Debussy & Hosokawa: Point and Line

Momo Kodama

EN / DE
Born in Osaka, educated at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, Momo Kodama is well-placed to approach music from both Eastern and Western vantage points, as she does in this album which interweaves etudes of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Toshio Hosokawa (born 1955). Both composers have similarly been border-crossers. Debussy, pointing to music of the future, looked to the Orient for inspiration. Hosokawa has combined aspects of Japanese and European tradition in his contemporary compositions. Momo Kodama: “In the music of Toshio Hosokawa I find elements close to Debussy: the freedom of form and tone colour, the sense of poetic design, with a wide range of lyricism and dynamics, between meditation and virtuoso development, between light and shade, between large gestures and minimalist refinement.”
Point and Line is the pianist’s second ECM album and follows the widely-praised La vallée des cloches, with music of Ravel, Takemitsu and Messiaen, of which American Record Guide noted. “Kodama’s impeccable technique and facility for crystalline sounds makes for a mesmerizing program.“
In Osaka geboren, am Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris ausgebildet, ist Momo Kodama prädestiniert, sich Musik sowohl von östlichen wie westlichen Standpunkten aus zu nähern – so wie auf dem vorliegenden Album, das Etüden von Claude Debussy (1862-1918) und Toshio Hosokawa (geboren 1955) miteinander in Bezug setzt.
Beide Komponisten haben sich in ähnlicher Weise als Grenzüberschreiter betätigt. Debussy suchte in seinem Ringen um die Musik der Zukunft im Orient nach Inspiration. Hosokawa verbindet in seinen zeitgenössischen Kompositionen Aspekte der japanischen und der europäischen Tradition. Momo Kodama: „In der Musik von Toshio Hosokawa finde ich Elemente, die Debussy nahe sind: Die Freiheit der Form und Tonfarben, der Sinn für poetische Gestaltung, mit einem weiten Spektrum hinsichtlich Lyrik und Dynamik, zwischen Meditation und virtuoser Entwicklung, zwischen Licht und Schatten, zwischen großen Gesten und minimalistischer Verfeinerung.“
Point and Line ist das zweite ECM-Album der Pianistin. Es folgt auf das allenthalben gelobte La vallée des cloches mit Musik von Ravel, Takemitsu und Messiaen, über das der American Record Guide schrieb: „Kodamas makellose Technik und Begabung für kristalline Klänge sorgen für ein faszinierendes Programm.“
Featured Artists Recorded

January 2016, Historischer Reitstadel, Neumarkt

Original Release Date

27.01.2017

  • Etudes, L. 136
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 1Pour les arpèges composés04:53
  • Etudes
    (Toshio Hosokawa)
  • 2Point and Line07:01
  • Etudes, L. 136
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 3Pour les quartes04:58
  • Etudes
    (Toshio Hosokawa)
  • 4Calligraphy, Haiku, 1 Line02:04
  • Etudes, L. 136
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 5Pour les sixtes04:18
  • Etudes
    (Toshio Hosokawa)
  • 62 Lines05:10
  • Etudes, L. 136
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 7Pour les sonorités opposées05:33
  • 8Pour les tierces04:15
  • 9Pour les huit doigts01:49
  • Etudes
    (Toshio Hosokawa)
  • 10Lied, Melody04:51
  • Etudes, L. 136
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 11Pour les "cinq doigts" - d'après Monsieur Czerny03:18
  • 12Pour les accords04:31
  • 13Pour les agréments05:01
  • Etudes
    (Toshio Hosokawa)
  • 14Ayatori, Magic by 2 hands, 3 Lines09:29
  • Etudes, L. 136
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 15Pour les degrés chromatiques02:27
  • Etudes
    (Toshio Hosokawa)
  • 16Anger03:12
  • Etudes, L. 136
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 17Pour les notes répétées03:28
  • 18Pour les octaves02:53
Born in Osaka and educated at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, Momo Kodama is well-placed to approach music from both Eastern and Western vantage points, as she does in this album which interweaves etudes of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Toshio Hosokawa (born 1955). Both composers have similarly been border-crossers. Debussy, pointing to music of the future, looked to the Orient for inspiration. Hosokawa has long combined aspects of Japanese and European tradition in his contemporary compositions. Momo Kodama’s insights into Toshio Hosokawa’s sound-world are profound. She is one of the outstanding performers of his work, and the composer has dedicated several works to her, including four of the six Etudes for piano included here, all composed between 2011 and 2013:  “Caligraphy, Haiku, 1 Line”, “Lied, Melody”, “Ayatori, Magic by 2 Hands, 3 Lines” and “Anger”.      
 
Momo Kodama: “A number of elements in Hosokawa's music make me sense a proximity to Debussy. One is the freedom of its formal design; another is its interplay and layering of colours. What I find especially remarkable in both is a capacity for poetic utterance that ranges widely between lyricism and drama, between meditation and virtuosic display. Fascinating blends of light and shade, of grand gestures and minimalist refinement, virtually invite us to combine them while at the same time paying attention to their differences and independence.”
 
This sense of shared aesthetic correspondences emboldened Kodama to alternate etudes of the two composers in the present recording.  As she points out in her performer’s note, although Debussy’s Études – written in 1915 - are conventionally performed as a cycle, it wasn’t always that way: “Reading Debussy's letters to his publisher, I discovered that he did not compose his Études in the order in which they appear in print today. And at the time it was perfectly natural not to treat printed études of this sort as a mandatory cycle, but to perform them singly or in groups of two or three.”  Together with producer Manfred Eicher Kodama developed the idea of placing the two cycles – Debussy’s and Hosokawa’s -  in juxtaposition, creating an “interrelated dialogue” between them.
 
Kodama: “Once I had lit on my idea and tried it out, I took a liking to this version. The alternation brought out many a detail in each composer more sharply and placed it in more deliberate focus. In this way, the connection between the two composers grew more and more dear to my heart. In a quite general sense, the correlation between Debussy and Hosokawa has heavily influenced and reconstituted the way I view their music.”
 
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After her time at the Paris Conservatory in the class of Germaine Mounier, Momo Kodoma made further studies with Murray Perahia, András Schiff, Vera Gornostaeva and Tatiana Nikolaïeva. In 1999, she became the youngest winner of the Concours International ARD in Munich. Momo Kodama has been invited to perform with world renowned orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Tokyo Symphony, NHK Symphony, NDR Hamburg, Radio France Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, under the baton of Seiji Ozawa, Eliahu Inbal, Charles Dutoit, Jun Märkl, Lawrence Foster, Kent Nagano, André Prévin and Sir Roger Norrington. She has appeared at prestigious festivals including Marlboro, USA; Verbier and Lucerne, Switzerland; La Roque d’Anthéron, Festival d’Automne, France; Festival Enesco, Romania; Festival Tivoli, Denmark; Settembre Musica, Italy; and Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Her musical partners include Renaud Capuçon, Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis and Jörg Widmann. A highly regarded performer of the music by Olivier Messiaen, she was awarded the Saji Keizo Prize by the Suntory Foundation in Japan for her contribution to contemporary music.
 
Point and Line, recorded in Neumarkt in January 2016, is Kodama’s second ECM New Series album.  It follows the widely-praised La vallée des cloches, which also traced lines of influence between Orient and Occident with music of Ravel, Takemitsu and Messiaen.
YEAR DATE VENUE LOCATION
2024 April 24 tba Espoo, Finland