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Madame Park
a tone poem for chamber orchestra - - 2 perc. - pno - strings

Duration: 26 minutes

Year: 2021

ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards Finalist (2022) - The War and Hope

Westside Chamber Players Honorable Mention (2023) - Transformation 


Image credit: 김형언​ (나라말)​

Program Note

Madame Park (박씨부인전) is from traditional Korean literature, a heroic story written in the Joseon Dynasty. In 1636-1637, there was a historical war called 병자호란 (Byeong-ja-ho-ran) which can be translated as the “Qing Invasion of Joseon.” Joseon (Korea) was defeated by the Qing (China) and this war brought a tremendous mental shock and sorrow to the country, especially because two of the princes of Korea were taken captive. Madame Park was written after the war to overcome despair and the sense of defeat. 

Madame Park, the main character, is described as having a monstrous appearance. In the patriarchal society, this ugly female character implies a person of the lowest class. However with her great personality, wisdom, and miraculous power, Madame Park not only makes her husband succeed in government but also helps the country during the war, when she protects people from many dangers. Therefore, Madame Park can be considered a public heroic figure who portrays the hope of people who were persecuted and endured hunger after the war.

Movement I : Wedding at Geumgangsan

Movement II : Desolation

Movement III : Transformation

Movement IV : The War and Hope 


Movement IV: The War and Hope

The sound of the brass instruments, drums, and a gong signal the start of the war. The Qing army attacks Joseon ruthlessly and the city dissolves into chaos with screams and cries. With her wisdom and miraculous power, Madame Park threatens the army and makes a compromise with the head general of Qing. The last part of the movement is an epilogue that portrays a sorrowful peace after the war.

Performed by UO Symphony Orchestra; Dr. David Jacobs, conductor

March 4, 2022 Beall Hall, OR


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