Younghi Pagh-Paan: Go-Un-Nim
1997/98 Younghi Pagh-Paan wrote the eleven-minute Go-Un-Nim (“song of praise”) for the Bremen chamber orchestra to celebrate the reopening of the Bremer Kunsthalle. After its debut performance in Bremen for selected guests on March 22nd 1998, the Munich chamber orchestra had the pleasure to present this composition to a wider audience on two evenings in Ravensburg and Munich, conducted by Gilbert Varga. Like the premiere, the two concerts received critical praise.
Review of the Ravensburg performance on November 22nd 2000
The powerful beats of a wood rattle open a very focused piece rich with overtones. The title “Go-Un-Nim (song of praise)” might be unusual for Western ears at first. In place of jubilant exuberance, it offers slow, progressing sounds that build themselves up like pillars of light. [Bass clarinet, double bass and bassoon provide whirring and buzzing. The pillars of sound slowly open up to the movement of single instruments, veiled glissando and tremolo, until eventually the movement is reduced and fades out again.]
Katharina von Glasenapp, in: Schwäbische Zeitung, November 24th 2000
Review of the performance on November 23rd 2000 in the Münchner Herkulessaal
You’ll find yourself listening intently to the deliberate, wave-like flow of the concentrated string instruments, undercut in places by the dry sounds of the (wood-) percussion. The wind instruments are melting in and out occasionally. Despite its brevity, this piece aims for wide sound spaces, almost into infinity. Gilbert Varga puts precise accents, navigating this fragile web of sound with great care.
Klaus Kalchschmid, Süddeutsche Zeitung November 25th/26th 2000