Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 “Emperor”
Isang Yun: Exemplum in Memoriam Kwangju
Yunchan Lim (piano)
Seokwon Hong / Gwangju Symphony (DG)
(scroll down for English review)
After taking the Van Clibun competition by storm, Yunchan Lim’s first post-competition recording was captured live in Tongyeong, the birthplace of Isang Yun. Lim’s Emperor Concerto was jaw-dropping, it’s quick, precise and powerful, reminiscent of some notable Soviet pianists. With such pianistic prowess it doesn’t mean much to discuss the interpretation. He played three encores, which are placed at the end of the CD (tracks 6-8). Despite the pieces’ introspective qualities the audience went ballistic after each one.
What makes this CD unique is Isang Yun’s Exemplum in Memoriam Kwangju (track 4). Written as a memorial to the bloody Gwangju Incident, it was hardly recorded. The authenticity of this performance can hardly be doubted as the orchestra here was precisely Gwangju Symphony and as mentioned, this was taped in the composer’s birthplace. The 20-minute piece might well be heard as a fast-slow-fast three-movement work, and in the same vein as Shostakovich’s Symphony No.11. Despite the blasts the orchestration is just for an orchestra of 90. Very efficient orchestration and personally, an easier listen than that Shostakovich symphony.