Beethoven- Piano Sonatas Nos. 21, 23 & 26 (2003)

Beethoven

Mari Kodama

Organisms with totally individual Acharacteristics

Although, without a doubt, the interpretative analysis of Beethoven‘s piano sonatas represents an absolute peak in the life of any pianist, these exceptional compositions still require the maximum amount of technical skills, highly personal commitment and deeply emotional exam- ination. On the one hand, the 32 sonatas represent, to quote Hans von Bülow‘s famous words, the “pianist‘s new testa- ment” – which definitely tallies with the emphatic, canonical impetus of the works– however, on the other hand, they can be interpreted as “work in progress”, in view of their extremely individual and personal expression of the basic form of the “sonata” in general.

In his piano sonatas, Beethoven managed more or less to achieve the unimaginable – in the gigantic range between Op. 2, written between 1793-95 and Op. 111, written between 1821/22, he made his mark with no less than 32 compositional proposals for solutions, whose respective differ- ences must be assessed as distinctive and radical. Alfred Brendel commented as follows: “Beethoven does not repeat himself in his sonatas. Each composition, each movement is a new organism.” The form of the sonata itself had become for Beethoven a technical problem of com- position, the solutions to which did not permit any kind of repetition – the prevail- ing thematic material was so unique, that this was a requisite. Thus, Beethoven‘s piano sonatas became an open forum for his experimentation; in particular, it was as if the elements of his creative process of composition were focussed on these sonatas like a burning-glass, registering their diversity. Here on the piano, the instrument that was truly his, Beethoven tried them out, dismissed them, developed them. New measures, against which following generations had to pit themselves. 

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Mari Kodama

Mari Kodama was born in Osaka, Japan and began playing the piano at the age of three with her mother. Her family moved to Europe when she was six. Eight years later she entered the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris aged 14, where she studied piano with Germaine Mounier and chamber music with Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux. Three years later, she obtained the premier prix and completed her studies with honours (cycle de perfectionnement) at the age of 19. While still a student, she won prizes at several international competitions (including Jeunesse Musicale de Suisse, Viotti - Valsesia, Citta di Senigallia, and F. Busoni in Bolzano).

After completing her studies, she was immediately invited by the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3, followed by a recital at the outhbank Centre. Gramophone reviewed her later recording of this work under conductor Kent Nagano as follows: "Mari Kodama's tone is beautifully shaded and she makes a lovely, liquid sound... piano playing of a distinctive sensitivity...It all adds up to a genuinely fresh, and refreshing view..." Since then, she has given concerts in Europe, USA, Singapore and Japan, where she made her orchestral debut in Tokyo under Raymond Leppard in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Major orchestras with which Mari Kodama has performed include the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Norddeutsche Rundfunk, Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, American Symphony Orchestra.

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Beethoven- Piano Sonatas Nos. 21, 23 & 26 (2003)

Beethoven

Mari Kodama

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Meitner AD/DA
Microphones: DPA 4011,4006
Producer: Wilhelm Hellweg
Recording Engineer: Jean Marie Geijsen
Recording location: Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, Holland
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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PTC5186024: Beethoven- Piano Sonatas Nos. 21, 23 & 26
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Tracks.
1.
Beethoven Sonata No.21, Allegro con brio
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2.
Beethoven Sonata No.21, Introduzione
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3.
Beethoven Sonata No.21, Rondo
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4.
Beethoven Sonata No.23, Allegro assai
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5.
Beethoven Sonata No.23, Andante con moto
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6.
Beethoven Sonata No.23, Allegro ma non troppo
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7.
Beethoven Sonata No.26, Das Lebewohl
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8.
Beethoven Sonata No.26, Die Abwesenheit
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9.
Beethoven Sonata No.26, Das Wiedersehen
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