op. 90
- 15I. Mit lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck05:35
- 16II. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen07:35
- Piano Sonata No.15 in D, Op. 28 (Pastorale)
- 17I. Allegro10:11
- 18II. Andante06:10
- 19III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace02:22
- 20IV. Rondo: Allegro ma non troppo04:34
Info zu Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 11-13, 15, 22 & 27
This double-album set is part of a leisurely complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas released by Japanese pianist Mari Kodama on the Dutch audiophile label PentaTone; the cycle was begun in 2003, and this group of sonatas was released in 2012, with more still to come.
It's an odd grouping; almost every Beethoven sonata release, and plenty of Beethoven releases in other genres, mixes the big thundering works with the quieter pastoral or humorous ones. Here, Kodama puts six sonatas that are essentially of the latter type together. That doesn't exactly play to the strengths of her style, which has been compared with Angela Hewitt's, but might more accurately be likened to that of Dame Myra Hess. Kodama is very precise, quite graceful, minimal in the spread of her dynamic range, but making up for that in her ability to pick out very fine shades of articulation. 'Polished in the best way' would be a possible description for her playing, but it is not without surprises. You just have to keep yourself alert for them. The strongest performance here is that of the curious 'Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54,' a piece shot through with quirky humor that Kodama stays absolutely on top of.
There are many nice details in the other pieces, but a double album of the extreme restraint of Kodama's playing may make you wish for a bit of pandemonium. On the other hand, it may not, and really nobody else has turned Beethoven into a set of glass globes quite like this unusual player, whose sound is admirably complemented by the engineering. Give it a good sampling and see what you think. (James Manheim, All Music Guide)
Mari Kodama, piano
Recording venue: Concertboerderij Valthermond, The Netherlands, 8/2012
Recording producer: Wilhelm Hellweg
Balance engineer: Jean-Marie Geijsen
Recording engineer: Jean-Marie Geijsen
Mari Kodama - Piano
Mari Kodama has established an international reputation for profound musicality and articulate virtuosity at the keyboard. In performances throughout Europe, the United States and Japan, she plays a broad repertoire in a powerful yet elegant style.
The 06/07 season begins with performances of the Mozart Double Piano Concerto in Japan with her sister, Momo Kodama, and a recital at the Roque d'Antheron Festival in France. In the U.S. this season, Ms. Kodama plays Beethoven Piano Concerto No.2 with the Philaharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, Beethoven Piano Concerto No.4 with David Stahl and the Charleston Symphony, and the Haydn Concerto with Mark Wigglesworth and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This season also marks the end of her complete Beethoven sonata cycles in Tokyo and Nagoya, as well as the completion of her recording of all five Beethoven Piano concerti with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
Recent highlights include Mozart concerti with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Portugal as well as Beethoven concerto performances with orchestras in Montreal, Venezuela, Singapore, and Berlin. She played the Schoenberg Concerto with Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony, a work she has performed also with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, and on tour in the Netherlands. In Japan, Ms. Kodama is a regular guest with both the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra in Tokyo. She played a surpassingly well-received complete Beethoven sonata cycle in Los Angeles, and has appeared in recital in New York, Paris, throughout Japan, Spain and Germany, and much of the U.S. The Los Angeles Times pronounced her performance of the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto at the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival 'commanding and electrifying.' Ms. Kodama has recorded Prokofiev concerti Nos. 1 and 3 with the Philharmonia Orchestra on the ASV label, and Chopin No. 2 and Carl Loewe's 2nd piano concerto with the Russian National Orchestra on PentaTone Classics. She is also featured on a new recording of Beethoven piano sonatas [PTC 5186-023]. This release, the second installment in her traversal of the complete Beethoven sonatas for the Dutch label, features the 'Moonlight' sonata, Sonata No.4, Op.7, and the 'Pathétique' sonata. The recording is Ms. Kodama's third for the Pentatone label.
Ms. Kodama is a founding member of chamber music festivals in San Francisco, Sapporo and Gmunden. The most unusual of these endeavors is Musical Days at Forest Hill, a set of four concerts presented by Ms. Kodama and her husband, conductor Kent Nagano, at their home in the Forest Hill section of San Francisco (insightcc.com/musicaldays). Rave responses prompted the return of the series in July 2006, with performances by artists including Ms. Kodama, her sister Momo Kodama, baritone Dietrich Henschel and composer-pianist Ichiro Nodaïra. In previous seasons Ms. Kodama has invited friends and colleagues from the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and prominent freelancers from France, Austria and the U.S. to play chamber music at the Forest Hill Club House as a gift to the community. Repertoire ranges from Bach to Messiaen to Schoenberg to Schumann to Schubert, with newer music by such composers as Jacob Druckman and Kurt Rohde.
Born in Osaka and raised in Paris, Ms. Kodama studied piano at the Conservatoire National in Paris with Germaine Mounier and chamber music with Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux. She has also worked with Tatiana Nikolaeva and Alfred Brendel.
Ms. Kodama has played with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the North German Radio Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Berkeley Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the NHK Orchestra in Japan. She made her New York recital debut at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in 1995. Her U.S. festival appearances include Mostly Mozart, Bard Music Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, California's Midsummer Mozart Festival, Ravinia, and Aspen. In Europe she has appeared at festivals in Lockenhaus, Lyon, Montpelier, Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Verbier and Évian.
Kent Nagano - Conductor
Kent Nagano is renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence. He is equally at home in music of the classical, romantic and contemporary eras, introducing concert and opera audiences throughout the world to new and rediscovered music and offering fresh insights into established repertoire. In September 2006 he became Music Director of both the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
Born in California, Nagano maintains close connections with his home state and has been Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra since 1978. His early professional years were spent in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He played a key role in the world premiere of Messiaen’s opera Saint François d’Assise at the request of the composer, who became a mentor and bequeathed his piano to the conductor. Nagano’s success in America led to European appointments: Music Director of the Opéra National de Lyon (1988-1998), Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra (1991-2000).
During Nagano’s first two seasons in Munich he conducted world premieres of Rihm’s Das Gehege (together with Strauss’s Salome) and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderlandalong with new productions of Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina, Idomeneo, Eugene Onegin and Ariadne auf Naxos. This season he takes on new productions of Wozzeck andLohengrin. He has toured throughout Europe with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and their recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No 4 was released earlier this year by Sony Classical.
A common thread has thus far run through Nagano’s time in Montreal: Beethoven and his musical heirs including Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schumann and Wagner. Highlights have also included Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and concert performances of Tannhäuser and Tristan und Isolde. In the summer of 2008 Nagano inaugurated the first Bel Canto Festival including performances of Bellini’s Norma in collaboration with Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia in Rome. He has also championed new works by Canadian composers including a commission by Alexina Louie which features Inuit throat singers and earlier this season celebrated Messiaen’s centennary with performances of St. François d’Assise. Nagano has taken the orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and also to Japan and South Korea and in April 2009 an extensive tour of Europe. Their recordings together – Beethoven : Ideals of the French Revolution and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde were released this year on Sony Classical / Analekta.
A new and important phase of Kent Nagano’s career opened when he became Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in 2000. He has become a prominent figure in a new wave of artistic thinking in Germany, opening minds to inventive, confrontational programming. In June 2006, at the end of his tenure with the orchestra, he was given the title Honorary Conductor by members of the orchestra, only the second recipient of this honour in their 60-year history.
Kent Nagano became the first Music Director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003 having already held the position of Principal Conductor for two years. His work in other opera houses has included Shostakovich’s The Nose (Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel (Châtelet, Paris), Saariaho’s L’amour de loin (Salzburg Festival), and Hindemith’s Cardillac (Opéra National de Paris).
As a much sought-after guest conductor he has worked with most of the world’s finest orchestras including the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonic Orchestras and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded for Erato, Teldec, Pentatone and Deutsche Grammophon as well as Harmonia Mundi, winning Grammy awards for his recordings of Busoni’s Doktor Faust with Opéra National de Lyon, and Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra.