None but the lonely heart …
Hye-Jin Kim has spent over 10 years studying in Germany. I asked her which word in German she favors the most and she said it is “Sehnsucht.” Two verbs, Sehen(see) and Suchen(search), were put together to form “Sehnsucht” to mean that one searches for someone for he or she wishes to see. Kim says she always had the yearning for her motherland, parents, and friends because she has been outside home for many years and learned to sympathize a little more with the word, ‘yearning’, through Goethe’s poem, ‘None but the lonely heart’. I met with Kim.
|Tears of HyeJin Kim
It reminds me of the movie ‘Ode to My Father’. I broke into tears while following the story that tells about Korea’s modern history and about the family love. Tears are one of the expressions of human feelings that cannot be hidden and have to be honest.
Which part of you made the most progress at Hanns Eisler?
It has been 10 years since I went to Germany to study. During that time I studied music and spent most of my youth, my 20s, there. I have been studying by inquiring into different questions and curiosities about life and music at each moment. I often faced other questions and problems around when I found the light leading to the exclamation of enlightenment. I am still like that and I think I will continue to be so. I am still studying, but what I am proud of about studying alone outside home is that both my life and music became more independent. By finding myself as I am, what I want and wish to express in music became much clearer. It was a process where my own musical colors became solid.
How was your graduation concert program organized?
The Konzertexamen (Concert Performer) course of the Hanns Eisler School of Music offers a degree through a total of three concerts. The first recital in November 2014 had a 50-minute program composed of the works of Scarlatti, Prokofiev, Debussy, and Liszt, and I will be performing the second recital with a 80-minute program and the last performance playing Rachmaninoff’s ‘Concert No. 4’ with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester in the first half of this year. I have great expectations for it as it is the first concert for me.
|Solitude of HyeJin Kim
This is a somewhat familiar feeling to me. I have had it knowingly and unknowingly for 10 years while being alone studying outside of home. It could be thoroughly projected onto the second movement of Schubert’s sonata D.959 that I will be performing at this recital.
There must be a time when you become exhausted or weary while practicing. How did you cope with it?
It is different each time. I can suddenly take a walk, clear my head up by surfing the internet, or clean up my place. Eating something delicious is another way. Bits and pieces of everyday life instead of something special offer me the chance to take a break and recharge.
What is your favorite tea?
I usually drink coffee more than tea, but I do drink tea from time to time to calm down or refrain from caffeine, and I would drink rooibos vanilla or pepper mint in that case. Especially, peppermint seems to help me to stabilize when I have a stomachache.
Can you describe the position as a promising pianist? Who are your colleagues?
I think this is when musicians in my age are expanding their scope of activities inside and outside the country. I feel people in Korea are becoming more sophisticated culturally and I also would like to give a big hand to the efforts of my colleagues and friends. For each performer has his or her own color and pursue different music, I would like to make progress together for the classical music circles of Korea while respecting each other’s musical colors rather than feeling envious.
Which is your favorite key or range of keys among the 88 keys?
Wow! I have never thought about that in my whole life. Thank you for giving me this interesting question. It gave me a chance to think about that. Well. It is impossible to pick a key or a range of keys (I must be too ambitious). High keys draw our ears the most when we listen or play so I put a lot of effort in playing them. However, they stand out further only when they are backed by low keys and the middle keys make everything perfect by defining their colors. Like the wine inside a wine glass determines the whole value regardless of how expensive the wine glass is, I think the middle keys play that role. Considering the characteristics of the piano, the harmonic balance is a sound to me. So I guess all 88 keys are special to a pianist as they are rather than a particular key.
|Love of HyeJin Kim
It must be the most beautiful and noble feeling among the many feelings we have in life. Any form of love is great and beautiful.
What do you usually do when you are on the move?
I thought everyone else is like me, but I found many people unable to sleep on the plane. Surely it depends on my condition, but I sleep on the plane relatively well. When I am awake, I usually organize my diary, watch a movie, or listen to music. While waiting for a transfer at the airport, I look through emails or documents at a coffee shop like Starbucks when I have to wait a for long time. And before a long flight, I walk around here and there as much as possible because I have to remain seated on the plane for a long time.
How is the program organized for your recital in Korea and what is the key of your performance?
I chose the works of Chopin and Schubert for this recital. I carefully chose the pieces for the program because I feel strongly attached to both composers and I admire them. Chopin and Schubert are quite different in their music, however, they have many things in common such as living in the same period, being familiar with literature, and dying while they were young. I would like to take this as a chance to have a deeper look and explore the music of these two composers who were quite active when they were about my age. For the audience, I hope this concert is a chance to feel the poetic melody and rich and sensuous inspiration through Chopin and inornate purity and unique literary consideration and through Schubert.
Spring is coming soon. Are there pieces great to play or listen to around March?
I recommend Scriabin’s ‘Prelude Op.11 No.11.’ I came across this piece by chance and I personally like the piece quite a bit because I can feel the spring is coming and the new buds are coming out whenever I listen to it. I also wish to play it on stage sometime.
Plans, Ambitions, and Hope
For the first half, I am focusing on finalizing the graduation concerts along with this recital. I will be performing Tchaikovsky with the Frankfurt Broadcast Orchestra in Korea in November this year, and it is the most anticipated performance for the second half of 2015. This is my last year in my 20s in Korean age, and I want to become mature both as a person and a musician as well as devote myself further to music by spreading the music that I am committed to. If I have been refining myself to firmly establish my own world of music, I will be making efforts to define my world of music more intensely with my own colors. The biggest dream I have as a performer is to always be remembered by the audience for my sincere performance. I hope this recital becomes a small step towards making that dream come true.
|Hope of HyeJin Kim
There is always hope in our world. Hope in life gives us the driving force and positive energy. When I look at the clean and clear sky sometimes, I remind myself of the word, ‘Hope.’
Excerpt from February 2015 issue of the monthly magazine, 〈Piano Music〉/ Written by Reporter Eun-jung Kim