Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas

Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas

5.0 1
by HJ Lim
     
 

The marketing of this collection of Beethoven's piano sonatas (minus the two small student pieces of Op. 49) may have overshadowed its musical content. The charismatic Korean pianist HJ Lim first gained a following on YouTube, where she posted her work from France in order to keep in touch with her parents back home. Her gutsy decision toSee more details below

Overview

The marketing of this collection of Beethoven's piano sonatas (minus the two small student pieces of Op. 49) may have overshadowed its musical content. The charismatic Korean pianist HJ Lim first gained a following on YouTube, where she posted her work from France in order to keep in touch with her parents back home. Her gutsy decision to plunge into the entire Beethoven cycle has been released digitally by EMI, at a bargain price, and heavily advertised on Facebook. Lim's sheer ambition is displayed in her organization of the set, which is not chronological but instead uses "themes": Heroic Ideals, Eternal Feminine -- Youth, Assertion of an Inflexible Personality, Nature, Extremes in Collision, Resignation and Action, Eternal Feminine -- Maturity, and Destiny. It might be objected that these are not satisfying as categories, and indeed they don't really hold together well, nor emerge convincingly in Lim's playing, which seems to approach each piece is a sort of free-flowing, rhythmically irregular way. Yet Lim defends her programming in a remarkable set of (digital) notes, making extensive biographical references to Beethoven's own writings and those of his assistant Schindler, among others. This is quite an intellectual feat for one who has made it through the rigors of conservatory training, and in many specific locations Lim's observations are both persuasive and generative of fresh interpretations. To take just one example, the placement of the "Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 (Waldstein)," in the "Nature" segment is surprising yet revelatory, as Lim turns the slow movement into a series of murky forest whispers and the finale into a blaze of sunny Romantic transcendence. She does a good job of backing up her more outrageous ideas with Beethoven's own words, many of them dealing with his always tempestuous love life, and at the local level, if not in wider thematic thrusts, her interpretations make sense, and she has the technical chops to pull them off. The best word for Lim at this point is "prodigy"; her talent is impressive but needs focus, and she gets extra points for a star quality that is well suited to the way EMI is trying to present this release. That star quality is, moreover, something much needed in mainstream classical music.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2012
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099946495228
catalogNumber:
64952
Rank:
111685

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  2. Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor ("Appassionata"), Op. 57  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  3. Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major ("Funeral March"), Op. 26  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  4. Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 13  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  5. Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  6. Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  7. Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  8. Piano Sonata No. 24 in F sharp major ("A Thérèse"), Op. 78  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  9. Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  10. Piano Sonata No. 18 in E flat major ("Hunt"), Op. 31/3  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  11. Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor ("Tempest"), Op. 31/2  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  12. Piano Sonata No. 16 in G major, Op. 31/1  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  13. Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op. 10/3  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  14. Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10/2  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  15. Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10/1  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  16. Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major ("Cuckoo"), Op. 79  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  17. Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  18. Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major ("Waldstein"), Op. 53  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  19. Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major ("Pastoral"), Op. 28  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  20. Piano Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2/3  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  21. Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2/2  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  22. Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2/1  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  23. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor ("Moonlight"), Op. 27/2  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  24. Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat major ("Quasi una fantasia"), Op. 27/1  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  25. Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14/2  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  26. Piano Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14/1  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  27. Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major ("Grand Sonata"), Op. 7  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  28. Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major ("Les Adieux"), Op. 81a  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  29. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim
  30. Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major ("Hammerklavier"), Op. 106  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Andrew Cornall  - HJ Lim

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

HJ Lim   Primary Artist

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