“Azalea” and “Wildflowers of the Mountains”: An Analysis of Four Song Settings on Two Poems by So-wol Kim

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This research project will focus on two poems by the Korean poet So-wol Kim (1902-1934). His poems are admired throughout Korea and are often set by Korean art song composers.

This research project will focus on two poems by the Korean poet So-wol Kim (1902-1934). His poems are admired throughout Korea and are often set by Korean art song composers. This paper will examine four art song settings by composers Sung-tae Kim (1910-2012) and Soon-nam Kim (1917-1986) of two poems by So-wol Kim: “Azalea” and “Wildflowers of the Mountains.” The discussion will examine in detail the varied interpretations and expressions of the texts by each composer. To be clear, the translations of the poems investigated in this paper are poetic renderings and are not meant for performance purposes.