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[Opinion] Album Dedicated to the Cardinal

Posted March. 18, 2004 23:14,   


From time to time, fate lets us come across theses written by strangers. Although they usually become “storage material,” most of which are Master’s or doctoral dissertations in an academic field, the dedication section often catches our eyes. It is a piece of writing thanking respected teachers, parents, wives, sons and daughters, as well as senior/junior colleagues. We become deeply moved when we read an article dedicated to a father who unexpectedly passed away while the writer was studying towards an academic degree or to a wife who sacrificed herself by working day and night to offer her support.

Since the dawn of history, a plethora of poems, novels, music, and art works have been dedicated to the loved or respected ones. Religious scriptures can also be seen as an integration of one’s dedications of awe and praise towards God. The great poet Tagore’s Guitanjali, a Nobel prized anthology, was also dedicated to God, and “Songs of the dragons flying to heaven (YongBiOCh`on-ga)” was a national eulogy offered to the royal family. Eric Clapton composed “Wonderful Tonight” and “Tears in Heaven” for his loving wife and his young son who died tragically in a crash. Ha Soo-young’s “A Song Dedicated to My Wife” was “A Song of Atonement” for all Korean husbands to their wives.

Beethoven composed Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” for Napoleon whom he worshipped as a savior of the mass, but ripped apart the cover of the score which he intended to send to France when Napoleon ascended to the throne of Emperor, and composed “Moonlight Sonata” for his loving female disciple. Brahms dedicated his Piano Sonata and Piano Trio to Schumann’s wife Clara while Mendelssohn dedicated Violin Concerto to David, his friend and supporter. It is rumored that Chopin’s melodious and sorrowful “Tristesse” was an impromptu musical score dedicated to a lover from his youth whom he had forgotten after his success.

In Korea, an album dedicated to musicians including Shin Joong-hyun, San-wul-lim, Kim Kwang-suk for their music ahead of times has been on sale. However, this was a different case from Jung Poong-song (62), a senior composer’s album titled “Dear Cardinal Kim Soo-hwan” which he composed out of distress towards the reality of denunciating “Korea’s superior individual” as a conservative force. While it certainly makes us appreciate Jung’s heartfelt sympathy and labor especially considering the fact that he wasn’t even Catholic, we also become aware of the sad reality upon hearing that the composer himself had to record the song as singers refused his offer for reasons of popularity management and Internet terror.

Editorial Writer Oh Myung-chul oscar@donga.com