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SHORT BIOGRAPHY

This is the kind of album that will save the classical music recording industry. It’s the kind of album I want to buy 20 of and hand out in the street to strangers. It’s the kind of album that, if you’ve never heard a Beethoven sonata before will convert you for life and ruin every other performance you’ll hear.
The Telegraph

 

HJ Lim is a pianist of extraordinary imagination and vision; an artist who has won praise for refreshing and rediscovering the pinnacles of the piano repertoire, for the intellectual depths of her musical insight, but above all as an artist who balances all of these talents with an undeniable flair and virtuosity. She created a sensation in the music world when, in 2010, she performed the complete Beethoven sonatas over eight consecutive days to sell out audiences in Paris. These extraordinary concerts were to be the catalyst to her ongoing success: when she recorded the complete cycle for EMI Classics the following year, she became not only the youngest interpreter to ever record these masterpieces, but the first and only classical pianist to debut at number one on the Billboard classical chart and on the US, Netherlands and Canadian iTunes chart.

Since 2008, HJ Lim proposes complete cycles in recital that allows her to explore deeply each composer, such as all preludes, scherzos, ballades, waltzes of Chopin or 12 preludes of Debussy, as well as all Rachmaninov's Etudes-Tableaux along with Chopin 24 Etudes that she performed at the Stadtcasino of Basel, the critic described the recital as "an incomparably fiery pianistic space, super-virtuoso sound images, spectacular and extremely bewitching, and especially they were interpreted like the monumental pianistic dramas (…) an incredible enchantment of possibilities of pianistic expressions, subtle and grandiose, magically performed by the phenomenal virtuoso."

HJ Lim began her musical studies at the age of three. At the age of twelve she made the decision, of her own accord, to leave her native South Korea and move to France. Here she immersed herself in the musical world of the composers who shaped her early years. After studying under Marc Hoppeler, she graduated from the Conservatoire National Région de Rouen with First Prize, and went on to become the youngest person to obtain the Diplôme d’Etudes Musicales Complètes of Normandy - aged fifteen. In 2006, HJ Lim graduated from studying under Henri Barda at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, again with First Prize.

Recent concerto performances included a tour with NDR Sinfonieorchester of Hamburg at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, in Sala Sao Paulo in Brazil, et 4 Rachmaninov concertos with Barcelona Symphony and Pablo Gonzalez in three days, as well as concertos n.3 of Prokofiev, N.23 of Mozart, N.3 d of Beethoven, N.1 of Liszt and N.1 of Mendelssohn with Seattle Symphony, Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, KBS Symphony, Moscow Virtuosi, Bilkent Symphony, Welsh National Opera, Prime Philharmonic, concerto N.1 of Tchaikovsky with Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra at Zurich Tonhalle, Ravel concerto in G with München Symphoniker at Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater. She also performed at Royal Albert Hall with Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Classic FM Live), le Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hofer Symphoniker and Stavanger Symphony.

In 2013, she made Asian tour, in Korea at Seoul Arts Center, in Tokyo where she renewed the complete Beethoven Sonatas cycle in eight concerts at Asahi Hall, each concert has been broadcasted live on Live stream. Record Geijutsu wrote of the cycle, “ HJ Lim accomplished this most impossible of challenges...Her gift comes from the heavens”.
In recital, HJ Lim performed at Théâtre du Palais Royal in Paris, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, London Wigmore Hall, Sala Verdi in Milan, Victoria Hall in Geneva Geneva and the Stadtcasino, Her festival appearances include Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Festival de Musique de Menton, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Beethoven Festival Chicago and the Annecy Classical Festival.
She will perform at Suntory Hall in Tokyo with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and at Festival International Piano de Biarritz.

HJ Lim records exclusively with EMI-Warner Classics and her second disc is a solo recording of works by Ravel and Scriabin, released in 2014.

By International Classical Artists

COURTE BIOGRAPHIE

Cela vous oblige à écouter cette musique comme si c'était pour la première fois, en redécouvrant tout ce qui est grand en elle. Tout est dangereusement vivifiant, l'originalité frappante. C'est le genre d'album qui va sauver l'industrie de la musique classique, c'est le genre de album qui, si vous n'avez jamais entendu une sonate de Beethoven, va convertir votre vie et ruiner toute autre interprétation que vous entendrez.
The Telegraph

 

"Cela vous oblige à écouter cette musique comme si c'était pour la première fois, en redécouvrant tout ce qui est grand en elle. Tout est dangereusement vivifiant, l'originalité frappante. C'est le genre d'album qui va sauver l'industrie de la musique classique, c'est le genre de album qui, si vous n'avez jamais entendu une sonate de Beethoven, va convertir votre vie et ruiner toute autre interprétation que vous entendrez." The Telegraph.

HJ Lim, révélée par son enregistrement de l’intégrale des Sonates de Beethoven pour EMI Classics 2012, est acclamée par le public et la presse comme The New York Times, BBC Music et The Telegraph, et devient non seulement la plus jeune interprète à compléter ce cycle en enregistrement à 24 ans, mais l'unique et la première musicienne à débuter au numéro 1 des classements de référence Billboard et iTunes aux USA, au Canada, en Hollande et en Corée du Sud. Son second disque consacré à Scriabine et Ravel vient de sortir en 2014.

En 2010, sa décision d'englober en huit concerts consécutifs le cycle complet des sonates pour piano de Beethoven à Paris, dans la Cathédrale de la Sainte-Croix, crée la sensation dans le monde de la musique classique. Un an plus tard, elle enregistre ce cycle complet pour EMI Classics en publiant dans le livret son analyse personnelle des sonates qu'elle a organisées en huit thèmes, en invitant ainsi à poser un regard neuf sur ces œuvres. A 24 ans seulement, elle devient ainsi la plus jeune interprète à enregistrer cette intégrale-pour EMI -Warner CLASSICS.

Depuis 2008, HJ Lim propose des cycles d'intégrales en récital ce qui lui permet d'explorer en profondeur l'univers de chaque compositeur - Le cycle de préludes, scherzos, valses, 4 Ballades de Chopin, ou de 12 Préludes de Debussy, ainsi que l’intégralité des Etudes-Tableaux de Rachmaninov et 24 Etudes de Chopin au Stadtcasino de Bâle où la presse suisse-allemande qualifie son récital d'un "espace de feu, drames monumentales pianistiques sans pareil, spectaculaire, pleine d'envoûtement et une féerie incroyable des possibilités d'expression pianistiques, subtiles et grandioses, magiquement interprétée par la phénoménale virtuose."

Née en Corée du Sud, HJ Lim commence ses études musicales à l'âge de trois ans avec Jong-Sun Kim. A l’âge de douze ans, elle choisit de son propre gré d’aller vivre en France. Elle enchaine successivement les Premiers Prix avec les plus hautes distinctions au Conservatoire National de Région de Compiègne dans la classe de Marc Hoppeler, du Cycle de Perfectionnement en musique de chambre et de piano au Conservatoire National de Rouen, et le 1er Prix et Diplôme de Formation Supérieure dans la classe d’Henri Barda au CNSMDP qu’elle obtient en 2006.

HJ Lim vient d'effectuer une tournée avec NDR Sinfonieorchester de Hambourg au Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires et à la Sala Sao Paulo de Brésil, et de jouer les 4 concertos de Rachmaninov avec l'Orchestre Symphonique de Barcelone avec Pablo Gonzalez en trois jours, ainsi que les concertos n.3 de Prokofiev, N.23 de Mozart, N.3 de Beethoven, N.1 de Liszt et N.1 de Mendelssohn avec Seattle Symphony, Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, KBS Symphony, les Moscow Virtuosi, Bilkent Symphony, Welsh National Opera, Prime Philharmonic, le concerto N.1 de Tchaikovsky avec l'Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio de Moscou à la Tonhalle de Zurich, le concerto en sol de Ravel avec München Symphoniker au Herkulessaal et Prinzregententheater. Elle s'est également produite au Royal Albert Hall avec le Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Classic FM Live), le Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hofer Symphoniker et Stavanger Symphony.

En été 2013, elle effectue une tournée en Asie, à Seoul Arts Center et à Tokyo, où elle reprend le cycle des Sonates de Beethoven en huit concerts à Asahi Hall,- chaque concert étant diffusé en direct sur Live Stream. Record Geijutsu écrit à propos "HJ Lim a accompli le plus impossible des challenges…ses dons viennent du ciel."

Citons par ailleurs ses récitals aux Wigmore Hall de Londres, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, au théâtre du Palais Royal à Paris, aux Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Festival de Menton, Annecy Classical Festival, Victoria Hall de Genève, Stadtcasino de Bâle, à Sala Verdi, Milan, Festival de Musique de Menton, la série Maestros & Friends au Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Beethoven Festival Chicago où elle joue le concerto n.12 de Mozart et dirige du clavier le concerto de Mozart pour trois pianos et orchestre.

Elle se produira également au Suntory Hall de Tokyo avec Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, avec Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony et au Festival International Piano de Biarritz.

HJ Lim enregistre en exclusivité pour EMI-Warner Classics.

FULL BIOGRAPHY

This is the kind of album that will save the classical music recording industry. It’s the kind of album I want to buy 20 of and hand out in the street to strangers. It’s the kind of album that, if you’ve never heard a Beethoven sonata before will convert you for life and ruin every other performance you’ll hear.
The Telegraph

 

HJ Lim is a pianist of extraordinary imagination and vision; an artist who has won praise for refreshing and rediscovering the pinnacles of the piano repertoire, for the intellectual depths of her musical insight, but above all as an artist who balances all of these talents with an undeniable flair and virtuosity. She created a sensation in the music world when, in 2010, she performed the complete Beethoven sonatas over eight consecutive days to sell out audiences in Paris. These extraordinary concerts were to be the catalyst to her ongoing success: when she recorded the complete cycle for EMI Classics the following year, she became not only the youngest interpreter to ever record these masterpieces, but the first and only classical pianist to debut at number one on the Billboard classical chart and on the US, Netherlands and Canadian iTunes chart.

Since 2008, HJ Lim proposes complete cycles in recital that allows her to explore deeply each composer, such as all preludes, scherzos, ballades, waltzes of Chopin or 12 preludes of Debussy, as well as all Rachmaninov's Etudes-Tableaux along with Chopin 24 Etudes that she performed at the Stadtcasino of Basel, the critic described the recital as "an incomparably fiery pianistic space, super-virtuoso sound images, spectacular and extremely bewitching, and especially they were interpreted like the monumental pianistic dramas (…) an incredible enchantment of possibilities of pianistic expressions, subtle and grandiose, magically performed by the phenomenal virtuoso."

HJ Lim began her musical studies at the age of three. At the age of twelve she made the decision, of her own accord, to leave her native South Korea and move to France. Here she immersed herself in the musical world of the composers who shaped her early years. After studying under Marc Hoppeler, she graduated from the Conservatoire National Région de Rouen with First Prize, and went on to become the youngest person to obtain the Diplôme d’Etudes Musicales Complètes of Normandy - aged fifteen. In 2006, HJ Lim graduated from studying under Henri Barda at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, again with First Prize.

Recent concerto performances included a tour with NDR Sinfonieorchester of Hamburg at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, in Sala Sao Paulo in Brazil, et 4 Rachmaninov concertos with Barcelona Symphony and Pablo Gonzalez in three days, as well as concertos n.3 of Prokofiev, N.23 of Mozart, N.3 d of Beethoven, N.1 of Liszt and N.1 of Mendelssohn with Seattle Symphony, Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, KBS Symphony, Moscow Virtuosi, Bilkent Symphony, Welsh National Opera, Prime Philharmonic, concerto N.1 of Tchaikovsky with Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra at Zurich Tonhalle, Ravel concerto in G with München Symphoniker at Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater. She also performed at Royal Albert Hall with Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Classic FM Live), le Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hofer Symphoniker and Stavanger Symphony.

In 2013, she made Asian tour, in Korea at Seoul Arts Center, in Tokyo where she renewed the complete Beethoven Sonatas cycle in eight concerts at Asahi Hall, each concert has been broadcasted live on Live stream. Record Geijutsu wrote of the cycle, “ HJ Lim accomplished this most impossible of challenges...Her gift comes from the heavens”.
In recital, HJ Lim performed at Théâtre du Palais Royal in Paris, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, London Wigmore Hall, Sala Verdi in Milan, Victoria Hall in Geneva Geneva and the Stadtcasino, Her festival appearances include Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Festival de Musique de Menton, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Beethoven Festival Chicago and the Annecy Classical Festival.
She will perform at Suntory Hall in Tokyo with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and at Festival International Piano de Biarritz.

HJ Lim records exclusively with EMI-Warner Classics and her second disc is a solo recording of works by Ravel and Scriabin, released in 2014.

By International Classical Artists

 

Press excerpts

"It forces you to listen to this music as if for the very first time, rediscovering everything that is great about it Everything is dangerously invigorating, strikingly original. This is the kind of album that will save the classical recording industry, It’s the kind of album that, if you’ve never heard a Beethoven sonata before will convert you for life and ruin every other performance you’ll hear."
Telegraph UK, April 2012

Digging Deeply Into Beethoven in Head and Heart, an idiosyncratic player with plenty of original ideas and the technique to carry them out, Ms. Lim has devoted considerable time to studying not only the works themselves but also Beethoven biographies and letters and other historical materials. A physically exuberant player, Ms. Lim tossed back her long, untied hair during more tumultuous moments and played with expressive commitment and colorful nuance throughout both sonatas. Ms. Lim’s intellectual analysis and emotional engagement resulted in fresh, vigorous interpretations.
Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times, May 2012

“HJ Lim tackles these pieces with invention as much as she does with respect. Volume two ought to be another triumph.”
BBC Music review, February 2012

[...] HJ Lim played with a wonderful balance of subtlety and extroversion. Her accompanying of the woodwind in the second movement, for example, showed a humble flexibility, and her softly elegant phrasing seemed to inspire similar beauty in woodwind solos. She set a furiously brisk tempo for the third movement and she maintained a sense of frenetic energy. In the fugal passage this was matched with very well coordinated string playing. When the famous theme made its final appearance after a cadenza flourish from Lim, it was stately, sitting a notch behind impassioned emotion. The coda, at lightning speed, prompted whole-hearted appreciation from the audience.
ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, BACHTRACK BY ROHAN SHOTTON, DECEMBER 6, 2012

[...] But superiority soon made itself felt. It looked highly artistic when the soloist, Ms Lim, occasionally used her free hand in a grand gesture to pluck sounds out of the air. But this is more than just showmanship. She plays with the greatest virtuosity, with a beautifully graduated palette of keyboard colours. She drew an expressive cantabile from the piano at the beginning of the slow movement. When the orchestra joined in, you felt surrounded by a velvety warmth - until the players plunged into the Presto with the requisite bustle. Even faster was Ms Lim’s encore - her own arrangement of a Korean folk song.
SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG
NOVEMBER 24, 2012

“HJ Lim’s interpretation of the Fugue has an electrifying vitality...these first recordings show a spirited virtuoso with a high level of structural awareness.”
Fono Forum Magazine, March 2012

Her powerful playing, without taboos, ultraromantic, imaginative and visionary remind of the finest pianists of the past. She faces each sonata, the most modest to the most monumental, with an energy, a fire, a sense of transcendence, a organic flexibility that leaves speachless - especially in the pages heard a thousand of times....we seems to rediscover this movement with fluid tempo, the infinite shades of HJ Lim. In short, the level of inspiration remains stratospheric throughout this first volume. An immense Beethoven interpreter is born.
Tribune de Genève, May 2012.

Value does not wait, HJ Lim has not yet reached the quarter century that she has already accomplished the complete Beethoven sonatas in recording.(EMI). "You know, Beethoven's music cannot be played, it has to be reinvented," Anton Rubinstein once said to Alfred Cortot, student of Louis Diemer at the Paris Conservatoire. It seems that the young Korean has also meditated on this wise advice because we can only be grasped - and what concerns us, excited -by the freedom and the sincereness of her interpretation strongly signed. HJ Lim goes beyond the horizon of the bars in order to put highlight on - and if necessary conflict - the blocks that shape and structure the beethovenian discourse. Since Wild Earld in hisrecording in 1994, we haven't heard a version that is so full of freedom and jubilation of the sonata Hammerklavier.
Concert Classic by Alain Cochard, 2012.

“It’s easy to see why she rapidly became so highly acclaimed, for she has a powerful, charismatic and captivating presence on stage and her technique is quite prodigious.”
International Record Review, April 2012

She brings distinctive ideas and unabashed impetuosity to these touchstone works (…) she boasts dazzling technique and plays with dash and spontaneity.
NEW YORK TIMES by Anthony Tommasini. 24 August 2012

In Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1, the increasingly celebrated HJ Lim left no doubt that she's one of the bigger personalities of her generation, playing Yamaha's latest model in ways that made the instrument seem simultaneously bright and imposing.
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
By David Patrick Stearns
September 19, 2013

This was a powerful reading with fast tempi, full of ultra-Romantic impulsiveness and making light of the many virtuosic demands on the pianist . Having already recorded the full cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas (the youngest performer ever to do this) she is clearly a star in the making.
SOUTH WALES ARGUS
BY GERAINT DAVIES, FEBRUARY 15, 2013

"HJ LIM, NIGHT PANTHERE, BENAROYA HALL" "Enter pianist HJ Lim, or as I call her, the French-Korean Night Panther. She strode in confidently with long black hair, wearing a long black silk genius-robe. She sat down, flung the silk tails behind the seat, tossed her hand rag into the open well of the grand piano, and unleashed a two-handed hyper-dexterous volley on the keys. Her playing was a high-speed embroidery that deciphered the Mendelssohn into the furtherness of now and beyond. She’s a combination of accuracy, ferocity, and touch. Flurries of runs ran into moments of melodic stasis, where notes floated. There were sections combined with the symphony, sections where they rallied back and forth, and sections where she soloed, wafting long, slow, single notes that encased feathers into the ice of a frozen lake. Then the lake in an instant was a monsoon of sprinting scales, and the Night Panther was exploding waves into equations. If I was going to have brain surgery, I would want HJ Lim to be my surgeon.The operation would be mistake-free, and it would be done in eight seconds. She’d be like, “Next.” I really wanted her to play the monstrosity of a pipe organ, mounted on the wall behind the stage, taunting. (The C. B. Fisk, Opus 114, with 62 voices, 83 ranks, 4,490 pipes.) The things HJ Lim would have done with that thing. The Night Panther would absolutely have phantomed the ever living hell out of that opera. The Night Panther probably doesn’t take requests though."
THE STRANGER
BY TRENT MOORMAN, JANUARY 11, 2013

“Has there ever been a more audacious recording debut than that of South Korean-born, French-trained pianist HJ Lim?“ In the infamous Piano Sonata No. 29 “Hammerklavier,” she projects a strong viewpoint and such clarity that you’re astounded anew at what strange, forward-looking music it is."
The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2012

In the Liszt concerto she appeared, not only as a phenomenal virtuoso, with extreme rapidity, and a clear and powerful touch of force and lash, - but also with depth in her interpretation. The extreme ability to hit the right notes in combination with her sound-making, gave us a kind of "goose-skin"
Arnfinn Bø Rygg, Stavanger Aftenblad, October 2011

She manages to marry her acrobatic technique with strong personality that gives life in her very creative interpretations.
Daniela Zacconi, Corriere della Sera, January 2010

Starting the second evening at the Hans Huber-Saal, the pianist HJ Lim came out on stage with a rapid gait, with a very black hair and all dressed in black. The works she chose were amongst the most difficult imaginable. During 50 minutes, this exceptionally gifted artist ignited an incomparably fiery pianistic space with Rachmaninov's Etudes-Tableaux op.33 and op.39, super-virtuoso sound images, spectacular and extremely bewitching, and especially they were interpreted like the monumental pianistic dramas. This was followed by Chopin's Etudes, no less demanding, an incredible enchantement of possibilities of pianistic expressions, subtle and grandiose, magically performed by the phenomenal virtuoso.
Basellandschaftlicher Zeitung, November 2009

LONGUE BIOGRAPHIE

Cela vous oblige à écouter cette musique comme si c'était pour la première fois, en redécouvrant tout ce qui est grand en elle. Tout est dangereusement vivifiant, l'originalité frappante. C'est le genre d'album qui va sauver l'industrie de la musique classique, c'est le genre de album qui, si vous n'avez jamais entendu une sonate de Beethoven, va convertir votre vie et ruiner toute autre interprétation que vous entendrez.
The Telegraph

 

"Cela vous oblige à écouter cette musique comme si c'était pour la première fois, en redécouvrant tout ce qui est grand en elle. Tout est dangereusement vivifiant, l'originalité frappante. C'est le genre d'album qui va sauver l'industrie de la musique classique, c'est le genre de album qui, si vous n'avez jamais entendu une sonate de Beethoven, va convertir votre vie et ruiner toute autre interprétation que vous entendrez." The Telegraph.

HJ Lim, révélée par son enregistrement de l’intégrale des Sonates de Beethoven pour EMI Classics 2012, est acclamée par le public et la presse comme The New York Times, BBC Music et The Telegraph, et devient non seulement la plus jeune interprète à compléter ce cycle en enregistrement à 24 ans, mais l'unique et la première musicienne à débuter au numéro 1 des classements de référence Billboard et iTunes aux USA, au Canada, en Hollande et en Corée du Sud. Son second disque consacré à Scriabine et Ravel vient de sortir en 2014.

En 2010, sa décision d'englober en huit concerts consécutifs le cycle complet des sonates pour piano de Beethoven à Paris, dans la Cathédrale de la Sainte-Croix, crée la sensation dans le monde de la musique classique. Un an plus tard, elle enregistre ce cycle complet pour EMI Classics en publiant dans le livret son analyse personnelle des sonates qu'elle a organisées en huit thèmes, en invitant ainsi à poser un regard neuf sur ces œuvres. A 24 ans seulement, elle devient ainsi la plus jeune interprète à enregistrer cette intégrale-pour EMI -Warner CLASSICS.

Depuis 2008, HJ Lim propose des cycles d'intégrales en récital ce qui lui permet d'explorer en profondeur l'univers de chaque compositeur - Le cycle de préludes, scherzos, valses, 4 Ballades de Chopin, ou de 12 Préludes de Debussy, ainsi que l’intégralité des Etudes-Tableaux de Rachmaninov et 24 Etudes de Chopin au Stadtcasino de Bâle où la presse suisse-allemande qualifie son récital d'un "espace de feu, drames monumentales pianistiques sans pareil, spectaculaire, pleine d'envoûtement et une féerie incroyable des possibilités d'expression pianistiques, subtiles et grandioses, magiquement interprétée par la phénoménale virtuose."

Née en Corée du Sud, HJ Lim commence ses études musicales à l'âge de trois ans avec Jong-Sun Kim. A l’âge de douze ans, elle choisit de son propre gré d’aller vivre en France. Elle enchaine successivement les Premiers Prix avec les plus hautes distinctions au Conservatoire National de Région de Compiègne dans la classe de Marc Hoppeler, du Cycle de Perfectionnement en musique de chambre et de piano au Conservatoire National de Rouen, et le 1er Prix et Diplôme de Formation Supérieure dans la classe d’Henri Barda au CNSMDP qu’elle obtient en 2006.

HJ Lim vient d'effectuer une tournée avec NDR Sinfonieorchester de Hambourg au Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires et à la Sala Sao Paulo de Brésil, et de jouer les 4 concertos de Rachmaninov avec l'Orchestre Symphonique de Barcelone avec Pablo Gonzalez en trois jours, ainsi que les concertos n.3 de Prokofiev, N.23 de Mozart, N.3 de Beethoven, N.1 de Liszt et N.1 de Mendelssohn avec Seattle Symphony, Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, KBS Symphony, les Moscow Virtuosi, Bilkent Symphony, Welsh National Opera, Prime Philharmonic, le concerto N.1 de Tchaikovsky avec l'Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio de Moscou à la Tonhalle de Zurich, le concerto en sol de Ravel avec München Symphoniker au Herkulessaal et Prinzregententheater. Elle s'est également produite au Royal Albert Hall avec le Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Classic FM Live), le Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hofer Symphoniker et Stavanger Symphony.

En été 2013, elle effectue une tournée en Asie, à Seoul Arts Center et à Tokyo, où elle reprend le cycle des Sonates de Beethoven en huit concerts à Asahi Hall,- chaque concert étant diffusé en direct sur Live Stream. Record Geijutsu écrit à propos "HJ Lim a accompli le plus impossible des challenges…ses dons viennent du ciel."

Citons par ailleurs ses récitals aux Wigmore Hall de Londres, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, au théâtre du Palais Royal à Paris, aux Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Festival de Menton, Annecy Classical Festival, Victoria Hall de Genève, Stadtcasino de Bâle, à Sala Verdi, Milan, Festival de Musique de Menton, la série Maestros & Friends au Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Beethoven Festival Chicago où elle joue le concerto n.12 de Mozart et dirige du clavier le concerto de Mozart pour trois pianos et orchestre.

Elle se produira également au Suntory Hall de Tokyo avec Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, avec Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony et au Festival International Piano de Biarritz.

HJ Lim enregistre en exclusivité pour EMI-Warner Classics.

 

Presse

The Telegraph, au Royaume-Uni, 2012
Cela vous oblige à écouter cette musique comme si c'était pour la première fois, en redécouvrant tout ce qui est grand en elle. Tout est dangereusement vivifiant, l'originalité frappante. C'est le genre d'album qui va sauver l'industrie de la musique classique, c'est le genre de album qui, si vous n'avez jamais entendu une sonate de Beethoven, va convertir votre vie et ruiner toute autre interprétation que vous entendrez.

CONCERT CLASSIC, France by Alain Cochard, October 2012
La valeur n’attend pas… HJ Lim n’a pas encore atteint le quart de siècle que, déjà, elle a à son actif une intégrale des Sonates de Beethoven (EMI). «C’est bien petit, mais tu sais, Beethoven ça ne se joue pas, ça se réinvente », dit un jour Anton Rubinstein à Alfred Cortot, alors élève de Louis Diémer au Conservatoire de Paris. Il semble que la jeune Coréenne ait elle aussi médité ce conseil avisé car l’on ne peut qu’être saisi - et en ce qui nous concerne enthousiasmé - par la liberté et la franchise d’une interprétation résolument signée (…) une jeune artiste qui, on l’aura compris, a rayé les mots tiédeur et conformisme de son dictionnaire – elle a bien fait !

Par-delà ce choix, c’est bien évidemment la personnalité et la puissance de son interprétation qui emportent l’adhésion. Les génuflexions devant la statue de Beethoven, les poses pseudo-métaphysiques ne sont pas l’affaire d’une artiste conquérante dont la puissance et l’allant du geste, la concentration du propos font la différence. HJ Lim dépasse l’horizon de la barre de mesure et s’attache à mettre en valeur – et en conflit si nécessaire – les blocs qui structurent le discours beethovénien. Depuis Earld Wild dans son enregistrement de 1994, on n’avait pas entendu – avec un pianisme, et un instrument, certes tout à fait différents - une version aussi libre et jubilatoire de la Sonate « Hammerklavier ».

CLASSICNEWS, France 2014
Fougue, vitalité, profondeur : le piano roi de HJ Lim. Paris, août 2010, elle donnait une intégrale des Sonates de Beethoven, d’une verve et d’un panache déjà ahurissant (lire notre compte rendu du Beethoven par HJ Lim). La revoici pour EMI-Warner après avoir enregistré cette intégrale Beethoven rayonnante et énergique à l’époque chez Emi et l’avoir redonné en concert en octobre 2012, sort simultanément un nouveau disque dédié aux valses et Sonates de Ravel et Scriabine. Le feu digital  de HJ Lim est toujours aussi ardent, puis toucher liquide et perlé quasi Debussyste, c’est-à-dire d’une immatérielle suggestivité, de la dernière valse ravélienne (Épilogue), vrai écoute aux univers suspendus et énigmatiques. La finesse et la subtilité de la pianiste très inspirée se dévoilent ici sans retenue mais avec une pensée infaillible qui assure au tempérament en verve, l’unité organique entre chaque séquence très caractérisée (rubato captivant des deux Poèmes de Scriabine). La Valse est le point d’orgue d’un récital où triomphent le goût et le tempérament d’une musicienne de haute voltige : son clavier est vaporeux, véneneux, d’une transe superlative. C’est peu dire. De tout évidence ce jeu des confrontations, affinités, allusions miroitantes distingue d’abord le toucher funambule, arachnéen de la pianiste coréenne HJ LIM. La syncope féerique, l’ivresse intérieure, la carburer énigmatique (décidément le premier des deux Poèmes opus 32 de Scriabine reste notre préféré, plage 16)… C’est toute la valeur de ce programme magnifiquement conçu, subtilement emporté par une pianiste au talent très original.

Fono Forum Magazine, Allemagne 2012
L'interprétation de HJ Lim de la Fugue a une vitalité électrisante... Ses premiers enregistrements montrent une virtuose pleine d'esprit avec un niveau élevé de sens avisé de la structure.

Tribune de Genève, Suisse 2012
Son jeu puissant, sans tabou, ultraromantique, imaginatif et visionnaire rappelle celui des meilleurs pianistes du passé. Elle affronte chaque sonate, de la plus modeste à la plus monumentale, avec une énergie, un feu, un sens de la transcendance, une souplesse organique qui laissent pantois – surtout dans des pages mille fois entendues. (…) On a l’impression de tout redécouvrir avec le tempo allant, et les nuances infinies de HJ Lim. Bref, le niveau d’inspiration reste stratosphérique tout au long de ce premier volume. Une immense interprète beethovénienne est née.

International Record Review, Royaume-Uni 2012
Il est facile de voir pourquoi elle est rapidement devenue si hautement acclamée, car elle dispose d'une présence puissante, charismatique et captivante sur scène, et sa technique est tout à fait prodigieuse.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2012
Y a-t-il jamais eu un premier enregistrement plus audacieux que celui de Lim, pianiste coréenne et de formation française? Dans la monstrueuse sonate n° 29 «Hammerklavier», elle projette un point de vue très fort et une telle clarté que vous êtes abasourdis de redécouvrir à nouveau à quel point cette musique est futuriste.

NEW YORK TIMES
by Anthony Tommasini
24 August 2012
She brings distinctive ideas and unabashed impetuosity to these touchstone works (…) she boasts dazzling technique and plays with dash and spontaneity.

Telegraph UK, Londres April 2012 It forces you to listen to this music as if for the very first time, rediscovering everything that is great about it. Everything is dangerously invigorating, strikingly original. This is the kind of album that will save the classical recording industry, It’s the kind of album that, if you’ve never heard a Beethoven sonata before will convert you for life and ruin every other performance you’ll hear.

Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times, May 2012
Digging Deeply Into Beethoven in Head and Heart, an idiosyncratic player with plenty of original ideas and the technique to carry them out, Ms. Lim has devoted considerable time to studying not only the works themselves but also Beethoven biographies and letters and other historical materials. A physically exuberant player, Ms. Lim tossed back her long, untied hair during more tumultuous moments and played with expressive commitment and colorful nuance throughout both sonatas. Ms. Lim’s intellectual analysis and emotional engagement resulted in fresh, vigorous interpretations.

BBC Music review, February 2012
HJ Lim tackles these pieces with invention as much as she does with respect. Volume two ought to be another triumph.

Arnfinn Bø Rygg, Stavanger Aftenblad, Norvège 2012
Dans le concerto de Liszt, elle est apparue non seulement comme une virtuose phénoménale avec une extrême rapidité, une force, un élan de jeu clairs et puissants - mais aussi avec de la profondeur dans son interprétation. L'extrême capacité de toucher les notes exactes en combinaison avec sa manière de faire sonner le piano, nous a donné une sorte de &chair de poule"

Classique News, 2010, France
HJ Lim appartient aux artistes rares qui, lorsqu'ils jouent, sont à mille lieux d'être de simples exécutants à la technique parfaite, mais deviennent les re-créateurs de l’oeuvre. Ainsi, en écoutant cette version du cycle des Sonates, oeuvres pourtant si connues et dont les canons d’interprétation paraissent être fixes et immuables, le public de l'église arménienne a véritablement eu l'impression d’entendre quelque chose de nouveau, d'inouï. Le tempérament de Hyun-Jung Lim, combiné à ses possibilités techniques qui paraissent infinies et à son grand sens de la phrase et de l'architecture musicale, lui a permi de livrer à la fois une interprétation cohérente et totalement nouvelle des sonates. L'artiste, qui semble avoir mûri son interprétation d'une analyse profonde des oeuvres, cherche dans son jeu à restituer au plus près le message beethovénien. Son interprétation explore toutes les ressources de l'expression musicale. Dans les sonates de jeunesse, l'auditeur est frappé par la spontanéité et le naturel du phrasé, rendus par des tempi légèrement plus élevés que ceux qu’il a l'habitude d'entendre (le compositeur indique lui-même comme indications de tempi dans les autographes, des "allegro", "allegro molto", "presto", "prestissimo".) Hyun-Jung Lim en cherchant à respecter l'énonciation naturelle des phrases parvient à rendre le discours extrêmement vivant. La vivacité et parfois l'humour de certains motifs ou changements harmoniques dans les mouvements rapides côtoient des mouvements centraux que la pianiste rend avec une densité émotionnelle peu commune (sonate op. 10 N°3.)

SOUTH WALES ARGUS, Cardiff
BY GERAINT DAVIES · PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 15, 2013
This was a powerful reading with fast tempi, full of ultra-Romantic impulsiveness and making light of the many virtuosic demands on the pianist . Having already recorded the full cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas (the youngest performer ever to do this) she is clearly a star in the making.

THE STRANGER, Philadephia
BY TRENT MOORMAN · PUBLISHED: JANUARY 11, 2013
"HJ LIM, NIGHT PANTHERE, BENAROYA HALL" "Enter pianist HJ Lim, or as I call her, the French-Korean Night Panther. She strode in confidently with long black hair, wearing a long black silk genius-robe. She sat down, flung the silk tails behind the seat, tossed her hand rag into the open well of the grand piano, and unleashed a two-handed hyper-dexterous volley on the keys. Her playing was a high-speed embroidery that deciphered the Mendelssohn into the furtherness of now and beyond. She’s a combination of accuracy, ferocity, and touch. Flurries of runs ran into moments of melodic stasis, where notes floated. There were sections combined with the symphony, sections where they rallied back and forth, and sections where she soloed, wafting long, slow, single notes that encased feathers into the ice of a frozen lake. Then the lake in an instant was a monsoon of sprinting scales, and the Night Panther was exploding waves into equations. If I was going to have brain surgery, I would want HJ Lim to be my surgeon.The operation would be mistake-free, and it would be done in eight seconds. She’d be like, “Next.” I really wanted her to play the monstrosity of a pipe organ, mounted on the wall behind the stage, taunting. (The C. B. Fisk, Opus 114, with 62 voices, 83 ranks, 4,490 pipes.) The things HJ Lim would have done with that thing. The Night Panther would absolutely have phantomed the ever living hell out of that opera. The Night Panther probably doesn’t take requests though."

ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, PHILHARMONIC HALL, REVIEW
BACHTRACK
BY ROHAN SHOTTON · PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 6, 2012
[...] HJ Lim played with a wonderful balance of subtlety and extroversion. Her accompanying of the woodwind in the second movement, for example, showed a humble flexibility, and her softly elegant phrasing seemed to inspire similar beauty in woodwind solos. She set a furiously brisk tempo for the third movement and she maintained a sense of frenetic energy. In the fugal passage this was matched with very well coordinated string playing. When the famous theme made its final appearance after a cadenza flourish from Lim, it was stately, sitting a notch behind impassioned emotion. The coda, at lightning speed, prompted whole-hearted appreciation from the audience.

SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, Allemagne
PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 24, 2012
[...] But superiority soon made itself felt. It looked highly artistic when the soloist, Ms Lim, occasionally used her free hand in a grand gesture to pluck sounds out of the air. But this is more than just showmanship.

She plays with the greatest virtuosity, with a beautifully graduated palette of keyboard colours. She drew an expressive cantabile from the piano at the beginning of the slow movement. When the orchestra joined in, you felt surrounded by a velvety warmth - until the players plunged into the Presto with the requisite bustle. Even faster was Ms Lim’s encore - her own arrangement of a Korean folk song.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
By David Patrick Stearns
September 19, 2013
In Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1, the increasingly celebrated HJ Lim left no doubt that she's one of the bigger personalities of her generation, playing Yamaha's latest model in ways that made the instrument seem simultaneously bright and imposing.

Sa technique acrobatique fusionne avec une forte personnalité qui donne vie à ses interprétations très créatives.
Daniela Zacconi, Corriere della Sera, 2009 Italie

Les oeuvres qu'elle a choisies présentaient les exigences les plus difficiles qu'on puisse imaginer. Durant 50 min, l'artiste, exceptionnellement douée, a attisé un espace de feu pianistique sans pareil avec les Etudes-Tableaux de Rachmaninov op.33, op.39 - images sonores super-virtuoses, spectaculaires, pleines d'envoûtement, et surtout des drames monumentales pianistiques. Ensuite, les Etudes de Chopin, pas moins exigeantes, une féerie incroyable des possibilités d'expression pianistiques, subtiles et grandioses, magiquement interprétées dans la salle par la phénoménale virtuose.
Basellandschaftlicher Zeitung, 2009, Suisse

Le récital de piano de ce lundi 10 Août au Lieu d'Art Contemporain était tout simplement époustouflant. La jeune pianiste HJ Lim a véritablement subjugué la salle, par la prodigieuse facilité apparente avec laquelle elle maîtrise l'instrument, parvenant ainsi à nous faire oublier les prouesses techniques qu'elle accomplit tout naturellement, grâce à ses dons hors du commun.
L'Indépendant, 2009. France

Quel dynamisme, quel punch, quelle passion dans le jeu de HJ Lim, jeune pianiste d'origine coréenne, dimanche à la chapelle des Rédemptoristes! Elle a surtout interprété avec une fougue de samouraï, le concerto en mi mineur de Chopin. Environ deux cents personnes se sont laissé entraîné, subjuguer, voire étourdir par instants, par ses élans remarquables de puissance et de brio.
La Nouvelle République, 2004. France

DISCOGRAPHY

Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas

Album Details · About the Album · Reviews
Listen to Tracks · View Album Covers

HJ Lim - Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas

HJ Lim, Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas

5099946495228
5099946495457 Digital
EMI Classics

Download on iTunes · Buy on Amazon

CONCERTOS

BARTOK:

Concerto No. 3

 

BEETHOVEN:

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 3
Concerto No. 4
Concerto No. 5

 

BRAHMS:

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2

 

CHOPIN:

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2

 

GRIEG:

Concerto in A minor

 

MOZART:

Concerto No. 9 "jeune homme" E flat major K.271
Concerto No. 12 in A major, K.414
Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major, K.449
Concerto No. 17 G major K.453
Concerto No. 20 D minor K.466
Concerto No. 21 C major K.467
Concerto No. 23 A major K.488
Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K.491

 

PROKOFIEV:

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 3

 

RACHMANINOFF:

Concerto No. 1
Concerto No. 2
Concerto No. 3
Concerto No. 4
Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini

 

RAVEL:

Concerto in G major and for left hand

 

STRAUSS:

Burleske for piano & orchestra, Op. 85

 

SCHUMANN:

Concerto in A minor

 

TCHAIKOVSKY:

Concerto No. 1

CALENDAR

11 - 18

September
2013

Philadelphia

• Mendelssohn Concerto N.1 with Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra

30 - 01

Sep. - Oct.
2013

Sala Sao Paulo

• Rachmaninov Concerto N.2 NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg

01

October
2013

• Masterclass

 

02

October
2013

Teatro Colon in Buesnos Aires

• Rachmaninov Concerto N.2 NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg

12

October
2013

South Korea, Gyeonggido

• Liszt Concerto N.1 Gyeonggido philharmonic orchestra

10

November
2013

Seoul Arts Center, South Korea

• Rachmaninov Concerto N.3 with Prime Philharmonic Orchestra

23 - 24

November
2013

Seoul Arts Center

• Prokofiev Concerto N. 3 KBS Symphony Orchestra

24

December
2013

Moscow Svetlana Hall

• Mozart Concerto N. 23 with Moscow Virtuosi

07

February
2014

Barcelona

MORE INFO

• Rachmaninov concertos N. 1 and 2 with Barcelona Symphony Orchestra Pablo Gonzalez

08

February
2014

Barcelona

• Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini with Barcelona Symphony Orchestra Pablo Gonzalez

09

February
2014

Barcelona

• Rachmaninov concertos N. 3 with Barcelona Symphony Orchestra Pablo Gonzalez

23

February
2014

London, Royal Albert Hall

MORE INFO

• Recital Ravel and Scriabin

10

March
2014

Theatre du Palais Royal, Paris

MORE INFO

• Recital, Chopin, Beethoven and Ravel

CALENDAR

27

August
2012

Annecy Classic Festival

Annecy, France · Broadcasted by Medici.tv

• Ravel, Sonatine · Rachmaninoff, Études-Tableaux Op.39

29

August
2012

Binz, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Binz, Germany

• Recital

9

September
2012

Gilmore International Keyboard Festival

Kalamazoo, Michigan

• Rachmaninoff, Études-Tableaux, Op. 33, Études-Tableaux, Op. 39. · Beethoven, Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106

11 - 16

September
2012

Beethoven Festival: Revolution 2012

Chicago, USA

• Performing, conducting, leading both lecture and masterclass

24

September
2012

Royal Albert Hall

London, UK · Buy tickets

• Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

8 - 12

October
2012

Japan

• Promotion of Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas (including showcase)

15 - 16

October
2012

Hong Kong

• Promotion of Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas (including showcase)

21

October
2012

Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord

Paris, France · Full Program of Events · Buy tickets

• Debut recital as part of the Maestros & Friends series

21 - 22

November
2012

Herkulessaal and Prinzregententheater

Munich, Germany

• Ravel Concerto with the Münchner Symphoniker

5 & 6

December
2012

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Liverpool, UK · Buy tickets

• Pablo González, conductor · Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2

10 & 12

January
2013

S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

Seattle, USA · Buy tickets

• Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

20 - 26

January
2013

Bilkent Concert Hall

Ankara, Turkey

• Performance with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra & masterclass

14

February
2013

Wales Millennium Centre

Cardiff, UK

• Classic FM Live: The Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, HJ Lim · Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2

REVIEWS OF HJ

"It forces you to listen to this music as if for the very first time, rediscovering everything that is great about it Everything is dangerously invigorating, strikingly original. This is the kind of album that will save the classical recording industry, It’s the kind of album that, if you’ve never heard a Beethoven sonata before will convert you for life and ruin every other performance you’ll hear."

Telegraph UK, April 2012

 

Digging Deeply Into Beethoven in Head and Heart, an idiosyncratic player with plenty of original ideas and the technique to carry them out, Ms. Lim has devoted considerable time to studying not only the works themselves but also Beethoven biographies and letters and other historical materials. A physically exuberant player, Ms. Lim tossed back her long, untied hair during more tumultuous moments and played with expressive commitment and colorful nuance throughout both sonatas. Ms. Lim’s intellectual analysis and emotional engagement resulted in fresh, vigorous interpretations.
Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times, May 2012

 

“HJ Lim tackles these pieces with invention as much as she does with respect. Volume two ought to be another triumph.”

BBC Music review, February 2012

 

[...] HJ Lim played with a wonderful balance of subtlety and extroversion. Her accompanying of the woodwind in the second movement, for example, showed a humble flexibility, and her softly elegant phrasing seemed to inspire similar beauty in woodwind solos. She set a furiously brisk tempo for the third movement and she maintained a sense of frenetic energy. In the fugal passage this was matched with very well coordinated string playing. When the famous theme made its final appearance after a cadenza flourish from Lim, it was stately, sitting a notch behind impassioned emotion. The coda, at lightning speed, prompted whole-hearted appreciation from the audience.

ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, BACHTRACK BY ROHAN SHOTTON, DECEMBER 6, 2012

 

[...] But superiority soon made itself felt. It looked highly artistic when the soloist, Ms Lim, occasionally used her free hand in a grand gesture to pluck sounds out of the air. But this is more than just showmanship. She plays with the greatest virtuosity, with a beautifully graduated palette of keyboard colours. She drew an expressive cantabile from the piano at the beginning of the slow movement. When the orchestra joined in, you felt surrounded by a velvety warmth - until the players plunged into the Presto with the requisite bustle. Even faster was Ms Lim’s encore - her own arrangement of a Korean folk song.

SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG
NOVEMBER 24, 2012

 

“HJ Lim’s interpretation of the Fugue has an electrifying vitality...these first recordings show a spirited virtuoso with a high level of structural awareness.”

Fono Forum Magazine, March 2012

 

Her powerful playing, without taboos, ultraromantic, imaginative and visionary remind of the finest pianists of the past. She faces each sonata, the most modest to the most monumental, with an energy, a fire, a sense of transcendence, a organic flexibility that leaves speachless - especially in the pages heard a thousand of times....we seems to rediscover this movement with fluid tempo, the infinite shades of HJ Lim. In short, the level of inspiration remains stratospheric throughout this first volume. An immense Beethoven interpreter is born.

Tribune de Genève, May 2012

 

Value does not wait, HJ Lim has not yet reached the quarter century that she has already accomplished the complete Beethoven sonatas in recording.(EMI). "You know, Beethoven's music cannot be played, it has to be reinvented," Anton Rubinstein once said to Alfred Cortot, student of Louis Diemer at the Paris Conservatoire. It seems that the young Korean has also meditated on this wise advice because we can only be grasped - and what concerns us, excited -by the freedom and the sincereness of her interpretation strongly signed. HJ Lim goes beyond the horizon of the bars in order to put highlight on - and if necessary conflict - the blocks that shape and structure the beethovenian discourse. Since Wild Earld in hisrecording in 1994, we haven't heard a version that is so full of freedom and jubilation of the sonata Hammerklavier.

Concert Classic by Alain Cochard, 2012

 

“It’s easy to see why she rapidly became so highly acclaimed, for she has a powerful, charismatic and captivating presence on stage and her technique is quite prodigious.”

International Record Review, April 2012

 

She brings distinctive ideas and unabashed impetuosity to these touchstone works (…) she boasts dazzling technique and plays with dash and spontaneity.

NEW YORK TIMES by Anthony Tommasini. 24 August 2012

 

In Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1, the increasingly celebrated HJ Lim left no doubt that she's one of the bigger personalities of her generation, playing Yamaha's latest model in ways that made the instrument seem simultaneously bright and imposing.
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

By David Patrick Stearns
September 19, 2013

 

This was a powerful reading with fast tempi, full of ultra-Romantic impulsiveness and making light of the many virtuosic demands on the pianist . Having already recorded the full cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas (the youngest performer ever to do this) she is clearly a star in the making.

SOUTH WALES ARGUS
BY GERAINT DAVIES, FEBRUARY 15, 2013

 

"HJ LIM, NIGHT PANTHERE, BENAROYA HALL" "Enter pianist HJ Lim, or as I call her, the French-Korean Night Panther. She strode in confidently with long black hair, wearing a long black silk genius-robe. She sat down, flung the silk tails behind the seat, tossed her hand rag into the open well of the grand piano, and unleashed a two-handed hyper-dexterous volley on the keys. Her playing was a high-speed embroidery that deciphered the Mendelssohn into the furtherness of now and beyond. She’s a combination of accuracy, ferocity, and touch. Flurries of runs ran into moments of melodic stasis, where notes floated. There were sections combined with the symphony, sections where they rallied back and forth, and sections where she soloed, wafting long, slow, single notes that encased feathers into the ice of a frozen lake. Then the lake in an instant was a monsoon of sprinting scales, and the Night Panther was exploding waves into equations. If I was going to have brain surgery, I would want HJ Lim to be my surgeon.The operation would be mistake-free, and it would be done in eight seconds. She’d be like, “Next.” I really wanted her to play the monstrosity of a pipe organ, mounted on the wall behind the stage, taunting. (The C. B. Fisk, Opus 114, with 62 voices, 83 ranks, 4,490 pipes.) The things HJ Lim would have done with that thing. The Night Panther would absolutely have phantomed the ever living hell out of that opera. The Night Panther probably doesn’t take requests though."

THE STRANGER
BY TRENT MOORMAN, JANUARY 11, 2013

 

“Has there ever been a more audacious recording debut than that of South Korean-born, French-trained pianist HJ Lim?“ In the infamous Piano Sonata No. 29 “Hammerklavier,” she projects a strong viewpoint and such clarity that you’re astounded anew at what strange, forward-looking music it is."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 2012

 

In the Liszt concerto she appeared, not only as a phenomenal virtuoso, with extreme rapidity, and a clear and powerful touch of force and lash, - but also with depth in her interpretation. The extreme ability to hit the right notes in combination with her sound-making, gave us a kind of "goose-skin"

Arnfinn Bø Rygg, Stavanger Aftenblad, October 2011

 

She manages to marry her acrobatic technique with strong personality that gives life in her very creative interpretations.

Daniela Zacconi, Corriere della Sera, January 2010

 

Starting the second evening at the Hans Huber-Saal, the pianist HJ Lim came out on stage with a rapid gait, with a very black hair and all dressed in black. The works she chose were amongst the most difficult imaginable. During 50 minutes, this exceptionally gifted artist ignited an incomparably fiery pianistic space with Rachmaninov's Etudes-Tableaux op.33 and op.39, super-virtuoso sound images, spectacular and extremely bewitching, and especially they were interpreted like the monumental pianistic dramas. This was followed by Chopin's Etudes, no less demanding, an incredible enchantement of possibilities of pianistic expressions, subtle and grandiose, magically performed by the phenomenal virtuoso.

Basellandschaftlicher Zeitung, November 2009

 

Classic FM Live, Wales Millennium Centre

South Wales Argus
By Geraint Davies · Published: February 15, 2013

[...] The whole effect was enhanced with romantic coloured lighting, and pyrotechnics from the back of the stage. These were not the only fireworks as diminutive soloist HJ Lim, dressed in flowing black, featured in the centrepiece of the first half. There are few better known concertos than Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto, mainly due to its association with the film Brief Encounter. [...]

Click to read full review.

 

HJ Lim, Night Panthere, Benaroya Hall

the Stranger
By Trent Moorman · Published: January 11, 2013

[...] There were sections combined with the symphony, sections where they rallied back and forth, and sections where she soloed, wafting long, slow, single notes that encased feathers into the ice of a frozen lake. Then the lake in an instant was a monsoon of sprinting scales, and the Night Panther was exploding waves into equations.
If I was going to have brain surgery, I would want HJ Lim to be my surgeon. [...]

Click to read full review.

 

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonic Hall, review

Bachtrack
By Rohan Shotton · Published: December 6, 2012

[...] HJ Lim played with a wonderful balance of subtlety and extroversion. Her accompanying of the woodwind in the second movement, for example, showed a humble flexibility, and her softly elegant phrasing seemed to inspire similar beauty in woodwind solos.

She set a furiously brisk tempo for the third movement and she maintained a sense of frenetic energy. In the fugal passage this was matched with very well coordinated string playing. When the famous theme made its final appearance after a cadenza flourish from Lim, it was stately, sitting a notch behind impassioned emotion. The coda, at lightning speed, prompted whole-hearted appreciation from the audience.

Click to read full review.

 

Classique: six regards sur les sonates de Beethoven

Le Devoir
By Christophe Huss · Published: November 24, 2012

[...] Il semble que beaucoup de fées se soient penchées sur le berceau d’HJ Lim, Coréenne sexy, formée en France auprès d’Henri Barda. Son intégrale est réalisée sur un Yamaha CFX dans la salle magique de La Chaux-de-Fonds. La demoiselle joue la rebelle. Ainsi, son intégrale exclut les Sonates nos 19 et 20 (des sonatines, rebaptisées sonates). Brendel l’avait fait en concert. Au disque, il n’a jamais osé!

Chez HJ Lim, les sonates sont regroupées selon huit thèmes imaginés par la pianiste et abordés avec une crâne insolence : tempos rapides, rubatos inattendus (étrange Pathétique) mais, partout, des partis pris, très majoritairement passionnants, qui tiennent en haleine. Devant tous ces jeunes artistes qui croient intelligent de singer les vieux, HJ Lim revendique la fougue et l’insolence de son âge. Certes, il faut faire le tri, mais je ne me souviens pas d’une intégrale aussi inattendue, qui m’ait littéralement « scotchée » [...]

Click to read full review.

 

Münchner Symphoniker, Herkulessaal, review

Süddeutsche Zeitung
By Süddeutsche Zeitung · Published: November 24, 2012

[...] But superiority soon made itself felt. It looked highly artistic when the soloist, Ms Lim, occasionally used her free hand in a grand gesture to pluck sounds out of the air. But this is more than just showmanship.

She plays with the greatest virtuosity, with a beautifully graduated palette of keyboard colours. She drew an expressive cantabile from the piano at the beginning of the slow movement. When the orchestra joined in, you felt surrounded by a velvety warmth - until the players plunged into the Presto with the requisite bustle. Even faster was Ms Lim’s encore - her own arrangement of a Korean folk song.

 

HJ Lim - Beethoven en liberté

concertclassic.com
By Alain Cochard · Published: October 16, 2012

HJ Lim n’a pas encore atteint le quart de siècle que, déjà, elle a à son actif une intégrale des Sonates de Beethoven (EMI). « C’est bien petit, mais tu sais, Beethoven ça ne se joue pas, ça se réinvente », dit un jour Anton Rubinstein à Alfred Cortot [...]

Click to read full review.

 

Ludwig van Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas – Volume 1: Heroic Ideals / Eternal Feminine Youth

BBC Music
By Daniel Ross 2012-02-08

Questions need to be asked before undertaking a complete recording of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. For a start: are you going to finish them? Next: what about all the existing recordings slugging it out to be considered top dog? Finally and, undoubtedly, most importantly: what are you going to do to the sonatas that make them different or new again? HJ Lim has answered all these questions quite comfortably with the first instalment of her attempt. Intriguingly, though, and presumably in an effort to answer the third question, she’s grouped them into themes.

Click to read full review.

 

Digging Deeply Into Beethoven in Head and Heart

The New York Times
By Vivien Schweitzer · Published: May 20, 2012

Recording the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas is an unusual way for a young artist to make a debut on a major record label, but EMI Classics is taking a chance with the distinctive 24-year-old Korean H J Lim. Ms. Lim, who performed the complete cycle in Paris over eight consecutive days in 2010, offered two sonatas — No. 29 in B flat (Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”) and No. 30 in E (Op. 109) — in her American debut on Thursday evening, for a small audience at Le Poisson Rouge.

Click to read full review.

 

Musical Viagra: how a young Korean pianist made me fall in love with Beethoven all over again

The Telegraph
By James Rhodes · Updated: April 16th, 2012

Beethoven wrote 32 piano sonatas. Compare this to the three written by Brahms, Chopin and Schumann, Liszt’s single sonata or Rachmaninov’s two and you get some idea of the scope and prolific madness of history’s greatest ever composer. There is enough material in these sonatas alone to keep any pianist occupied for a lifetime – studying, refining, searching, exploring. It’s the musical equivalent of Shakespeare’s plays, Dickens’ novels and Eliot’s poetry combined and to undertake a complete recording cycle is the greatest challenge a concert pianist can attempt (other than getting some dress sense and adequate social skills).

Click to read full review.

INTERVIEWS WITH HJ

Rencontre avec HJ Lim

Qobuz
By Marc Zisman · Broadcasted live: October 29, 2012

How does she see the rest of her career? What she learned from Henri Barda? HJ answers these questions for Qobuz RENCONTRES.

Click to watch full interview.

 

'Y'a du monde à Paris' with Estelle Martin

TV5MONDE
By Estelle Martin · Posted: October 21, 2012

HJ Lim revisits the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven on TV5MONDE rendezvous culture hosted by Estelle Martin.

Click to watch full interview.

 

Beethoven is bearing his soul in these sonatas

Classic FM
By John Suchet · The Classic FM Interview

John Suchet meets HJ Lim.
A meeting of minds; John and HJ talk about Beethoven's sonatas.
"I couldn't live without playing Beethoven.", says HJ.

Click to read full interview.

 

HJ Lim at Classic FM Live 2012

Classic FM
By Tim Lihoreau · Broadcasted live: September 24, 2012

Tackling Rachmaninov's epic Piano Concerto No. 2 is no mean feat, but HJ Lim found time in her busy rehearsal schedule to talk to us at Classic FM Live. [...] She told Tim Lihoreau that the music of Rachmaninov spoke directly to her heart.

Click to watch full interview.

 

HJ Lim takes on her musical monsters

Classic FM
By Jamie Crick · Broadcasted live: July 20, 2012

Virtuoso pianist HJ Lim shares her thoughts on stage fright and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Jamie Crick, ahead of her London debut at Wigmore Hall.

Click to listen to the full interview.

 

Following Bliss With Beethoven

The New York Times
By Vivien Schweitzer · Published: June 29, 2012

JUST as actors traditionally portray King Lear later in their careers, pianists usually wait to record Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas. Offering the 32 works at 24 is a bold move, but the Korean pianist H J Lim, who performed the complete cycle in Paris in 2010, felt ready. She demonstrates her mettle with a set of distinctive, passionate interpretations, which landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s classical chart shortly after EMI Classics released them on iTunes in May.

 

A charismatic performer and engaging speaker, Ms. Lim, who wrote her own in-depth and intellectually probing liner notes, recently made her American debut at Le Poisson Rouge.

Click to read full interview.

 

HJ Lim, The Korean pianist on Beethoven

BBC Music Magazine
By Elizabeth Davis · Updated June 20, 2012

For her deubt recording pianist HJ Lim has jumped straight in with a complete set of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. And, what’s more, she’s divided the works into her own themes including ‘Nature’, ‘Heroic Ideals’ and ‘Eternal Feminine’. Here, she explains how she went about putting the recording together and why Beethoven is an integral part of her life.

Click to read full interview.

 

L'invitée culturelle: HJ Lim, pianiste

Radio Télévision Suisse
By Radio Télévision Suisse · Broadcasted live: June 12, 2012

Virtuoso pianist HJ Lim shares her thoughts on Beethoven album.

Click to watch full interview.

About Beethoven, Op. 106, Hammerklavier

As creative genius is veiled in divine mystery, it would be pointless to attempt to scrutinize or claim to understand it. Beethoven's complete piano sonatas cycle encompasses the whole life of the composer, and over the course of the works, the three key aspects of a human being – inner, outer and spiritual - are united. More than any other composer, Beethoven’s music is directly connected to events in his life, whether they were romantic, tragic, political, social or personal. Thus the revitalization of the language of passion, the movements of Beethoven’s heart, the impact and shock that this music triggered at that time, is inevitably one of the key tasks of performers. Playing Beethoven’s sonatas is not just about performing pieces of music: it is an attempt to understand all the different facets of a human being, to attempt to shine a light on our own truth. While Beethoven’s music can help us understand the person that he was, exploring his life can also help us grasp his music.

In order to enter in the world of the Hammerklavier sonata, I feel it important to mention Beethoven's unique ballet called The Creatures of Prometheus, composed in 1800, which explores the role of art in awakening the latent spiritual forces in mankind. This work, while not particularly well-known today, was to have a major impact on Beethoven’s future compositions, and the first instance of the motif representing Promethean fire (a simple musical unit of four perpetual, swirling semiquavers, repeated and circulating throughout the ballet) can be found in Sonatas Op.27 No.1 (Allegro vivace), Op.57 (3rd mvt.), Op.111 (1st mvt.) and the great fugue of the Hammerklavier. Additionally, this musical, philosophical and mystical illustration of the myth of Prometheus would influence many future works: the ‘Eroica’ Symphony contains the final theme of the ballet, expressing humanity’s joy as it gains its newfound knowledge, and in the first revolutionary chords of the First Symphony which are a direct repeat of the introduction of the ballet.

This idea of the creative spirit elevating mankind is present in all musical forms and facets in the Sonata Op.106, ‘Hammerklavier’: after 20 years of the Napoleonic wars and his defeat, the Viennese had returned to a peaceful existence. They shunned any arts with an element of conflict and revolution, and pleasant music flooded the salons. Meanwhile, Beethoven was following his own path, going against this general trend which he described as ‘the frivolous, sensual spirit of the moment, 1815.’ He chose to look to the past instead, developing a keen interest in Bach and a studious exploration of counterpoint, instrumental recitative and variations. This in-depth study reaches its pinnacle with the immense fugue in the Hammerklavier sonata, which contains writing more elaborate than anything which came before it.

The explosive opening chords of the first movement could be described as the Big Bang, the creation of the world, the trigger of all human consciousness. This first movement, with its almost inhuman scope, also contains the impression of some sort of divine spark, marked by thunderous accents and the eruption of the expressive thoughts that result from it.

In the Scherzo movement, the lively dancing rhythm evokes the heroic dance that guides the spiritual fire spreading among mankind in the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, then the theme of the trio in B flat minor reminds us of the initial theme of the ‘Eroica’ symphony.

It would be almost futile to attempt any analysis or explanation of this Adagio, one of the most fervent, intimate and contemplative of all sonata movements. As music is a symbol and a mysterious metaphor for our interior, emotional life, it is sometimes almost impossible to describe it in words, and the profound desolation and bitterness that runs through this movement transcends any attempt to put it down in writing. However, after this long internal journey, one that is so intense and poignant, we emerge in some way consoled, with our wounds healed, as though this Adagio were a sweet universal moan, caressing the pains of humanity as though it understood and shared our suffering.

The Largo that precedes the great fugue alternates between dream and action, with snippets of improvisation and polyphony, like a sort of recollection of Bach’s Toccatas. Then a vibrant energy erupts from a profound jumble, before disappearing, preparing for the arrival of the fugue.

The subject of the great fugue begins with one note propelled towards the trill, as though this impulse creates a spiritual flame. It bursts out, frenetically, ceaselessly, reminding us of the motif of the Promethean fire, and this spiritual flame is developed over and over, leading up to a huge universal explosion, reaching its pinnacle in bars 243–248. From this blaze of the Promethean spark emerges a soothing, consoling song (the central fugue in D major), a fleeting moment of rest before the stretto begins in bar 294, one of the most frantic pieces of music that you can imagine, summoning up a general hysterical panic, before falling into the obscurity of the universe, where only a mysterious palpitation can be heard (bars 373–383) with vestiges of the beginning of the subject of the fugue. Then order is restored and the Promethean flame returns at bar 384, heroic, to triumph and impose this supreme mission of awakening the latent spirits of mankind.

After he finished his ‘Hammerklavier’ sonata, Beethoven said: ‘Now I know how to write.’ Indeed, he used almost all musical techniques possible: retrogression, contrary motion, canon, imitations and inversions, and he would tell his publisher when he handed over the manuscript: ‘Here is a sonata that will give pianists a challenge when it is played in 50 years’ time.’

 

 

On Beethoven’s metronome markings

The tempo indications for the ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata are incredibly important. Indeed, Beethoven took particular care to include them at the express request of his pupil, Ferdinand Ries, who was preparing to publish the English edition of Op.106. Furthermore, when he saw that his metronome was not working, Beethoven waited for a new one, and then took great care on each marking. And we know that Beethoven’s metronome at that time, today owned by the Beethoven-Haus museum in Bonn, corresponds perfectly to modern ones.

Going back to his metronome markings: by giving minim = 138 for the opening Allegro and crotchet = 144 for the final Allegro risoluto (the great fugue), which is considered to be ‘unplayable’ nowadays because it is ‘too fast’, here Beethoven indirectly gives us the musical design of Opus 106 which he heard in his head when it was written. But what is ‘too slow’ or ‘too fast’? Compared to what framework, basis or reference? Thinking about this, I feel it is particularly important to analyze and consider the one and only tempo indicated by the composer in his piano sonatas, as we can see that this extreme vitality is only associated with an Allegro and not with a Prestissimo, giving us a very precise and valuable idea of the design of Beethoven’s musical timing. We also find this energy, brought about by the fluidity of Beethoven’s metronome indications, in all his symphonies, which, played in accordance with these details, take on a new fresh, revolutionary form.

So thanks to these tempo indications given by the composer himself, we can also place the other sonatas, using these works as a reference with their clear tempo markings. However, I can only agree with Beethoven, who, fascinated by, but then tired of, the problems caused by this device, declared: ‘No metronome! If you have the right feeling, you do not need one. If you do not, the metronome will be of no use to you!’

 

HJ Lim
September 2011

LA SONATE ‘HAMMERKLAVIER’ DE BEETHOVEN

Le génie des créateurs étant voilé d’un mystère divin, il serait vain de vouloir l’examiner ou prétendre le comprendre. Le cycle des Sonates de Beethoven englobe toute la vie du compositeur, qui réunit les trois aspects essentiels d’un être humain: la vie intérieure, extérieure et spirituelle. Plus que tout autres compositeur, la musique de Beethoven est directement liée aux évènements de sa vie, qu’ils soient amoureux, tragiques, politiques, sociaux ou spirituels. Ainsi, la réactualisation du langage des passions, des mouvements du cœur beethovénien, de l’impact et du choc que cette musique suscitait à son époque fait inévitablement partie des tâches primordiales des interprètes. Jouer les sonates de Beethoven, ce n’est pas seulement l’interprétation d’une musique, c’est aussi une tentative pour comprendre toutes les facettes d’un être humain, pour essayer de mettre en lumière sa propre vérité. Si la musique de Beethoven peut nous aider à comprendre l’être qu’il était, entrer dans la vie de Beethoven peut également nous aider à comprendre sa musique.

En vue d'entrer dans le monde de la sonate Hammerklavier, il me semble important de mentionner son unique ballet intitulé Les Créatures de Prométhée et composé en 1800, dont le sujet tourne autour du rôle de l’art dans l’éveil des forces spirituelles latentes chez l’homme. Cette œuvre, pourtant assez méconnue à nos jours, qui dure plus d’une heure, représente une production extrêmement importante, car la première trouvaille du motif de feu prométhéen, issue d’une simple cellule musicale composée des quatre doubles croches perpétuelles et tourbillonnantes, rencontrée et propagée dans tout le ballet, se réalisera dans les sonates op.27 no1 (Allegro vivace), op.57 (3ème mvt), op.111 (1er mvt) et dans la grande fugue de la sonate op.106. Cette illustration musicale du mythe de Prométhée influencera de nombreuses œuvres à venir : la Symphonie « Eroica », qui fut initialement dédiée au premier consul, reprend justement le thème final du ballet montrant l’humanité joyeuse, accédant à la connaissance. Nous retrouvons également des motifs musicaux du ballet dans les sonates opp. 22, 31 no3 et surtout, les premiers accords révolutionnaires de la Première Symphonie qui est une reprise directe de l’introduction du ballet. Et cet esprit créateur agissant pour l’élévation de l’homme est présent dans toutes les facettes et formes musicales dans la sonate op.106, « Hammerklavier » : après vingt ans de guerres napoléoniennes et sa défaite, les Viennois retournèrent à une existence de paix. Ils fuient les arts à nature conflictuelle aux idées révolutionnaires et se tournent vers le courant italien, alors à la mode et les musiques agréables entrent à flot dans les salons. Or, suivant son propre chemin, allant même à contre-courant de cette tendance générale que Beethoven qualifie comme étant « l’esprit frivole et sensuel du moment, 1815 », il se tourne plutôt vers le passé.

Ainsi, le dernier Beethoven est caractérisé par un intérêt marqué pour Bach, une exploration très recherchée du contrepoint, le récitatif instrumental et aux procédés de variations. Cette recherche approfondie se manifeste déjà dans l’opus 101, conçu de façon contrapuntique, et atteint son sommet avec la Sonate en si bémol op.106 où Beethoven introduit une immense fugue et se livre au travail d’une écriture la plus élaborée de toute sa musique. Si les lois esthétiques de la musique sont une traduction microcosmique inspirée des lois secrètes de l’univers et si une idée musicale portait en elle l’universalité, les premiers accords explosifs du premier mouvement de l’opus 106 pourraient être considérés comme le Big Bang, la création du monde, pour fait surgir la conscience humaine (mesures 5 à 16). Ce premier mouvement d’une envergure presque inhumaine contient ainsi l’éclatement de l’étincelle divin imprimé par les accents explosifs et le jaillissement des pensées expressives qui en résultent. Initialement conçu pour un chœur à quatre voix pour célébrer la fête de l’Archiduc Rodolphe le 17 Avril 1818, le projet prit tout un autre virage pour aboutir à une grandeur prométhéenne.

Dans les esquisses du Scherzo, Beethoven écrivit cette mention: « Une petite maison, à peine assez grande pour habiter seul. Et puis quelques jours dans cette divine Brühl! – Regrets ardents ou désir, libération ou réalisation! ». Il est difficile de savoir si cette indication a un rapport avec ce scherzo; en tout cas, le rythme dansant, énergiquement pointé, évoque la danse héroïque qui anime le feu spirituel se propageant chez les humains du ballet Les Créatures de Prométhée, puis le thème du trio en si bémol mineur nous rappelle le thème initial de la Symphonie « Eroica ».

Il serait presque inutile d’apporter une quelconque analyse ou explication pour cet Adagio qui est l’un des plus fervents, intimes, et contemplatifs. La musique étant un symbole et une métaphore mystérieux de notre vie intérieure et affective, il est parfois presque impossible de la formuler par les mots, ainsi, la profonde désolation et amertume qui règnent dans ce mouvement sont presque indescriptibles. Cependant, après ce long voyage intérieur, pourtant si intense et poignant, on en sort consolé, guéri de ses propres blessures, comme si cet Adagio était une douce plainte universelle caressant la douleur humaine et grâce à laquelle l’homme se sent compris.

Le Largo qui précède la grande fugue alterne entre le rêve et l’action avec des bribes d’improvisation et de la polyphonie comme une sorte de réminiscence aux toccatas de Bach. Ensuite, une énergie effervescente jaillit d’un profond magma avant de disparaître, préparant ainsi l’entrée de la fugue (mesure 10). La tête du sujet de la grande fugue est faite de l’élan d’une note, propulsée vers le trille comme si cette pulsion créait une flamme spirituelle. Elle se déchaîne d’une façon frénétique et perpétuelle nous rappelant le motif du feu prométhéen, et cette flamme spirituelle sera développée à maintes reprises vers une gigantesque explosion universelle et atteint son paroxysme aux mesures 243–248. De cet embrasement de l’étincelle prométhéenne surgit un chant apaisant et consolateur (la fugue centrale en ré majeur), un moment de repos fugace avant d’entamer le stretto à partir de la mesure 294, une des parties musicales les plus frénétiques qui soient, évoquant presque une psychose générale et hystérique avant de sombrer dans l’obscurité de l’univers où vibre seulement une palpitation mystérieuse (mesures 373–383) avec des survivances des têtes de sujet de la fugue. Ensuite rappel à l’ordre, la flamme prométhéenne revient à la mesure 384, héroïque, pour triompher et imposer cette mission suprême qui est réveiller les esprits spirituels latents chez les hommes. Beethoven dira, après avoir terminé sa sonate « Hammerklavier »: « Maintenant je sais écrire. » En effet, il utilisa presque tous les procédés musicaux possibles: la rétrogradation, les mouvements contraires, canon, imitations et inversions et il dira à son éditeur Artaria, en lui confiant le manuscrit: « Voilà une sonate qui donnera de la besogne aux pianistes, lorsqu’on la jouera dans cinquante ans. »

 

 

Sur l’indication métronomique de Beethoven

L’indication de tempo dans la sonate « Hammerklavier » est d’une importance primordiale. En effet, Beethoven a accordé une attention particulière à l'inscrire à la demande expresse de son élève Ferdinand Ries qui préparait la publication anglaise de la sonate op.106. De plus, voyant que son métronome était tombé en panne, Beethoven prit la peine d’en attendre l’arrivée d’un nouveau, puis prit un grand soin pour chaque notation. Et nous savons que le métronome de Beethoven de l’époque, aujourd’hui conservé au Musée de Beethoven-Haus à Bonn, correspond parfaitement au standard des métronomes de nos jours.

Revenons à ses indications: en précisant 138 = blanche pour Allegro (Premier mouvement) et 144 = noir Allegro risoluto (Grande fugue), ce qui est considéré de nos jours comme « injouable » car « trop vite », Beethoven nous livre ici indirectement le dessin musical de l’opus 106 qu’il entendit en lui lors de sa création. Or que veut dire « trop lent » ou « trop vite »? Par rapport à quel fondement, base ou référence? A partir de cette considération, il me parait particulièrement important d’analyser les précisions métronomiques dans l'opus 106, les seules et uniques que le compositeur ait indiquées dans ses Sonates pour piano, car notons que cette vitalité extrême est seulement associée à un Allegro et non à un Prestissimo, ce qui nous donne une idée très exacte et si précieuse de la conception beethovénienne du temps musical. Nous retrouvons également cet extrême élan vital dû à la fluidité des indications métronomiques de Beethoven dans toutes ses Symphonies, qui, jouées en respectant ces détails, prennent une toute nouvelle forme, fraîches et révolutionnaires.

Ainsi, grâce à ces indications de tempo ajoutées par le compositeur lui-même, nous pouvons également situer les autres sonates, ayant comme référence ces œuvres dont les détails métronomiques sont inscrits. Cependant, je ne peux qu’être d’accord avec Beethoven, qui, fasciné puis las des problèmes causés par cet outil, déclara: « Pas de métronome! Celui qui a un sentiment juste n’en a pas besoin. Quant à celui qui en est dépourvu, le métronome ne lui sera d’aucune utilité! »

 

HJ Lim
Septembre 2011

DOWNLOADS

Press Kit · English Language · PDF file, 2,69 MB
Photos · High Resolution · ZIP file, 7,60 MB
Biography · English Language · DOCX file
Biography · French Language · DOCX file

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EMI CLASSICS

HJ Lim has an exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics.

EMI Classics UK
EMI Classics France
EMI Classics US
EMI Classics Japan
EMI Classics Germany

YAMAHA

HJ Lim records exclusively for EMI Classics on Yamaha’s Flagship CFX concert grand pianos.

"An ideal instrument should assist you in conveying your musical message, and for me, the best pianos are those that makes you forget about the physical instrumental barrier, allowing you to express yourself.
For this to happen, there has to be not only mechanical perfection but also a kind of living vivid magic.
Only Yamaha’s CFX Pianos can transport me to that magical point."

HJ

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NEWS

HJ Lim Ravel and Scriabin available for pre-order


By EMI Classics · Published: June 6, 2013

HJ Lim's next album, Ravel and Scriabin is now available for pre-order. The album, realeased February 2014, features Scriabin sonatas (Nos 4 & 5) and Ravel waltzes (La Valse and the Valses nobles et sentimentales).

Click here to pre-order.

 

Yamaha Silent Sessions with HJ Lim

EMI Classics
By EMI Classics · Published: June 5, 2013

Watch HJ Lim perform extracts from Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.2 on the new Yamaha SH Silent Piano along London's Regent's Canal.

Click to watch. · Read more.

 

Deconstructed Beethoven's 'Pathétique' Sonata

Sinfini Music
By Sinfini Music · Published: November 1, 2012

[...] In this short video she tells us why his work, in her view 'is not traditional, conventional, it’s extreme music'. She focuses on his Sonata No.8, the 'Pathétique' [...]

Click to watch Deconstructed. · Click to watch Performance.

 

Chronique Musique Classique de Christophe Combarieu

LCI
By Christophe Combarieu · Published: October 28, 2012

The very serious news channel LCI presents HJ Lim.

Click to watch.

 

KBS TV Documentary 'Age of Global Success'

KBS TV
Posted: October 18, 2012

KBS TV broadcasted on Saturday, October 13 a documentary, 'Age of Global Success', shedding light on the career of HJ Lim.
International version (with English subtitles) will follow soon.

Click to watch the Korean version of the documentary.

 

Classic FM Live with Nissan

Posted: September 17, 2012

HJ Lim will perform, on 24th September 2012, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (conducted by Douglas Boyd) at the London's Royal Albert Hall as part of a stunning programme of Classic FM favourites to celebrate their 20th Birthday.

Read more.

 

Making Bold First Impressions at the Piano

The New York Times
By Anthony Tommasini · Published: August 24, 2012

Having a recorded Beethoven sonata cycle to your credit at 24 is quite an accomplishment. These works present comprehensive challenges, and not just because Beethoven pushed the boundaries of piano technique and piano sound in ways that performers still grapple with.

Read more.

 

HJ Lim debuts with #1 OVERALL CLASSICAL ALBUM on the US Billboard Charts

Billboard
Updated: June 9, 2012

HJ Lim's first project for EMI Classics, an ambitious traversal of the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas is the #1 OVERALL CLASSICAL ALBUM on the US Billboard Charts, beating out Andrea Bocelli, Yo-Yo Ma and more.

 

HJ's debut album receives widespread critical acclaim

"Ms. Lim's intellectual analysis and emotional engagement resulted in fresh, vigorous interpretations."
The New York Times

"HJ Lim tackles these pieces with invention as much as she does with respect."
BBC Music

"If you've never heard a Beethoven sonata before will convert you for life and ruin every other performance you'll hear."
The Telegraph

"Has there ever been a more audacious recording debut than that of South Korean-born, French-trained pianist HJ Lim?"
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Read more. For more reviews, please visit the PRESS section.

 

HJ makes her EMI Classics Debut with Complete Beethoven Sonatas

EMI Classics
Album Released: May 21, 2012

Through extensive study of Beethoven, the man and his music, his scores, letters and the reflections of his contemporaries, pianist HJ Lim has curated his complete piano sonatas into eight themes which offer a unique insight into the powerful relationship between composer and musician.

Read more.

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