Frederic Chopin – 24 Preludes, Barcarolle, Berceuse & Variations brillantes – Dong Hyek Lim (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Frederic Chopin – 24 Preludes, Barcarolle, Berceuse & Variations brillantes – Dong Hyek Lim (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:00:53 minutes | 980 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Warner Classics
Recorded: 27–29 March 2015, Henry Wood Hall, London

Dong Hyek Lim arrived on the scene at just 18 years old ‘in a blaze of pianistic glory’ (Gramophone) with a debut album championed by his mentor Martha Argerich. The South Korean virtuoso went on to take third prize in the 15th International Chopin Piano Competition. Ten years later, following studies with Emmanuel Ax at the Juilliard School in New York, his artistry has matured and deepened for this long-awaited recital of the 24 Preludes and other works by Chopin – a composer who remains especially close to his heart. His new recital of works by Chopin, centred on the set of 24 Preludes, continues a relationship with the label that goes back to 2002. Lim, then just 18 years old, was introduced to the world with a CD in the ‘Martha Argerich Presents’ series. Gramophone noted his arrival “in a blaze of pianistic glory”, while in France, the album was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or. It was followed in 2008 with an album of Bach’s Goldberg Variations coupled with the Bach-Busoni Chaconne. The French magazine Le Monde de la Musique awarded it a ‘Choc’, while Gramophone wrote that: “There’s no question that he’s a very impressive pianist … [who gives] the sense of profound pleasure in the music … And he’s not afraid to experiment with what he can do in this music … An artist to watch.”

Pianist Dong Hyek Lim, a bit older than the youthful face in the graphics might suggest, has gained a reputation as a Chopin specialist, with restrained, often exquisitely detailed performances made for the small recital hall rather than for the concert hall. This was, of course, the kind of venue for which Chopin wrote most of his music, and this is a very fine tour through the much-recorded 24 Preludes, Op. 28, which form the centerpiece of this album. Lim does well to introduce things with the flashier and rarely played Variations brillantes in B flat major, Op. 12, commanding the listener’s attention before delving into the Preludes, some of the most harmonically intricate music Chopin wrote. Sample any of the really famous Preludes, such as the Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4, for an idea of what Lim is up to here: he not only lingers over dissonances, but explores their potential directions with sensitivity and intelligence, all while keeping the top of the dynamic range not very high. Lim takes you back to the public world with the Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57, and Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60, which show him to be capable of a more brilliant style. London’s Henry Wood Hall fits these pieces well, but Warner’s engineers might have gone with even a more intense, intimate space for the preludes. In any event, the performance of those is one of the most absorbing to have come along in quite some time. ~~ AllMusic Review by James Manheim

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)
Variations brillantes in B flat major on
‘Je vends des scapulaires’ from Hérold’s Ludovic, Op.12
1 I Introduction: Allegro maestoso 1.27
2 II Thème: Allegro moderato 1.51
3 III Scherzo — 0.56
4 IV Lento — 2.08
5 V Scherzo vivace 1.53
24 Preludes, Op.28
6 No.1 in C major: Agitato 0.39
7 No.2 in A minor: Lento 2.04
8 No.3 in G major: Vivace 0.53
9 No.4 in E minor: Largo 1.59
10 No.5 in D major: Allegro molto 0.34
11 No.6 in B minor: Lento assai 2.17
12 No.7 in A major: Andantino 0.50
13 No.8 in F sharp minor: Molto agitato 2.00
14 No.9 in E major: Largo 1.32
15 No.10 in C sharp minor: Allegro molto 0.27
16 No.11 in B major: Vivace 0.36
17 No.12 in G sharp minor: Presto 1.09
18 No.13 in F sharp major: Lento 3.27
19 No.14 in E flat minor: Allegro 0.29
20 No.15 in D flat major: Sostenuto 5.38
21 No.16 in B flat minor: Presto con fuoco 1.02
22 No.17 in A flat major: Allegretto 3.25
23 No.18 in F minor: Allegro molto 0.56
24 No.19 in E flat major: Vivace 1.24
25 No.20 in C minor: Largo 1.56
26 No.21 in B flat major: Cantabile 1.59
27 No.22 in G minor: Molto agitato 0.48
28 No.23 in F major: Moderato 0.59
29 No.24 in D minor: Allegro appassionato 2.19
30 Berceuse in D flat major, Op.57 4.20
31 Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op.60 8.34


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