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Mari Kodama – Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp. 78, 79, 14, 49 (2010) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Mari Kodama - Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp. 78, 79, 14, 49 (2010) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz] Download

Mari Kodama – Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp. 78, 79, 14, 49 (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:07:40 minutes | 1,14 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © PentaTone

This album, the first in Kodama’s planned Beethoven cycle, begins with the composer’s so-called “easy” sonatas. In the words of the booklet’s annotator, Franz Steiger, they represent “lyrical islands,” being less fervent or affirmative than many of his other works in this genre. The two-movement sonatas Nos. 19 and 20 served an educational purpose, and every budding young pianist has studied them. I remember the wonderful moment when my teacher “graduated” me from these to the bigger No. 25, with its brusque humor and brisk tempos—and then, a bit later, to the wonderful No. 24, which is full of technical and musical problems.

Although I am pleased that Kodama’s presentation of the 32 sonatas will not be strictly chronological, it is regrettable that she decided to group these particular six sonatas together on one album. The ideal solution would have been to place them strategically among the larger and greater works, to provide added contrast and variety for the listener. As it is, it is rather like trying to enjoy a whole meal of bon-bons. Of course, sonatas with the same opus number rightly belong together: Nos. 9 and 10 form op. 14 and Nos. 19 and 20 form op. 49. But neither opus benefits from being played next to the other. Some pianists arrange the sonatas not according to chronology but according to their related keys. But that is not the case here; four of the six sonatas are in G Major/G Minor, which only reinforces the albums’s sense of musical sameness.

Given these caveats, I am pleased to say that Kodama displays a highly refined tonal palette and is able to make subtle distinctions of touch in an unselfconscious manner. She projects the often innocent quality of the music in a way that is fully engaging and convincing. She shapes phrases naturally, her dynamics are judged precisely and sensitively, and there is vitality where called for, as in the first movement of No. 25 and the last movements of Nos. 9 and 24. Her tempos seem exactly right, except for the first movement of No. 24, which is surely played too deliberately, more moderato than allegro. (Charles Timbrell, FANFARE)

“Everything proceeds in a faultless flow of sound and in this sense her credentials are impeccable. Never bearing down heavily on the music, she always allows Beethoven his own voice.” (GRAMOPHONE)

Tracklist:

1-1. Mari Kodama – I. Presto alla tedesca (05:01)
1-2. Mari Kodama – II. Andante (03:10)
1-3. Mari Kodama – III. Vivace (02:09)
1-4. Mari Kodama – I. Adagio cantabile – Allegro ma non troppo (08:05)
1-5. Mari Kodama – II. Allegro vivace (03:18)
1-6. Mari Kodama – Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14 No. 1: I. Allegro (07:02)
1-7. Mari Kodama – Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14 No. 1: II. Allegretto (03:22)
1-8. Mari Kodama – Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Op. 14 No. 1: III. Rondo. Allegro comodo (03:15)
1-9. Mari Kodama – I. Allegro (07:00)
1-10. Mari Kodama – II. Andante (05:53)
1-11. Mari Kodama – III. Scherzo. Allegro assai (03:41)
1-12. Mari Kodama – I. Andante (04:05)
1-13. Mari Kodama – II. Rondo. Allegro (03:49)
1-14. Mari Kodama – I. Allegro ma non troppo (04:18)
1-15. Mari Kodama – II. Tempo di menuetto (03:25)

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