Exclusive Early Release at NativeDSD
2 Weeks Ahead of Official Release Date April 17, 2020
Beethoven Through the Lens of Other Great Composers
After her acclaimed complete recording of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, Mari Kodama returns with a programme consisting of Beethoven string quartets transcribed for piano by Saint-Saëns, Mussorgsky and Balakirev, as well as Beethoven’s variations on the finale of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. Most pieces are recorded for the first time. Kaleidoscope is designed as a homage, considering and experiencing Beethoven through the lens of other great composers.
"Studying piano transcriptions of famous Beethoven string quartet movements written by such great composers as Camille Saint-Saëns, Modest Mussorgsky and Mily Balakirev enables me to find a new approach to Beethoven and his music in two ways. Firstly, parts of his late works can now be played by me, which allows me to understand them differently. And secondly, I can now follow the tracks of others who have been searching for the same thing as me: to get closer to Beethoven in order to understand him more fully. Performing these transcriptions for piano, which are actually not transcriptions but arrangements or, rather, ‘poetic adaptations’, allows me to learn how these three composers understand Beethoven, how they work out precisely what seems to them to be the essence of Beethoven’s string music, how they make his music their own with the help of their works and thus meet precisely that demand of obstinacy that Beethoven constantly makes for all of us. It feels to me that playing these adaptations of individual movements gives me the opportunity to ask, even if not directly to Beethoven himself, then at least to Saint-Saëns, Mussorgsky or Balakirev, about their view of Beethoven. Their impressions, as expressed in the transcriptions, will undoubtedly take me further, just as they will hopefully give you a further, deeper or at least new understanding of Beethoven.”
- Mari Kodama