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V.A.:유성기로 듣던 여명의 한국 가곡사 (1906~1960) / Korean early vocalists at SP Disc Era 1906-1960

September 13, 2019

 

V.A.:유성기로 듣던 여명의 한국 가곡사 (1906~1960) /

Korean early vocalists at SP Disc Era 1906-1960 (comp.1999) 2CD

 

I misinterpreted this release a bit because this compilation refers to the earliest recordings of Korean vocalists who starts mostly in Western classical style, although you can also here from where it takes to different areas. Exceptional in the classical core is the first track by 채선엽/ Chai Sunyup, a Korean soprano with subtle vibration in voice. She was one of the earliest classical soprano singers who studied in Japan. Her brother was a famous composer Chai Dongsun(채동선). This track which makes it already worth discovering. The second track of hers is unfortunately of worse preserved quality.

 

Not really successful was Grieg's interpretation by Park Kyung-Hee, a singer which does not seem to find the right intonations. Also the next ones does not seem to get their heads above water. Also the quality of the next couple of recordings isn't too great. 김대현:: 자장가/ Kim Dae Hyun: "Lullaby" by 이관옥/ Kwan Ok Lee as a song with piano still is nice and sweet-warm, in romantic style.

 

We also have a folk song interpretation from Kyonggi Province by Kim He-Ran 오봉산 타령/ Obongsan Taryeong (Obong mountain song) with piano and classical voices instead of folk singers, unfortunately in bad sound shape so that it looses some of its charm.

 

Then we have something like operetta mixed with a folk and cabaret touch, heard in a track by 연희전문4중창단/ Yonhee special quartet, sung with several voices. In the second track you can hear how this group clearly preceded like pioneers the harmony voice groups from later on that were increasing its skills, originality and popularity over the 60s and 70s (like Bon Bon as one of the early bands and later the whole lot of Sisters bands even from there). Here the foundations still clearly lie on big podiums with a core rooted in classical music and with a gospel-like version of vocal led arrangements. The female equivalent is provided by 이화여전 합창단/ Ewha Womans Choir, who seems to be rooted in folk music and in an inspiration with classical arrangements adding to it a touch of cabaret jazz. They sing a farmer's song. The first track by 김수정/ Soojung Kim with choir, 믿는 아희가 보배됨/ "He who believes is treasured," then sounds more musical-like. I am almost thinking of Christmas music here.  

 

On the second CD a fine sad song in classical style is a composition by Hong Nan-Pa, "Comfort", a song which became forbidden. Almost cabaret-like are the first two simple rhythm songs by 현제명/ Hyeon, Je-Myeong with piano and some reed and such. This is followed by what is supposed to be a Schubert song and a few other are also classical chamber music accompanied songs, in better sound quality but not necessarily more rewarding, sounding even a bit dated. Dated in a good way is the interpretation of Ivanovich: "The Praise of the Dead" by 윤심덕/ Yoon, Shim-Deok with high notes and subtle rhythm pauses. "The Resurrection Song" in classical style with piano by 윤심덕/ Yun, Shim-Deok shows inspiration recognizable of church purposes (protestant movement). This song was written by Yoon Shim Deok and Yoon Seong Deok in 1926. Also simple classical music with piano is the song by 안기영/ Ki Young-Ahn, 정사인:: 내 고향을 이별하고/ "Say goodbye to my hometown". The slowness of singing adds emotion to the song. "Memories" after that is a self-written song with new folk touch, but with a slowness as well, which speeds up during the song. Also the rest of the tracks after that are classical music styled songs, even though often new compositions. We also have an interpretation of "When you and I were young, Maggie" which more sounds like a hymn. All of these examples did not do me so much.

 

All in all, I came to know other music of Korean heritage and history of music of which some examples are worth discovering. I found most of the best tracks in Youtube for you to listen.

 

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individual songs: * "Bongbonghwa", Composition: Hong Nanpa, Lyrics: Kim Hyung-jun

 

Youtube comments by ChulJae-Lee : 작품명 : 봉선화, 작곡: 홍난파, 작사: 김형준 노래: 김천애 (1919 -- 1995) (퍼온 글) 이 노래가 처음 세상에 나오기는 3.1운동의 다음해인 1920년이다. 그러나 이 노래가 정작 널리 퍼져 모든 사람의 가슴을 울리게 되기는 그로부터 20년이 지난 1940년대의 일이다. 김천애가 봉선화를 제일 처음 무대에서 부른 것은 1942년 봄 일본 동경 무사시노 음악학교를 졸업한 직후 그곳 히바야 공회당에서 열렸던 신인음악회서의 일이다. "한복 차림으로 무대에 섰지요. 청중들의 앵콜로 봉선화를 불렀는데 청중들의 박수 갈채가 떠나갈 듯 했죠. 공연이 끝나자 청중 중의 교포들이 무대 뒤로 찾아와 나를 붙잡고 눈물을 흘리기도 했지요." 당시의 감회를 회상하듯 김천애는 눈물을 글썽인다. 봉선화는 빅터와 콜롬비아 두 레코드회사에 취입되면서 더욱 크게 히트, 붐을 일으켰다. 일본 경찰 당국은 드디어 나라를 잃은 슬픔을 봉선화에 비유한 이 노래의 가사를 문제 삼아 이 노래를 못 부르도록 했다. 그러나 김천애는 그 후에도 무대에 설 때 마다 이 노래를 불러 여러 차례나 경찰에 연행되기도 했다. 그러기에 봉선화하면 누구든 김천애를 연상하게 되는 것도 무리가 아니다. 김천애 (1919-1995) 김천애님은 평양정의 여자 고등학교를 나와 일본 무사시노 음악학교 성악과를 수석으로 졸업한후 국내에 돌아와 음악활동을 했습니다. 서울대학 교 음악대학 창설에 힘을 기울여 1948년 성악과장으로 제직햇고 그후 숙명여대 음대교수, 음대학장등을 역임하다가 1972년 시민회관 (지금 세종문화 회관터)에서 갖은 독창회를 마지막으로 미국에 건너 갔습니다 미국에서 음악활동을 했지만 반체제 인사라는 이유로 국내에는 오지 못하다가 우리나라가 민주화 돤 후 1990년 국내에 잠시 돌아와 KBS-TV 트집 프로그램에 출연해서 애기를 들려 주시기도 했습니다. 독신으로 살던 님은 1995년 3월 30일 미국에서 세상을 뜨셨습니다.

 

"Title: Bongbonghwa, Composition: Hong Nanpa, Lyrics: Kim Hyung-jun

Song: Kim Cheon-ae (1919-1995) The song first appeared in the world in 1920, the next year of the 3.1 Movement. But it is not until this song is so widespread that everyone's heart is ringing.

Twenty years have passed since the 1940s.

 

Kim Cheon-ae's first "call for a balsam" was Musashino, Tokyo, Japan in the spring of 1942. Shortly after graduating from the Conservatory of Music, it was the rookie concert held at the Hibiya Basilica. "I stood on the stage in Hanbok. I sang an encore of the audience, and the applause of the audience seemed not to go away.

 

Kim Cheon-ae has tears as if she recalls her feelings. The balsams were hits by two record companies, Victor and Colombia, which caused a big hit and boom. Japanese police officials finally banned the song because of the lyrics of the song, which compared the sadness of losing the country to a balsam (?).

 

However, Kim Cheon-ae has been singing this song every time she has been on stage, and she has been carried to the police several times.

 

Therefore, it is not unreasonable that anyone can think of Kim Cheon-ae if he is a balsam.

 

Kim Cheon-ae (1919-1995). Kim Cheon-ae left Pyongyang's Girls' High School and graduated from the Musashino Conservatoire of Music in Japan. In 1948, he worked as a professor of vocal music at Seoul National University. After that, he served as Sookmyung Women's University music professor and dean of music college.

 

Although I did music in the United States, I couldn't come to Korea because of dissidents, but after my democratization, I came back to Korea in 1990 for a while and appeared on KBS-TV's TV program. She lived alone in the United States on March 30, 1995."


* Lyrics for 이바노비치:: 사(死)의 찬미(讚美) / Ivanovich: The Praise of the Dead (sung by 윤심덕/ Yoon, Shim-Deok) : "Through the vast wilderness, in this life of uncertainties You are running, yet where are you going? In this lonely world, through the rough seas What are you searching for? Chorus: This world that will become tears, will everything end if I die? Those lives searching for happiness, it is really sadness that you are seeking for. Those smiling flowers, and those crying birds Their destinies would all be the same. Engrossed in living this miserable life, You are the one dancing on the blade of a knife. Chorus: This world that will become tears, will everything end if I die? Those searching for happiness, it is really sadness that you are seeking for. This far-flung life that has fallen to vanity You are being deceived, don't you know? Everything in this world to you is emptiness After you die, nothing exists anymore Chorus: This world that will become tears, will everything end if I die? Those lives searching for happiness, it is really sadness that you are seeking for."

 

Other "classical music" songs can be found here:

 

 

유성기로 듣던 가요사 10(1925~1945) [Disc 10]

 

11 봉선화 / Balsam (?) -classical- (1942)

 

I first was not sure at all if this really a classical music song, but the style in singing and arrangements surely make it sound that way. This (pretty nice) track by 김천애 / Kim, Chun-Ae was also listed on the compilation album reviewed above.​

 

 

 

Later tracks by Yonhee Special Quartet:

 

 

See also separate page for Yun-Sinduk-Yun-Shim-Deok

 

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