North Korea trades artillery music for Mozart

Updated: 2006-12-29 14:26

SEOUL - North Korea took a break from its hit parade of rousing songs praising the revolution to have a Mozart moment in Pyongyang.

The reclusive state, where performances are more likely to include titles like "Let's Support our Supreme Commander with Arms" and "Song of Coast Artillerymen", staged a concert of Mozart's works that included the overture from "The Marriage of Figaro", the official KCNA news agency reported.

The event was organised to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth, KCNA said late on Thursday.

"Artistes of the State Symphony Orchestra successfully presented the peculiar attraction and diverse emotion of music pieces of Mozart through exquisite rendition and truthful representation," the report said.

North Korea shuns popular music from South Korea and the West as subversive and has been known to jail people who possess recordings not to the liking of communist officials.

Like Mozart, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was himself a musical prodigy, according to his official biography, penning the song "The Embrace of my Motherland" at age 10 and writing several revolutionary operas by his early 20s.

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