Unhasu Orchestra debut concert
Date: 2009 September 08
Concert theme: the 61st birthday of the DPRK & Unhasu Orchestra’s public debut
Performers: Orchestra of the 21st Century of Russia Оркестр 21-го века в России, the State Academic Unaccompanied Chorus Named after Yurlov, the Unhasu Orchestra of the DPRK, and the State Merited Chorus of the Korean People’s Army 조선인민군공훈국가합창단 朝鮮人民軍勲功国家合唱団 (in civilian clothing!). The Orchestra of the 21st Century was an on the road orchestra, put together for a number of foreign concerts by Pavel Ovsyannikov after he retired from Kremlin, but it does not exist as a stable ensemble.
Russian conductor: Pavel Ovsyannikov Павел Борисович Овсянников
Korean conductor: Ri Myong-il 리명일
Place: Mansudae Art Theatre, Central Pyongyang near Kim Il-sung Square
Audience: DPRK leadership, art related people, Russian diplomats
Published: originally in Tudou (土豆网, a Chinese video site). No more there. It was available for a while after September 2015 by wangjaesan in YouTube, but the whole site has been censored.
Quality level not high, but faces can be recognized and music heard. Text often unreadable.
Comments: The Russian musicians had arrived a week earlier (http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2009/200909/news01/20090901-20ee.html), so that an intensive international training session appears to have taken place before the debut. The orchestras and choirs work fairly well together. UO is still a rather small ensemble, and is strenghened by musicians from the Mansudae Art Troupe. Both orchestras are dwarfed by the choir, which seems to have roughly 6 x 32 = 192 members of both nationalities. This is typical of the KJI era aesthetic style; the sound of a large amount of voices singing in perfect unison was an essential element in well done musical performances.
The concert uses occasionally videos at the screen in the background, showing images of Kim Il-song or Kim Jong-il, which is a performative innovation. This does not yet take place very often. The technique apparently was still new and experimental.
02.07 애국가 Egukka National anthem 愛国歌
Composition: Kim Won-gyun 김원균 金元均, lyrics: Pak Se-yong 박세영 朴世永, 1947
Conductor: Ri Myong-il 리명일
03.40 로씨야국가 Rosiya gukka Госудáрственный гимн Росси́йской Федерáции ロシア連邦国歌
= State Anthem of the Russian Federation; Composition: Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov Александр Васильевич Александров, 1944
05.17 김일성 원수께 드리는 노래 Kim Il Sŏng wŏnsukke tŭrinŭn nore Song dedicated to marshal Kim Il Sung 金日成将軍に捧げる歌
Composition: Pak Han-gyu 박한규, lyrics: Won Jong-so 원종소, 1956
UO + O21CR + choir
Screen in heavy use showing videos of KIS; usually it is blank.
09.45 인민공화국선포의 노래 Inmin gonghwaguk sŏnphoye nore Song of the proclamation of the People’s Republic 人民共和国宣布の歌
Composition: Pak Han-gyu 박한규, lyrics: Kim U-chol 김우철, 1948
UO + O21CR + choir
13.12 친선서곡 Chinsŏn sŏgok Friendship overture 親善序曲
Arrangement, or perhaps composition Pavel Ovsyannikov 2009
UO + O21CR
18.53 흰눈덮인 고향집 Hwinnun tŏphin kohyangjip Home in home town covered by white snow 白雪に覆われた故郷の家
Composition: Kim Gon-il 김건일, lyrics: O Yong-je 오영재, 1989
Ri Hyang-suk 리향숙, So Un-hyang 서은향 & Pek Mi-yong 백미영
all in chosonot
24.02 휘가로의 까바띠나 Hwigaro ye kabattina Cavatina di Figaro フィガロのカヴァティーナ
from the opera Il barbiere di Siviglia, Gioachino Rossini 1816
O21CR; singer Russian baritone Andrey Grigoriev Андрей Иннокентьевич Григорьев
29.13 당신만 있으면 우리는 이긴다 Tangsinman isŭmyŏ urinŭn iginda If you are with us we will win あなたさえいれば我らは勝つ
Composition: Ri Jong-o 리종오 & Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, 1993
UO & Hwang Un-mi in an evening dress. No strict dress code yet.
32.43 저녁종소리 Jonyŏkjong sori Evening bells 夕方の鐘の音
= Вечерний звон [Vezernii zvon]
Ivan Kozlov Иван Иванович Козлов and Alexander Alyabyev Алекса́ндр Алекса́ндрович Аля́бьев 1828
Buryat baritone Vladimir Albataev Владимир Албатаев with Russian choir
37.06 카르멘 조곡 Kharŭmen jogok カルメン組曲
= Carmen suite No. 1 part 6, Les Toréadors, Georges Bizet 1875
39.31 포전길 걸을 때면 Phojŏnkil kŏrŭl temyŏn When walking along the fields 畑の道を歩く時なら
Composition & lyrics: Ri Jong-o 리종오, 1995
UO & Ham Kum-ju 함금주
43.59 칼춤 Khyal chum Sabre dance 剣舞
= Танец с саблями, from the ballet Гаянэ Gayane by Aram Khachaturian Арам Ильич Хачатурян, 1942
46.46 축원 Chukwŏn Wishes 祝願
No creation info
UO & Pek Mi-yong 백미영
51.36 강선의 노을 Kangsŏn ye noŭl Kangson sunset 降仙の夕焼け
Composition: Kang Chang-ryom 강창렴, lyrics: Kim Je-hwa 김재화, 1974
UO & O21CR
Kangson is a city down the Tedong river from Pyongyang halfway towards the port city of Nampho, and the centre of the Chollima Movement. There are large metal factories in the city, originally established by the Japanese during the colonial period, and enlarged by the DPRK from the late 1950s onwards. The setting sun lightens the silhouettes of the factories and their chimneys.
55.55 축배의 노래 Chukbe ye nore Toast song 祝杯の歌
= Libiamo ne’lieti calici from the opera La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi 1853
Korean-Russian singing in Italian, names unclear; Ri Hyang-suk 리향숙 in purple dress
59.14 해빛 밝은 내나라 Hepit parkŭn nenara My country bright with sunshine 陽光明るい我が国
Composition: Pek In-jun 백인준, lyrics: Kim Ri-nuk 김리눅, 1964. From the art film 끝 없어라 나의 희망 My hopes without limit.
1.02.41 나뽈리 따란델라 Nappolli tarantella ナポリ・タランテラ
= La Danza Tarantella Napoletana. Gioacchino Rossini 1835
Accordeon: Yury Medyanik Юрий Медяник & O21CR
1.05.26 인형의 춤 Inŏng ye chum = Doll dance 人形の踊り
= Olympia’s aria ’Les oiseaux dans la charmille’ from the opera Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach, 1880. Usually known as the Doll song or Doll dance.
Russian soprano Yekaterina Artemova Екатерина Артёмова & O21CR
1.09.10 푸니꿀리 푸니꿀라 Phunikulli phunikulla Funiculi funicula フニクリ・フニクラ
Composition: Luigi Denza 1880
UO & O21CR; the Russian tenor is Vasilij Gafner Василий Гафнер
1.11.37 로씨야 왈쯔 Rossiya walzzŭ Russian waltz ロシアワルツ
= Лирический вальс №2 = Lyrical walz no 2; music from the film The First Echelon, Dmitri Shostakovich Дми́трий Дми́триевич Шостако́вич 1955
Two wonderful Russian dancers, O21CR & small Russian choir
1.15.49 예쁜이 Yeppŭni Beautiful girl 可愛い子
Composition: An Jong-ho 안정호, lyrics: Pak Yong-sun 박영순, 1998
Beautiful women who do something great for the fatherland receive this appellation. The song is about a military nurse during the Korean War who attacked an American tank with a hand grenade and apparently did not survive the attempt.
1.18.56 하바네라 Habanera ハバネラ（恋は野の鳥）
= L’amour est un oiseau rebelle from the opera Carmen, Georges Bizet 1875
O21CR & Marina Shutova Мари́на Шýтова
1.23.12 조국은 무엇으로부터 시작되는가 Jogugŭn muŏsŭ robuthŏ sijak twinŭnga Where does the home country start from? 祖国は何から始まるか
= С чего начинается Родина? Famous Soviet song from the spy movie The Shield and the Sword; composer: Viniamin Basner Вениами́н Ефи́мович Ба́снер; lyrics: Mikhail Matusovsky Михаил Львович Матусовский, 1968
UO & Korean military guitar quartet & unknown Russian female singer. A memorable performance.
1.26.46 청난한 정춘의 노래 Chŏngnanan jŏngchunye nore Song of restless youth 心騒ぐ青春の歌
= Песня о тревожной молодости, song from the Soviet movie «По ту сторону» = “On the Other Side”; composer: Aleksandra Pahmutova Александра Николаевна Пахмутова; lyrics: Lev Oshanin Лев Ошанин, 1958
UO & large choir, singing in Russian
1.31.08 슬픔 전사 Sŭlphŭm jŏnsa Melancholy history 悲しき戦士
= Дорогой длинною = By the long road (known as “Those were the days” in English)
Composer: Boris Fomin Борис Иванович Фомин; lyrics: Konstantin Podrevskii Константин Николаевич Подревский, 1925.
UO & O21CR & Yuri Shivrin Юрий Шиврин;
1.34.47 가극극장의 유령 Kagŭk gŭkjangye yuryong The Phantom of the Opera 歌劇場の幽霊（オペラ座の怪人）
Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1985
UO & choir & Ri Hyang-suk 리향숙, who sings in English with two Russian singers
1.39.33 래일을 믿으라 Reilŭr midŭra Believe in tomorrow 明日を信じよ
Composition: Kim Un-ryong 김운룡, lyrics: Mun Won-mo 문원모, 2009
UO & So Un-hyang & Hwang Un-mi, both now in chosonot
1.41.35 축배를 들자 Chukperŭl tŭlja Let’s raise a toast 祝杯をあげよう
The original version composition by Ri Jong-o 리종오, lyrics: Choe Ro-sa 최로사
but UO here seems to be singing with lyrics rewritten in 2009 for an unknown reason; composition Ri Jong-o 리종오, lyrics: Choe Jun-kyong 최준경, 2009
UO & O21CR & choir & mixed multinational octet
1.45.26 김정일장군의 노래 Kim Jong Il jangun ye nore Song of general Kim Jong Il 金正日将軍の歌
Composition: Sol Myong-sun 설명순, lyrics: Sin Un-ho 신운호, 1997
Grande finale. Background video displays KJI, not KIS, nor yet KJU.
Actually the song was first created two years earlier in 1995 with the title 영원토록 받들리 우리 장군님 “We Will Eternally Venerate You, Our Commander”. The title was changed – possibly under an order by Kim Jong Il’s wife 고용희 Ko Yong Hui – during the occasion of KJI’s 55th birthday. Thus the song became an equivalent for the 1946 song ‘김일성장군의 노래’ ”Song for General Kim Il Song”, as KJI now was the sole leader of North Korea after the death of KIS in 1994. The lyrics contain a verse saying ”He is the leader of the people, carrying forward the Sun’s cause”, implying that KJI followed the path created by KIS, but nevertheless the song implied an elevation of his ideological position to a near equal of his father.
1.47.53 Ending ceremonies
Russian or rather pan-European customs, with flowers, wavings and people entering the stage. Not simple Korean customs with bowings and clapping only. Glimpses of the audience are shown, but not KJI. He was already quite weak after his stroke in 2008. He is never shown ”live” in concerts, only glimpses of him occasionally on the background screen.