Publisher: dprkconcert
Concert theme: Demonstration performance given by the newly organized Moranbong Band
Place: Mansudae Art Theatre, Central Pyongyang
Audience: Top leadership, art related people, journalists, students and young military
KJU: Present
KCNA: Lavishly approving, calendar>>July 7, 2012

Part 1

00.02.10 아리랑 Arirang Hey, Rirang! アリラン
Traditional Korean folk song, the most famous of them all, performed both in the North and the South in various versions. This is a typical Northern version, but with a surprising MBB arrangement.

00.06.25 그대는 어머니 Kŭdenŭn ŏmŏni You are mother あなたは母
Composer: U Jong-hui 우정희, lyrics: Jong Song-hwan 정성환, 2012, a new song of summer 2012. Mother in this case, as usual, means the Korean Worker’s Party.
Vocal quartet in chosonot: Pak Mi-kyong (white), Kim Sol-mi (blue), Ryu Jina (pink), Pak Son-hyang (green)

00.10.14 챠르다쉬 Chyarŭdaswi Csárdás チャルダーシュ
Composition: Vittorio Monti 1904
String quartet: Sonu Hyang-hui, Hong Su-kyong, Cha Yong-mi, Yu Un-jong (cello)

00.14.32 싸바의 녀왕 Sabaye nyŏwang Ma Reine de Saba サバの女王
Composition: Michel Laurent, 1967

00.17.29 내 마음 별에 담아 Ne maŭm pyŏle tama Star in my heart 我が心を星にこめて
Composition: Pak Jin-guk 박진국, lyrics: Han Chongo 한창우, 2001. A song made for KJI, one of whose metaphors was star, while KIS was sun.
Vocal duetto: Jong Su-hyang (light blue) & Kim Yu-kyong (dark blue)

00.20.19 배우자 Peuja Let’s learn 学びましょう
Composition: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, 1992. A late Kim Il-song era song, which in this form suggests the idea of the North Korean musical society learning a completely new style of arranging songs and performing them.
Vocal quintet: Pak Mi-kyong (red), Kim Sol-mi (white), Jong Su-hyang (light blue), Kim Yu-kyong (dark blue), Pak Son-hyang (dark)

00.23.33 별의 쎄레나데 Pyŏlye serenade Serenade de l’Etoile 星のセレナーデ
Composition: Paul de Senneville
Piano: Kim Yong-mi

00.26.54 이 강산 높은 령 험한 길우에 I kangsan nophŭn ryŏng hŏman kilue On the precipitious roads of the world この江山の高い峰、険しい道の上で
Composer: U Jong-hui 우정희, 2002
Vocal duo: Jong Su-hyang (white), Ryu Jina (violet)

00.31.50 페넬로페 Phenellophe Penelope ペネロペ(エーゲ海の真珠)
Composition: Paul Moriat. 1971
Instrumental + Kim Sol-mi voice

00.35.45 예쁜이 Yeppŭni Beautiful girl 可愛い子
Composition: An Jong-ho 안정호, lyrics: Pak Yong-sun 박영순, 1998
Lyrics of the song are set in the Korean War, telling about a military nurse who attacked an American tank with a hand grenade and did not survive the attempt. Here presented as an instrumental version only.

00.39.35 붉은기 펄펄 Pulgŭngi phŏlphŏl 红旗飘飘 Red flag flying 紅旗飄々
Composition: 李杰 Lǐ Jié
Vocal sextet, in pitch order, as usual: Pak Mi-kyong, Kim Sol-mi, Jong Su-hyang, Kim Yu-kyong, Ryu Jina, Pak Son-hyang

00.43.40 승리자들 Sŭngnijadŭl The winners 勝利者たち
Composer 작곡: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, lyrics 작사: Jang Yong-do 차영도, 2005
Instrumental first, the sextet singing at the end.
Again a song about the Korean War, North Korean soldiers understood here as the winners.

2부 Part 2

00.47.45 이제 곧 날아오르리 Ije kot naraorŭri Now I will fly (Rocky Theme ’Gonna Fly Now’) すぐに飛んでいく(ロッキーのテーマ)
Composer: Bill Conti, 1976

00.50.00 장미빛을 띤 메뉴에뜨 Jangmi pichŭn tin menyuettŭ Minuetto tinged with the colour of rose バラの光を帯びたメヌエットメヌエット
Composition: Paul Mauriat, 1975

00.52.27 녕변의 비단처녀 Nyŏngbyŏnye pidanchŏnyŏ Silk weaving girl in Nyongbyon 寧辺の絹を織る乙女
Composition: An Jong-ho 안정호, lyrics: Kim Jong-chol 김정철, 2004
Vocal trio: Kim Sol-mi (blue), Pak Mi-kyong (white), Kim Yu-kyong (bluish)

00.55.50 이 땅의 주인들은 말하네 I tangye juindŭlŭn marane This land’s masters say この地の主人が語る
Composer: An Jong-ho 안정호, 2000
Whole vocal sextet in the usual order

00.59.45 나의 길 Naye kil Comme d’habitude 我が道
Composition: Claude François & Jacques Revaux, 1967
There exists also a North Korean song with the same title. MBB will perform it with State Merited Chorus in 20131010.
String quartet

01.04.58 들꽃 세송이 Tŭlkot sesongi Three wild flowers 野の花3輪
Appears in YouTube also under the name Song of the flower girl, which confuses this with the title song of the revolutionary opera Flower girl.
No creation info.
Vocal trio: Jong Su-hyang (red), Kim Yu-kyong (white), Pak Son-hyang (red)

01.08.00 그 품 떠나 못살아 Kŭ phum tŏna mossara We cannot live apart from his bosom そのもとを離れては生きられない
Composition: Ri Jongo 리종오, lyrics Sin Un-ho 신운호, 1989
String quartet: Sonu Hyang-hui, Hong Su-kyong, Cha Yong-mi, Yu Un-jong


01.11.32 세상은 좁아 Sesangŭn jopa It’s a small world: Medley of Disney tunes 世の中は狭い(小さな世界) ディスニー曲メドレー
Composition: Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, 1964
Choe Jong-im arrives at the stage with her saxophone and clarinet.
Vocal quintet: Pak Mi-kyong (white), Kim Sol-mi (pink), Jong Su-hyang (red), Kim Yu-kyong (dark red), Ryu Jina (blue)

01.12.52 톰과 제리 Thom kwa Jeri Tom and Jerry
Theme song of the film or TV series, starting in 1940. The first movie was made in 1992, and this is supposed to be from that one.

01.14.00 온젠가 굼속에서 Onjenga Kumsogesö Once upon a dream
From the film Sleeping Beauty, 1959, based on Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s composition ”Grande valse villageoise”

01.16.11 곰아저씨 뿌 Komajössi Pu Winnie the Pooh
Theme song of a Pooh film; Disney made many of them since 1961

01.17.12 비비디바비디부 Bibidi babidi bu Bibbidi bobbidi boo
From the film Cinderella, 1950.
Composition: Al Hoffman, Mack David, and Jerry Livingston, 1949

01.18.01 미키 마우스 행진곡 Mikhi Mausü hengjingok The Mickey Mouse Club
From the TV show, run from 1955 to 1996

01.19.15 꼼은 마음속으로 바라는것 Komün maüm sogüro paranünkös A dream 
is a wish your heart makes
From the film Cinderella
Composition: Al Hoffman, Mack David, and Jerry Livingston, 1950
01.20.20 미인과 야수 Miin kwa Yasu The Beauty and the Beast
Theme song of the film
Composition: Alan Menken, lyrics Howard Ashman, 1991

01.22.27 언젠가는 나의 왕자님이 찾아오리 Ŏnjenganün naye wangjanimi chajaori When will I find my charming prince = When you wish upon a star
From the film Snow White
Composition: Leigh Harline and Ned Washington, 1940

01.24.14 백설공주와 일곱난쟁이 Peksöl kongjuwa ilkop nanjengi Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Theme song of the film, 1937
Composition: Frank Churchill

01.25.24 백소의 호수 Peksuye hosu Swan Lake
Theme song of the ballet, in a Disney adaptation
Composition: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1876

01.26.55 세상은 좁아 Sesangŭn jopa It’s a small world 世の中は狭い

This medley is always equally surprising, however many times one sees it. It is not only completely different from what had ever been seen in North Korean TV; it is also completely different from what followed in the MBB repertoire after this concert. There may be an explanation on how the medley is here. Once upon a time someone in Pyongyang must have seen a large amount of Walt Disney children movies to be able to choose these songs – and the logical source is Kim Jong Il’s collection of tens of thousands of foreign movies. It is rather likely that his children have watched them, and that these songs are Kim Jong Un’s personal childhood favourites during the 1990s. A more difficult question is why the medley is here. Lots of virtual and real ink has been spilled on speculating possible diplomatic overtures towards the United States … with children movie songs …? Perhaps we can forget that line of reasoning. Americans have a tendency to be somewhat conceited, believing that smaller actors on the world scene necessarily make their moves with the United States seriously in their minds. The easiest explanation is that these songs, as well as the Rocky theme song heard earlier, are just a kind of funny joke. However, at the same time they tell that the person who made the joke knows a lot about American capitalistic culture since his childhood, but now he is in Pyongyang in a position where he can create what ever kind of art he wishes. The main message could actually have been directed more towards the domestic art bureaucracy than abroad.


01.28.18 집씨의 노래 Jipsiye nore Gipsy’s song (Zigeunerweisen) ジプシーの歌(ツィゴイネルワイゼン)
Composition: Pablo Sarasate, 1878
String quartet: Sonu Hyang-hui, Hong Su-kyong, Cha Yong-mi, Yu Un-jong

01.32.36 당을 노래하노라 Tangŭl norehanora I sing in praise of the Party 党を歌わん
Composition: Hwang Jin-yong 황진영, lyrics: Cha Yong-do 차영도, 2010
Vocal sextet: Pak, Kim, Jong, Kim, Ryu, Pak, in the usual order

01.36.17 인민이 사랑하는 우리 령도자 Inmini saranganŭn uri ryŏngdoja Our beloved leader 人民が愛する我が領導者
Composition: Jin Hong-guk 전홍국, lyrics: Ryu Tong-ho 류동호, 2012
A Kim Jong Un song, performed often also by other ensembles in the summer and autumn.
Vocal sextet: Pak Mi-kyong changes her location twice, otherwise the same

01.39.25 Ending ceremonies

U Jong-hui: 2; 1 2012, 1 old
Jin Hong-guk: 1, the only KJU song, and the only one he ever composed for MBB
An Jong-ho: 3 old
Hwang Jin-yong: 3 old

New lyrics
Ryu Tong-ho 1 2012
Jong Song-hwan 1 2012

No creation info: 1

33 songs, medley songs included
19 foreign, 2 new KJU songs, 11 older Korean songs. The proportion of new KJU songs is not very high. Foreign and traditional Korean songs form most of the repertoire.

Hwang Jin-yong, An Jong-ho and U Jong-hui all have many of their compositions included; almost a third of the repertoire is their songs. One could infer that they were associated with the group already at this time, since the very beginning. Creators and their ensembles go together in North Korea. There is no knowledge who made the arrangement and choreography of the concert; these three quite likely would have been involved.


Members of the original concert

Sonu Huang-hui

Sonu Hyang-hui5

Hong Su-kyong

0Hong Su-kyong

Cha Yong-mi

Cha Yong-mi

Yu Un-jong

0Yu Un-jong

Kang Ryong-hui

0Kang Ryong-hui

Ri Sol-lan

0Ri Sol-lanx

Ri Yun-hui

Ri Yun-hui

Kim Yong-mi

Kim Yong-mi4

Kim Hyang-sun, with the synthesizer

0Kim Hyang-sun

Ri Hui-kyong

0Ri Hui-kyong

Unlike the other musicians, Choe Jong-im during the first concerts did not appear on stage all the time, but came only when her saxophone was needed. Mostly she was absent.

0Choe Jong-im

During some songs the original six members of the Angel Choir still wore chosenot in the usual style of the Wangjesan Light Music Band; these dresses were no more seen in later concerts.


Kim Yu-kyong, whom people easily mix up with Ryu Jina

0Kim Yu-kyong1

Ryu Jina, whom people often mix up with Kim Yu-kyong

Ryu Jina3

Jong Su-hyang

0Jong Su-hyang8

Kim Sol-mi

0Kim Sol-mi2

Pak Son-hyang

0Pak Son-hyang2

Pak Mi-kyong

0Pak Mi-kyong4

Ending scene of the concert

Ending scene

Comment: Mansudae Art Theatre is not one of the biggest concert halls in Pyongyang, but is it very grand, situated near the Kim Il Sung Square in the centre of the city. Also Unhasu Orchestra debuted in the same theatre in September 2009, and it is also the same place where the New York Philharmonic Orchestra was first taken when it visited Pyongyang in February 2008; scenes of the building from 09.50 onwards here: https://youtu.be/7s7sbS5hiMo .


3 thoughts on “2012.07.06”

  1. wendy said:

    I m facinated wth dis band!

  2. A little bit late, but:
    Serenade de l’Etoile and General Star are actually completely different compositions. Maybe the intro of the later Pochonbo version was similar in some points, but these two pieces actually have different melody.
    So, here was Serenade de l’Etoile, no questions about it. But the following concert featured General Star. Just listen carefully and see the difference.

    • pekkakorhonen said:

      Never too late to correct mistakes. Thanks.
      I have now moved to Beijing, and have sometimes time to work again with this site – when I am able to pass through the Chinese firewall.

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