COMPOSERS: Mozart and Beethoven
LABELS: Warner Classics
ALBUM TITLE: Beethoven • Mozart
WORKS: Mozart: Violin Sonatas: No. 18 in G, K301; No. 21 in E minor, K304; No. 26 in B flat, K378; Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 12
PERFORMER: Ji Young Lim (violin), Dong Hyek Lim (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 9029583950
Winner of the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition, Ji Young Lim is joined by multiple award-winning pianist Dong Hyek Lim in this recital. The programme offsets the first sonatas Mozart composed in which the violin is given a more prominent role against Beethoven’s gently subversive First Sonata.
If in their distinguished ongoing Mozart series for Hyperion Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien peel back layers of interpretative accretion to reveal pristine musical surfaces, Ji Young Lim and Dong Hyek Lim are closer to Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim (Deutsche Grammophon) in evincing the interpretative values of what feels increasingly like a bygone age. Without the slightest whiff of being ‘historically informed’, they weave a stylistically sensitive path through familiar territory, enveloping their listeners in an emotional cocoon of warmth, charm and elegance, further enhanced by deftly balanced, gently cushioned engineering.
One of the litmus tests in any Mozart recital is the heart-stopping change from minor to major (and back again) in the menuetto of the E minor Sonata, K304 (No. 21), and while Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis (recorded live on DG) remain uniquely compelling here, the Lims elicit a dignified purity at a slightly relaxed tempo that is captivating.
Again – and this is meant as a compliment – it is Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca) who are brought most vividly to mind by the Lims’ vibrantly affectionate take on Beethoven’s Op. 12 No. 1, although there is a cantabile radiance about the talented South Korean team’s performance that is especially beguiling.