Momo Kodama – Ravel, Takemitsu, Messiaen: La vallee des cloches (2013) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Ravel, Takemitsu, Messiaen – La vallee des cloches – Momo Kodama (2013) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:05:21 minutes | 479 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | ©  ECM
Recorded: September 2012, Historischer Reitstadel, Neumarkt

Momo Kodma’s first ECM New Series album is a marvel, a mesmerizing journey from the shimmering surfaces of Miroirs, Ravel’s piano cycle of 1904-45 to Messiaen’s Fauvette des jardins (written in 1970), a late masterpiece of piano music from the visionary composer. Kodama’s insights into Messiaen’s sound-world are remarkable as she conveys his religious feeling for nature, birdsong transformed into spiritual utterance, through the compelling, insistent piano figures. Linking the two pieces like a walkway is Toru Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch (1982), music from the East informed by Western experiment. “Its opening bars” writes Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich in the liner notes, “evoke not only the rapturous crystalline chord progressions of Messiaen, but also the flashing, glittering sophistication of Ravel.

For this 2013 release on ECM New Series, Momo Kodama has selected three works that demonstrate the piano’s potential for atmosphere and scene painting, qualities dear to French and Japanese composers. Maurice Ravel’s Miroirs, Toru Takemitsu’s Rain-Tree Sketch, and Olivier Messiaen’s La fauvette des jardins are evocative compositions that summon up extramusical images and natural sounds, depicted somewhat impressionistically through the crystalline timbres available on the piano. By titling the album after Ravel’s La vallée des cloches, the fifth piece in Miroirs, a subtle connection seems to be drawn through the bell-like chords that are found in all three works. Though these pieces’ styles are quite different, they share the piano’s ringing sonorities as important coloristic devices. Kodama is a sensitive performer with a profound sense for nuances and shading, so it is natural for her to be drawn to these composers, whose music is well-suited to her refined artistry. In a more extroverted pianist’s hands this program wouldn’t be nearly as effective as it is, yet Kodama’s introspective approach makes it hold together admirably. -AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson


Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
1. I. Noctuelles. Très léger 05:15
2. II. Oiseaux tristes. Très lent 03:56
3. III. Une barque sur l’océan. D’un rythme souple 07:31
4. IV. Alborada del gracioso. Assez vif 06:59
5. V. La vallée des cloches. Très lent 05:24

Toru Takemitsu 1930-1996)
6. Rain Tree Sketch 04:09

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992)
7. La fauvette des jardins 32:24

The Hilliard Ensemble:
Momo Kodama, piano



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