New Paths

Album cover art for upc 827949097669
Label: PentaTone
Catalog: PTC5186976
Format: SACD

Kodama, Mari

Mari Kodama presents New Paths, exploring the young Johannes Brahms and his fascinating friendship with Clara and Robert Schumann. The album derives its title from Robert Schumann’s famous essay “Neue Bahnen”, in which he heralded the young Brahms as the most eminent musical voice of the future. The program brings together Brahms’s first piano sonata, his Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Op. 9, as well as his Theme And Variations, Op. 18B, made at Clara Schumann’s request. The final word is given to Clara’s arrangement of Robert’s song Widmung. New Paths not only explores the unique bond of these three remarkable composers, but also shows the energetic self-confidence of the young Brahms, so different from his later melancholia. Kodama performs these works on a brand new Yamaha piano that almost sounds like a period instrument, coming much closer to Brahms’s sound ideal. Mari Kodama is one of the most extraordinary pianists of our age, and has an impressive Pentatone discography, featuring Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas (2003-2014), piano concertos of Loewe and Chopin (2003), Tchaikovsky Ballet Suites for Piano Duo (2016), De Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain (2017), Martinu’s Concerto for Two Pianos (2018), Kaleidoscope, Beethoven Transcriptions and MON AMI Mon amour (both 2020).

Price: $30.98