Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 3 - Kodama
Classical - Instrumental
Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 3, Scherzo No. 3, Impromtus, 3 Ecossaises
Momo Kodama (piano)
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Review by John Broggio - April 25, 2008
The opening work is the Scherzo No.3 and makes one feel very apprehensive about what is to follow: the opening figures are garbled, later the octave passages are forced and the arpeggios are played with only a care for virtuosity - there is little magic to be heard here but a great deal of unsubtle playing.
The impression of a fabulous technique being put to the wrong ends is sadly confirmed by Kodama's approach to the Impromptus (presented as a set of 4 works, including the Fantasie-Impromptu). Not helped by the rather close recording, the listener feels hectored by the rapid figurations and hammered by the slower episodes of the first. The second starts better, with a far more sensitive style adopted by Kodama that allows one to appreciate the pure beauty of Chopin's writing although many will react against the literal reading as being under characterised. In the central section, the heavy octaves return which (even having adjusted for recording level - quite high) comes across as blows of steel without any tonal cushioning that the master pianists have and can provide. The third impromptu is played in utterly bland fashion that doesn't register any emotion at all. The Fantasie-Impromptu reminds one of the Scherzo; good technique but little poetry or feeling for the music.
As an interlude, Kodama offers the 3 Écossaises Op.72. These miniatures are easily the best offering, with Kodama finding a pleasing lilt and obviously enjoying these smaller offerings - perhaps a better idea might have been for her to have recorded the Mazurka's instead?
To close the recital with the 3rd sonata, once again, Kodama offers an account that is strong on technique but the magic is missing; at no time is there a feeling of narrative in the music nor a strong indication of structure. Thanks to her formidable finger work, the virtuoso Scherzo fares best as does the coda to the Finale. Elsewhere, one imagines this is how a robot might recreate the score.
Perhaps much of the problems alluded to here are not all of Kodama's making; the recording (crystal clear though it may be) is recorded in far too a close manner so that the already bright sound of the piano hits the ears.
Not recommended from any standpoint.
Copyright © 2008 John Broggio and HRAudio.net