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Concerted Effort to Bring Fine Music to Bali

Padma Legian Resort Feeds an Island’s Musical Hunger with Outstanding ‘Bali Je T’Aime Concert' by Hee Young Lim and Yohanes Siem
In a continuing tradition of presenting fine music to the community, the Padma Resort Legian-Bali hosted a memorable evening entitled “Bali Je T’Aime” on Saturday, May 5, 2018, in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom.

Pianist Yohanes Siem and cellist Hee Young Lim masterfully performed the compositions of Darius Milhaud, Camille Saint-Saëns; Claude Debussy; Erik Satie; Jacques Offenbach, and Fanny Hensel.

Reflecting the Padma Resort’s commitment to the musical educational of the Island’s youth, the evening opened with a short recital by students from the Era Music School. A young pianist, Birgita, showed great aplomb performing Johann Friedrich Franz Burgmüller’s Movement Number 5 of his Opus 100.

This was followed by three pieces by Era’s Student Ensemble performing Beethoven’s iconic Ode to Joy; an energetic rendering of Brahm’s Hungarian Dance No. 5; and Gynt’s In the Hall of the Mountain King.

Pleasant preliminaries finished, South Korean cellist Hee Young Lim and Indonesian pianist Yohanes Siem assumed center stage to bring an appreciative audience a superlative night of classical artistry too seldom showcased on the Island.

Hee Young Lim

Lauded internationally for her charismatic stage presence and flawless technique on the violoncello, Lim performed almost completely from memory on her instrument made 303 years ago made by Giuseppe Filius Guanrneri, a contemporary of the legendary Antonio Stradivari.

Hee Young Lim’s won her first musical competition at the age of 11 and has spent the intervening two decades performing, recording, and teaching globally from a base in Holland where she is the principal solo cellist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Pleasing on both the eyes and ears, Lim, spoke briefly and knowledgably about each piece before performing each number. During brief piano interludes, Lim sat looking meditatively skyward, statuesque and immersed completely in the musical moment.
Yohanes Siem

Providing piano accompaniment on Saturday night was the musically superb Yohanes Siem - an award winning Bandung-based collaborative pianist and graduate of the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen in Holland. Siem's mastery of the recital’s repertoire and breathtakingly sublime interplay with Lim’s cello blurred, at times, the lines between the two musicians resulting in a musical sum of sound much greater than its two component parts.

Musical highlights of the evening included Cello Concerto No.1, Opus 136, by Darius Milhaud – a musical tour de force of the composer’s jazz-inspired tempos and challenging polytonality in three movements: Nonchalant; Grave; and Joyeux.

No less compelling was the evening's performance of Fantasia in G Minor for Piano and Cello written by Fanny Hansel, the too-often overlooked sister of a plagiaristic brother – Felix Mendelssohn.

The evening closed with Camille Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Opus 33, widely considered the most demanding of compositions to be attempted  by only virtuoso cellists. Not surprisingly, both Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff considered the piece as the greatest of all cello concertos. Performed in three movements played without pause, Liem and Siem were shimmering in performing the Concerto, including the Molto Allegro Third Movement delivered “as advertised” at breakneck speed. This beautifully nuanced Saint-Saëns Concerto also contained solo piano interludes that demonstrated beyond any doubt that Yohanes Siem is so much more than a mere collaborative pianist.

The final item from the program of musical magic brought many to their feet resulting in a much-appreciated encore of Jules Massenet’s hauntingly familiar Meditation from the opera Thais in a rendition that would have had Yo-Yo-Ma shouting “more-more-more.”

Bravo Hee Young Lim!
Bravo Yohanes Siem!
Bravo Padma Legian

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