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Beethoven The Complete Piano Sonatas

Release date: 01 Sep 2014, 5186490


Mari Kodama


Ludwig van Beethoven




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Among the many qualities of this interpretation, two stand out in particular: first, the tempi, the importance of which is never denied. At first, some strike the ear, more accustomed to an automatic reaction that is almost a caricature – but none cast her particular approach into doubt. Mari Kodama’s sincerity of choice ends by convincing us. Second, the pianist never avoids harsh sounds – these ‘imperfections’ of detail that are completely Beethovian – nor does she look to exaggerate them: the colours she obtains recall as much Haydn (the simple expressiveness of Opus 26) as Stravinsky (the attacks in the ‘Hammerklavier”). Mari Kodama does not enclose Beethoven in an “Épinal” romanticism, but lets his music, this prodigy of history, slide into timelessness.

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There seems to be a broad divergence of opinion with regard to Beethoven sonata interpretation, and a handful of pundits out there seem to be of the opinion that Ms. Kodama doesn’t inflict enough of her own character into her readings here. Here’s my opinion: hogwash! Mari Kodama obviously knows her Beethoven, and her readings are filled with superb technique and tons of emotion.

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YOU HAVE SELECTED:  Duration Price Price Price Price  
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C, Op. 53 "Waldstein" 23:37   $
Allegro con brio 10:49   $
Introdizione (Adagio molto) 3:18   $
Rondo (Allegretto moderato – Prestissimo) 9:30   $
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" 20:35   $
Allegro assai 9:07   $
Andante con moto 6:17   $
Allegro ma non troppo 5:11   $
Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat, Op. 81a "Les adieux" 16:5   $
Das Lebewohl (Adagio – Allegro) 6:43   $
Die Abwesenheit (Andante espressivo) 4:01   $
Das Wiedersehen (Vivacissimamente) 5:21   $

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Album information

The waiting has finally paid off: the complete Mari Kodama's Beethoven piano sonata cycle has finally arrived. Although not the first with this achievement, the very idea that an artist can play this music and still introduce a new perspective, as Kodama so often proves with her performances, is astonishing.

As Gramophone eloquently phrases it: ‘Never bearing down heavily on the music, she always allows Beethoven his own voice.' After starting the recordings in 2003, Mari Kodama completed the final piece in 2013. Once again Ms. Kodama meets all expectations in the pursuit of these horizons, and she entirely takes on the challenge with the last instalment of her critically-acclaimed journey through this ever-fascinating cycle. It is then only fair that this feat is celebrated in the form of a collector’s item SACD box set with its larger-than-life surround sound.

One can't have too many Beethoven sonata cycles in their library when the performance is this fabulous and the surround sound is just to die for.

Beethoven The Complete Piano Sonatas

Category Orchestral

Period Classical, Romantic

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