“This is the kind of album that will save the classical recording industry”
- Telegraph UK
“HJ Lim tackles these pieces with invention as much as she does with respect.”
- BBC Music review, February 2012
The brilliant 25-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 recorded the sonatas on a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano in July and August 2011, grouping them into eight themes.
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 was ready to record the Beethoven sonatas having performed the complete cycle over eight consecutive days in Paris in August 2010.
“I view these sonatas by Beethoven as the most intense diary, in which a genius expresses, or even illustrates, all the facets of a life that is sometimes sublimated and idealised, and often deeply moving by its realism,” says Lim. “To perform Beethoven’s sonatas is not just to interpret music, but also an attempt to understand the multi-faceted psychology of a human being. If Beethoven’s music can help us understand the human being that he was, so entering Beethoven’s life can help us understand his music.”
“As the sonatas Op. 49 Nos. 1 and 2 were meant as exercises for students and published against the composer’s will,” HJ continues, “I have chosen to respect Beethoven’s intentions by leaving them out of this great cycle. I have organised the remaining sonatas by theme.”