HJ Lim has her own ideas. Some of them coincide with Beethoven's, but others simply do not. Why are we treated to a presto section in the middle of the last movement of the Pastoral? There is, indeed, a presto section at the end, but there is no indication that Beethoven wanted the central episode played presto also. And so on. Tempo changes where none are marked and, more important, none are needed, create havoc with Beethoven's logic.
On the positive side, there is something shocking about the playing that must surely have been similar to the effect Beethoven created on his hearers, all those years ago. There is a willfulness and an undoubted technical skill. But in comparison with, say, Buchbinder, whose cycle was released at the same time, the effect is telling. In Buchbinder you hear the endless possibilities of the music itself. Buchbinder's ideas are Beethoven's.
Finally, the recorded sound is a train wreck. I have seldom heart a more wearing recording. At any dynamic above mezzo forte, the treble clangs and whines and the bass jangles. And the overall sound is glaring and harsh. How can Yamaha have used this recording to launch their new model concert grand? They must be embarrassed and ashamed.
A curiosity which I sampled for almost no money on iTunes, but certainly not a bargain. If you're looking for a Beethoven bargain, try the wonderful playing of Luisa-guembes Buchanan, whose 6-disc set of all of late Beethoven's piano works is only 9 euro.