Catalogue d
Olivier Messiaen

Catalogue d'Oiseaux

Momo Kodama

Label: Triton (JP)
Format: SACD
Barcode: 4526977930608
Catalog number: OVCT 60
Releasedate: 01-10-10
This is the second Messiaen CD by the Paris-based pianist Momo Kodama, one of the best, acclaimed interpreters of Messiaen music, following her Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus (OVCT-00031 first released in 2005). In 2008 of the composer's memorial year, many related concerts featured Momo Kodama as one of the most important artists, and this recording was just made after all those prize-winning concert performances of hers, integrating them into this beautiful box set.
  • Ms. Kodama has achieved succes as a Japanese musician in the international music scene and worked with big names all over the world
  • Since making her debut at 17, she has earned significant renown by performing with numerous world-class orchestras, including Boston Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Seiji Ozawa
  • In 2008 Ms. Kodama performed the Catalogue d'Oiseaux (Birds’ Catalogue) and other major piano pieces on five occasions, in memory of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the master 20th century composer, Olivier Messiaen
  • Hybrid (CD SACD 2ch)
  • 3-CD box
Messiaen, who was an enthusiastic and accomplished ornithologist, investigated for his Catalogue d'oiseaux 13 birds with their songs and their specific sound environments. 

"I'm very attracted by the works of Messiaen. Catalogue d'oiseaux offers a new musical language. Each bird is evoked by his singing, his travels in its environment, the surrounding landscape etc. The music changes depending on whether the bird is found in the air of morning or evening, or depending on the weather. There are many birds in the catalogue, which gives a great diversity in sounds. The work reflects the beauty of nature, but there is also plenty of humor. "

"Messiaen, who practiced ornithology in a scientific way and with passion, has traveled the world in search of new species. But the thirteen pieces in the catalogue are devoted to birds in France. "Each piece is written in honor of a French province," wrote the composer. Each is simply the name of the symbolic bird of the region."

It is a modest monument and brilliant but highly demanding. "The singing of birds is different from the human voice. The rhythm is completely different from what we usually hear. But the work is very accessible, even to an audience that knows no contemporary music ". - interview with Momo Kodama in La Provence
Known for her musicality and expressive virtuosity, Momo Kodama is one of the most engaging pianists of her generation. She can make a big sound with little apparent effort, summon up an attractive, lyrical tone and dazzle with technical brilliance.

Born in Japan, Momo Kodama has lived in Europe from an early age. At the age of 13 she entered the class of Germaine Mounier at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique in Paris. She continued her studies with such eminent pianists as Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff and Tatiana Nikolaeva. Ms Kodama has been awarded numerous prizes in Japan and in Europe, notably the Munich ARD Competition in 1991, of which she was the youngest-ever winner (the first prize was not awarded), thus bringing her to the attention of the international music world.

She performs regularly together with leading orchestras including the NHK, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Boston Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Orchestra Nationale della RAI. She has worked with conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Eliahu Inbal, Valery Gergiev, Seiji Ozawa, Gary Bertini, Gunther Herbig, Lawrence Forster, Kent Nagano, Zdenek Máčal, and Sir Roger Norrington.

Momo Kodama is equally in demand as a recitalist and chamber musician. She performs at the most prestigious halls and festivals - the Wigmore Hall, Châtelet, Suntory Hall, Marlboro, Verbier, Lucerne, Davos, Tivoli, Schleswig Holstein, La Roque d'Anthéron, Settembre Musica in Torino, and Enescu festivals. As well as regularly performing with violinist Yuzuko Horigome, she has formed memorable partnerships with Steven Isserlis, Nobuko Imai, Regis Pasquier, Dmitri Makhtin and her sister Mari. Since 2004, she has been invited to perform at the Folle Journée festivals in Nantes, Lisbon and Tokyo where the subtlety and insight of her playing in Clementi and Beethoven, Bach and Mozart as well as Janáček and Mussorgsky have won over every audience. In 2009, she will again perform at the festivals in Nantes, Bilbao, Warsaw, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. A large part of her repertoire is dedicated to music of modern times including Arvö Pärt, Toru Takemitsu and Olivier Messiaen. Having studied the Turangalîla Symphony with Yvonne Loriod, Momo Kodama was asked by the composer's widow to premiere Messiaen‘s Fantaisie pour violin et piano (written in 1933 but never performed in public), which she did atLa Roque d'Anthéron with Isabelle Faust.

Momo Kodama is also the dedicatee of works such as Lichtstudie 3 by Jörg Widmann, Echo by Ichiro Nodaira, and Lotus under the moonlight, the Piano Concerto written for her by Toshio Hosokawa, premiered with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and Jun Maerkl, and performed and recorded with Seiji Ozawa and the Mito Chamber Orchestra. In 2008, she commissioned Toshio Hosokawa´s Stunden Blumen, a work with the same instrumentation as Messiaen´s Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps, and performed both pieces at the Lucerne Festival together with Caroline and Jörg Widmann and Xavier Phillips, followed by performances in Paris, Hamburg and Vienna.

After two remarkable debut recordings - the first a recital of Debussy in 2002 and the second a recital of Chopin in 2005 - Momo Kodama recorded the Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus by Olivier Messiaen, which met with immediate critical acclaim both in Japan and in Europe. Currently she is recording Messiaen´s complete Catalogue d´oiseaux.

In the beginning of 2009, Momo Kodama received the prestigious Kenzo Nakajima Memorial Fund for Contemporary Music Promotion.