Album info



Label: Berlin Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Concertos

Artist: Mari Kodama, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin & Kent Nagano

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Album including Album cover


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  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827): Piano Concerto No. 0, WoO 4:
  • 1Piano Concerto No. 0, WoO 4: I. Allegro moderato10:37
  • 2Piano Concerto No. 0, WoO 4: II. Larghetto07:36
  • 3Piano Concerto No. 0, WoO 4: III. Rondo. Allegretto07:37
  • Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in B-Flat Major, WoO 6:
  • 4Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in B-Flat Major, WoO 6. Allegro08:40
  • Eroica Variations, Op. 35:
  • 5Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Introduction. Allegro vivace02:46
  • 6Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Theme00:42
  • 7Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 100:42
  • 8Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 200:56
  • 9Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 300:41
  • 10Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 400:35
  • 11Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 500:45
  • 12Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 600:38
  • 13Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 7. Canone all'ottava00:41
  • 14Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 801:03
  • 15Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 900:40
  • 16Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 1000:42
  • 17Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 1100:46
  • 18Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 1200:43
  • 19Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 1300:50
  • 20Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 14 (minore)01:07
  • 21Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Variation 15. Largo (maggiore) - Attacca coda05:11
  • 22Eroica Variations, Op. 35: Finale (alla Fuga). Allegro con brio05:08
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15:
  • 23Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15: I. Allegro con brio17:33
  • 24Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15: II. Largo10:59
  • 25Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15: III. Rondo. Allegro scherzando09:06
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19:
  • 26Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19: I. Allegro con brio14:16
  • 27Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19: II. Adagio09:30
  • 28Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19: III. Rondo. Molto allegro06:15
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37:
  • 29Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37: I. Allegro con brio16:22
  • 30Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37: II. Largo09:54
  • 31Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37: III. Rondo. Allegro09:13
  • Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56:
  • 32Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56: I. Allegro17:09
  • 33Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56: II. Largo04:56
  • 34Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56: III. Rondo alla polacca12:29
  • Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58:
  • 35Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58: I. Allegro moderato19:07
  • 36Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58: II. Andante con moto05:18
  • 37Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58: III. Rondo vivace10:13
  • Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73:
  • 38Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73: I. Allegro20:44
  • 39Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73: II. Adagio un poco mosso07:20
  • 40Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73: III. Rondo. Allegro10:34
  • Total Runtime04:30:04

Info for Beethoven: Piano Concertos 0-5

Together with the Berlin-based Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester (DSO) Mari Kodama and her husband Kent Nagano have now completed the recording of all of Beethoven's piano concertos by jumping, as it were, back in time twice: the last element of this recording series that has spanned more than 13 years was Beethoven's concerto "number nought" (WoO 4) – personally edited by Mari Kodama from the autograph score.

The original manuscript of this piano concerto is kept at the State Library in Berlin. This is not a completed score, because there is no orchestration. That said, Beethoven annotated the short score, especially in the first two movements, with indications as to which instrument was to play which part. The orchestra score which is available today was written in the early twentieth century based on those annotations. The only problem is: "Today, armed with the knowledge we now have acquired about the young Beethoven, we would perform this concerto quite differently in places," explain Mari Kodama and Kent Nagano in unison. They therefore present a very personal adaptation that emerged during rehearsal with the orchestra and at the recording sessions, and which reflects Kodama's and Nagano's individual image of Beethoven. They aim to make audible the exuberant freshness and urgent sense of awakening in the young, almost childlike Beethoven's writing shortly before his artistic powers were to burst forth, the joie de vivre and vital energy in a style that owes something to the playfulness of both Haydn and Mozart. That is Mari Kodama's intention, and she plays it in precisely such a versatile manner.

Combined with the classical canon of the piano concertos nos. 1–5, the resulting comprehensive edition is complemented by the Triple Concerto for piano, violin and cello op. 56, the Rondo WoO 6 and the Eroica Variations op. 35, offering insight into the artist's longstanding involvement with her musical companion Ludwig van Beethoven. And the recordings of his works seem to lead the listener through the composer's life. "If you play all of them, it is like accompanying Beethoven on a journey through his life," explains Mari Kodama, and Kent Nagano adds: "You acknowledge the musical genius and at the same time you recognise the development of European music, because Beethoven was undoubtedly its pioneer." He led the way in changing the structure, form and harmony of music, just as there was an equally radical shift in the world around him; after the French Revolution society and business and the incipient industrial revolution began to alter the way people lived.

"He is and remains an optimist, someone who can do no other than believe in what he wishes to communicate to us through his music," explains Kodama. She says this helps her. The fact that she herself is an optimist can partly be attributed to Beethoven. Kodama, Nagano and the DSO – one might imagine them almost as a trio where all the musicians have blind faith in each other and are therefore able to produce a degree of musical intensity that brings the young Beethoven back to life.

Mari Kodama, piano
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Kent Nagano, conductor

Mari Kodama
Kodama’s profoundly nuanced yet natural musicality and her unique ability to unite tonal expressivity with a clear sense of form have made her a leading international pianist. An authoritative Beethoven interpreter, Mari Kodama earns consistent praise for her virtuosity across a broad range of repertoire that includes orchestral, chamber, and solo works by composers of all eras.

Mari Kodama will highlight her mastery of such diverse repertoire during her 2019/2020 season as she presents various concerts around the world: She performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in Sweden and Japan with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Santtu-Matias Rouvali; in Marseille, she presents Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 together with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille and Lawrence Foster; and in Osaka, Japan, she plays Takemitsu's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra with her sister, pianist Momo Kodama. Duo recitals with violinist Veronika Eberle with works by Schubert, Bartok and Franck will also take her to Japan and a contemporary duo recital program with Momo Kodama will bring her to Canada.

Beethoven’s piano works form a focal point of Mari Kodama’s recording activities, and her interpretations have become standard-setting. She is one of few female pianists to record the composer’s complete sonatas, and her 2014 boxed set release (Pentatone) of these pieces – an 11-year-long project – received critical acclaim. On 11 October 2019, she releases Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 0 WoO 4 – an almost unknown youth work of the composer – which together with his Rondo for Piano and Orchestra WoO 6 and his "Eroica" Variations for Piano Solo op. 35 expands her joint recordings of Beethoven's works for piano with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Label: Berlin Classics).

In 2018, Pentatone, with whom Mari Kodama shares a long-term collaboration, released her latest recording on this label: Martinu’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, together with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille under Lawrence Foster and Momo Kodama. Before that, in 2017 Noches en los jardines de España by Manuel de Falla, recorded with the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande under Kazuki Yamada, and in 2016 Tchaikovsky Ballet Suites for Piano Duo with Momo Kodama were added to Mari Kodama’s expansive discography. Mari Kodama’s other recordings include concertos by Chopin and Loewe with the Russian National Orchestra (Pentatone) and Prokofiev concertos Nos. 1 and 3 and Sonata No. 7 with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London (ASV).

Since her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 1995, Mari Kodama has performed with leading orchestras and conductors and at top venues around the world. Past orchestral highlights include appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO), the Bamberg Symphony, the NDR Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, among others. In her native Japan, she has performed with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo along with the symphony orchestras of Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka. Mari Kodama’s festival appearances include the Salzburg Festival, the Verbier Festival, the Festival International de Piano La Roque d’Antheron, the Aldeburgh Festival of Music, Mostly Mozart in New York City, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Kissinger Sommer, and regular appearances at Les Folles Journées Festival in Nantes and Japan.

Through her performing activities, Mari Kodama has brought infrequently heard gems of the piano repertoire to global audiences. She has performed Stenhammer’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Gothenberg and in New York and has also collaborated with Viviane Hagner on Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Piano and Violin, which they performed with both the Jyväskylä Sinfonia and the DSO. Additionally, in 2013 Mari Kodama premiered Jean-Pascal Beinthus’ Double Piano Concerto together with Momo Kodama and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. Mari Kodama also performed in the Canada premieres of Jörg Widmann’s Valse Bavaroise and Humoresken, both at the Canadian Orford Festival in summer 2010.

In addition to festival performances, Mari Kodama plays an active role as a music festival artistic director. She co-founded the Forest Hill Musical Days festival, a cooperative chamber music festival in San Francisco, with her husband Kent Nagano, and she has also led the chamber music series at the Orford Music Festival. In 2018 she assumed artistic directorship at the festival Tra Luce e Sogno in Postignano, Italy, for which she won artists such as Christian Gerhaher, Matt Haimowitz or Gerold Huber.

The 2018/2019 season saw Mari Kodama achieve critical praise for her worldwide performances. Highlights included Schönberg’s Piano Concerto with the SWR Symphonieorchester and Kent Nagano in Stuttgart and Freiburg; duo concerts with Momo Kodama in Paris, Japan, Hungary and Germany with works by Mozart, Adams, Eötvös, Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy, Bizet and Tchaikovsky; as well as a recital with Vadim Repin at Montreal’s Viree Classique Festival.

Mari Kodama was born in Osaka and raised in Germany and Paris. At the Conservatoire National in Paris, she studied piano with Germaine Mounier and chamber music with Genevieve Joy-Dutilleux. She has also worked with Tatiana Nikolaeva and Alfred Brendel. Mari Kodama was appointed as a Steinway Artist.

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