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The brilliant 24-year-old Korean pianist HJ Lim, who signed an exclusive contract with EMI Classics in September 2011, has recorded her first project for the label, an ambitious traversal of the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Lim, a Yamaha exclusive artist, recorded the sonatas on a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano in July and August 2011, grouping them into eight themes. The recordings will be released as four 2-CD sets over the course of 2012 with a complete deluxe box set to be available at the conclusion of the project.
Pianists who record the Beethoven sonatas cycle usually do so at the peak of long and storied careers. With this bold and controversial recording project, HJ Lim aims to prove that at the age of 24 she is ready to record the Beethoven sonatas now. She has the intelligence and artistic vision and her powerful performances have been captivating both traditional and new audiences. She has already performed complete Beethoven sonatas cycles over eight days each in France, Germany and Japan.
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106 'Hammerklavier'
2. Scherzo: Assai Vivace
3. Adagio Sostenuto, Appassionato E Con Molto Sentimento
4. Largo: Allegro Risoluto
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22
1. Allegro Con Brio
2. Adagio Con Molta Espressione
4. Rondo Allegretto
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a 'Les Adieux'
1. Adagio, Allegro
2. Andante Espressivo
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 7
1. Allegro Molto E Con Brio
2. Largo, Con Gran Espressione
4. Rondo: Poco Allegretto E Grazioso
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14 No. 1
3. Rondo: Allegro Comodo
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14 No. 2
3. Scherzo: Allegro Assai
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat major, Op. 27 No. 1 'Quasi una fantasia'
1. Andante, Allegro, Andante
2. Allegro Molto E Vivace
3. Adagio Con Espressione
4. Allegro Vivace
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight'
1. Adagio Sostenuto
3. Presto Agitato
“She plays like a whirlwind...I have never heard the first movement of the Hammerklavier played so fast: Lim believes in honouring Beethoven's metronome direction, impossible though it may seem...Some of the quirkier movements are joyfully characterised, and there are times youthful impetuousness blinds her to the music's poetry”
2nd February 2012
“Proving one’s chops at such a young age doesn’t enter into it – Lim tramples nimbly and with invention as much as she does with respect. Volume two ought to be another triumph.”
“Lim herself is something of a risk-taker. In general, she favours fast tempi and textures that are clear and taut to the point of being overly dry. At the same time, she sometimes employs 'old school' devices like rolling chords and breaking hands...However one responds to these exciting though sometimes wrong-headed performances, there's no doubting Lim's strong personality and fervent commitment.”
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