LUZERNER ZEITUNG, November 25, 2013 (for Recital at Lucerne Piano Festival)
— Als Kleinod entpuppte sich dazwischen das Late Night der japanischen Pianistin Momo Kodama. Schon beim Pruefstein Bach liess sie durch eindringliche Kantabilitt aufhorchen (Andante des Italienischen Konzerts) und machte die virtuos pointierten Etueden von Debussy restlos zu einem so witzigen wie rauschhaften Hoehepunkt…..
Dazwischen zeigte die Urauffhrung von Etueden des Japaners Toshio Hosokawa, wie reizvoll gerade das Klavier fuer die zeitgenssische Musik sein kann. Selbst in der trockenen Akustik des Luzerner Saals, kam das von Pinselstrichen inspirierte Spiel mit Linien, die im Nichts auftauchen, sich durch Resonanzen ausbreiten, berlagern und wieder verschwinden, mysteris zur Geltung.
L’ECHO CHARITOIS 21.11. 2013 — Il faudrait citer la précision, la pertinence stylistique et le naturel des ornements dans le Concerto italien. Il faudrait relever avec quelle subtilité la pianiste a suggéré que les Études d’Hosokawa nous préparaient à une écoute et une compréhension renouvelée du 2e Scherzo de Chopin dans ses alternances d’âpreté fiévreuse et de tendresse lyrique. Il faudrait revenir sur l’art avec lequel elle a su donner sens aux silences, si essentiels dans la structure des grandes œuvres musicales. Il faudrait insister sur la facilité avec laquelle elle s’est jouée des difficultés techniques extrêmes des Études de Debussy . Il faudrait enfin souligner une donnée quasi synesthésique qui a imprimé sa marque à toute la soirée. On sait que lorsqu’il est pleinement musical, le son est l’expression sonore d’un geste qui engage tout le corps de l’interprète. Avec une puissance expressive qui n’était pas sans évoquer celle de la calligraphie japonaise, Momo Kodama en a fait la démonstration éclatante tout au long d’un concert qui était, au sens le plus riche du terme, une véritable performance.
echo charitois 21.11. 2013
GILLES MACASSAR –2. 11.2103 — Trois oeuvres altières et singulières magistralement interprétées par la pianiste japonaise.
En disciple d’Yvonne Loriod, à qui son mari, Olivier Messiaen, avait dédié sa partition, Momo Kodama exalte la volubilité acérée de ces mélopées diurnes ou nocturnes, leurs couleurs stridentes.
Gilles Macassar –2. 11.2103 Telerama (about the ECM Recording “la Vallée des cloches”
BBC MUSIC Magazine, October, 2012 — Momo Kodama clearly has the music in her blood. In her hands, the jaunty opening volleys of ‘Le traquet stapazin’ bubble with cheerfulness, and she controls the numerous jumps in tempo and mood with a natural ease…Kodama’s dramatic sense is strong. ****
NEUE MUSIKZEITUNG, December 2011 — The loss of an entire generation of Jewish composers through the Holocaust has robbed the world of a source of great creative potential. Who knows what kind of music would have evolved out of the conflict between radical, innovative tendencies and Neoclassicism. The Jerusalem Festival deeply explored this speculative topic, with pieces such as Pavel Haas’ Piano Suite, Op. 13. Momo Kodama played this Neo-Baroque but also jazz-inspired piece as “great” music, in which all of the different trends of the time coalesce. Her playing was colourful, rich in contrast, and filled the piece with a vividly prominent drama that can only be described as awe-inspiring.
FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE, September 2011 — The wonderful pianist Momo Kodama haptically pulls out the traditional structures and timbres from the jazzy Suite Op. 13 by Pavel Haas.
DIE WELT, November 24, 2010 — Momo Kodama moved through the (Ravel) Piano Concerto in D major in an admirable manner.
DER NEUE MERKER, November 2010 — Much applause also for Kent Nagano and the State Orchestra, and especially for the petite pianist Momo Kodama, who played Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand brilliantly and powerfully.
SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, November 2010 — Despite her daintiness, pianist of the evening Momo Kodama has the hands and the touch that the piece requires. She left the audience’s ears ringing from the intensity of her playing.
LE MONDE — The pianist threw herself into an interpretation of the Fantasie-Impromptu that has never been heard so feverishly characteristic of the art of the composer.
ZUGER ZEITUNG — Momo Kodama played the extensive and very demanding solo part superbly in every respect. She seemed effortlessly to command all the technical and musical elements, the strong but always supple touch of her right hand deserving special admiration.
LE DEVOIR — Momo Kodama’s sonority is absolutely ideal for this piece [Mozart K 467]. Far from the usual sentimentality, her performance speaks from the inside; melodies and motives take turn in such a natural manner that one imagines being brought back to the first performance of the concerto. When performers surprise the listener to such an extent in such a famous piece, one can only applaud.
FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE — With the glass-like clarity and never forced touch, every phrase was researched even in the virtuoso passages. The performance, which was altogether impressive, reached some moments of extreme beauty.
ONGAKUNOTOMO MAGAZINE — At the beginning, Momo Kodama expressed the composer’s modernity, one of the various aspects of his character. At moments demanding, computer-like accuracy and her unequalled pure technique succeeded in constructing solid structure in the music. The ‘Italian Concerto’ was played with all kinds of expressions such as symphonic construction, building various sound colors, and liberal use of dynamics. Thus she showed her ability to make music on a grand scale.
WIGMORE HALL DEBUT – LONDON (Ivan March) — Momo Kodama created something of a sensation in London at her Wigmore Hall debut, which ended with an explosion of ecstatic bravura in Messiaen’s extraordinary Vingt Regards. She had begun with a grippingly evocative account of Debussy’s l’Isle joyeuse. In Scarbo the virtuosity was dazzling and at times thunderous – it seemed incredible that the fingers of this diminutive figure sitting poised over the Steinway keyboard could command such malevolent weight and projection of sound.
THE BOSTON PHOENIX, December 15, 2000 – Boston Symphony Hall
Momo Kodama: Tchaikovsky Her Way
Kodama gives you Tchaikovsky straight from the shoulder, as opposed to the wrist or the elbow, so when she bangs (and given her small size she pretty much has to), she still gets a decently full rounded sound out of the instrument.
…I didn’t hear Van Cliburn at Tanglewood this summer, but his legendary recording now sounds like Establishment Tchaikovsky, or bad Masterpiece Theatre: majestic, sensitive, hollow. Kodama’s mercurial passion was the stuff of live-performance dreams: personal, heartfelt, true.
WASHINGTON POST, December 11, 2000 – Kennedy Center, New York
She’s a natty player fastidious when it comes to textures and transparency. Her occasional re-discovery of quietness was refreshing, and she bought out those rare moments when Tchaikovsky says two things at once rather than one thing very insistently. There seems to be intelligence at work.
THE BOSTON GLOBE, December 7, 2000 – Boston Symphony Hall
Krystian Zimerman needed to send his superpiano to New York early to get it into shape for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall performances this week, so he bowed out of Tuesday night’s concert. This opened the way for the debut of the Japanese pianist Momo Kodama, who played the Tchaikovsky Concerto, which she will also perform with the orchestra on tour dates in Newark and Washington D.C.
Kodama has an interesting pedigree; among her teachers were figures as diverse as Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff, and the late Tatiana Nikolayeva. The audience Tuesday night gave her a standing ovation. There was something irresistible about the way this tiny woman could make effects in a work that male titans of the keyboard declared unplayable when it was new, 125 years ago.
BOSTON HERALD, December 6, 2000 – BSO/Seiji Ozawa
Japanese Pianist Shows Will
Kodama has been receiving increasing international recognition, and it’s easy to see why. She can make a big sound with little apparent effort, summon up an attractive, lyrical tone and even dazzle with technical brilliance. Her best playing of the evening in fact was in the extended solo at the movement’s end, a solo she filled with poetry.
Kodama also brought out the playfulness of the genteel second movement as few do, and she certainly showed that she can play fast in the third movement, taken at a breakneck pace.