Secret Love Affair Crunchy Bites Episode 13-14: From Sea of Tears, Padwereski to Dvorak

We nearly reach the end of Oh Hye Won and Lee Seon Jae’s journey in Secret Love Affair. Fast-paced story each episode, the drama keeps giving many sudden turns and makes us sitting on edge biting our nails.

Episode 14 breaks its own records as the highest rated episode by earning 4.2% for national viewership, and 5% for metropolitan audience. Ratings peaked to 6.3% based on by-minute-ratings during the broadcast. This is the phenomenal numbers for a cable channel which only has limited exposure. [Note: 1% ratings in cable networks = 5% ratings in national networks]



Yoo Ah In’s (including Kim Hee Ae’s) spectacular and heartbreaking acting in episode 14 earns a lot of praises. Newdaily quoted as saying, “Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae suffering from forbidden love have caused the sea of heartfelt tears in home cinema. When they crumbled and broke down to tears against their wall, they brought the sea of tears to audience.” Well, who wouldn’t sob hard while watching this? 😦


Osen specifically sings praises for Yoo Ah In by writing a long article (again) about his acting in episode 14. Here’s the brief translation~

Yoo Ah In  gives the real emotions in acting. In Secret Love Affair he already made a masterpiece of his own. He is an actor that deserves admiration. On the 6th May broadcast [episode 14], Yoo Ah In successfully expressed the complexity of a nerve-wrecking person. From his gesture, his body language, to the way he bent his back. His eyes and body were shaking like crazy because of the interview magazine prepared by Hye Won. He felt uncomfortable in his clothes, he looked daunted and frustrated. Yoo Ah In is the perfect representation of an extremely unstable state, viewers even saw him holding his sweaty hands. His way of expressing the emotions in a split second seems spread to a nano-scale. Yoo Ah In naturally executed the complex emotions of acting that consisted of anxiety and frustration, anger, tension and hollow.

[Full translations will be up soon]


The drama itself gets more exposure and rapid popularity as well. Everyone is talking about this show endearingly. Even it’s parodied by a major channel MBC in their popular program Infinity Challenge last night.

Yoo Jae Suk shows how he can be the next “Yoo Ha In” in “Dried Fish” (Secret Love Affair pun in Hangeul) video, while Haha believes he’s the genius Lee Seon JaeIt’s too funny you have to watch the cut yourself here. After the broadcast of this parody, Secret Love Affair spotted #1 Daum Top Search. Talking about free advertising 🙂

And there’s another fun thing. Lee Hyori from SBS new talkshow “Magic Eye” gushes about Yoo Ah In and wants him to be her first guest. While actor Seo Kang Joon chimes in that he idolizes Yoo Ah In. They are just a few names who praised Yoo Ah In and Secret Love Affair that we can mention here.

Now, there are a lot of references being mentioned in these two episodes, although most of them have already brought up in its earlier ones, such as Pogorelic, Sviatoslav Richter, Dvorak, and the triangle love of The Schumanns and Brahms. Only now the people involved in this affair are referring themselves to these legends. Let’s take a look~


The Schumanns and Brahms, again

As we’ve stated previously, the drama is inspired by Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann’s messy love story. But for the first time Professor Kang points out openly to his wife, that their relationship are so similar with that of Schumann, Brahms and Clara.

It sounds ironic and laughable that Professor Kang leisurely accepts the affair and acts as if he’s a noble Schumann, while asking his wife to turn herself in, so that he can make his “wannabe dean” obsession come true.


Sviatoslav Richter’s, again

We’ve wrote about Richter that inspires this drama too. Now in one scene of episode 13, Lee Seon Jae leaves a message to Hye Won through Richter’s words that were written in his biography “Sviatoslav Richter Notebooks And Conversations” by Bruno Monsaingeon. Sun Jae cites two paragraphs from the book~

We got into a car and left. The car with the piano followed behind. We traveled along, avoiding the highways like the plague. We performed in the corners of some small city. It could be a theater, or a school. The really good thing was that people did not come because of their snobbery but because they only wanted to come listen to the performance.

I am not crazy, I am normal. But maybe I do want to become crazy.

The quotes really describe Lee Seon Jae’s wish for Hye won; to run and leave everything and everyone (read: hypocrites) behind, live only with him, play honest music for honest people. It’s also his hint that although he can’t stand the situation, he has decided to support Hye Won’s plan.



Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish pianist and composer, and also a politician, and spokesman for Polish independence. He was a favorite of concert audiences across the globe. His musical fame opened access to diplomats and the media. He was the prime minister and foreign minister of Poland in 1919, and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He was loved by his people.

Professor Kang brings up his other ambition to Hye Won, that he wants to make Lee Sun Jae, his protégé, to become a powerful chess. I and Hye Won roll eyes.



The variations on Ah vous dirai-je, Maman

Lee Seon Jae has played two variations of this popular ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. But apparently the dark, depressed and anger variation that he performs in episode 14 was written by Park Jong Hyung, the pianist who plays Professor Jo In Seo in this drama. He was said to have written six variations especially to be played in Secret Love Affair. The variations on Ah vous dirai-je, Maman was written especially for this episode, for Sun Jae to express his complicated emotions. Check the heartbreaking and strong performance of Yoo Ah In in this piece once again~




Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No.2 in A major, Op.81

The piano quintet that was performed twice by Lee Seon Jae and friends presented two different tones. Episode 13 plays the cheerful part while episode 14 the sad part. According to wiki, this piece has four movements:

In episode 13, they play the first and third movements. The first movement opens quietly with lyrical cello theme over piano accompaniment, which is followed by a series of elaborate transformations. The third movement is marked as a Furiant which is a fast Bohemian folk dance. Thus, the piece playing in episode 13 sounds cheerful.

Episode 14 used the second movement. It sounds a mix of melancholic and delightful. The second movement is labeled Dumka which is a form that Dvořák famously used in his Dumky piano trio and features a melancholy theme on the piano separated by fast, happy interludes. Thus, Dumka came to mean “a type of instrumental music involving sudden changes from melancholy to exuberance”.

Dumka is characterized by sudden, unpredictable episodes of sadness and exuberance, in other words the mood, tempo just keeps changing unexpectedly. This is just a perfect description that one can make on Secret Love Affair, don’t you think? (Thanks to Cecilia from Soompi for the elaboration on Dumka)

Antonín Dvořák most especially formed the Dumka by transferring the traditional folk form to a formal classicial milieu. However, Professor Kang is against the idea of Lee Sun Jae performing Dvořák, because he doesn’t think the sudden change of emotions in Dvořák’s pieces will give a good impact on his student. One cannot mutter Feelings and Professor Kang in one breath, though. In contrast to Professor Kang, Brahms who found Dvorak, thought highly of Dvorak’s uniqueness in his novelty of music.



Will things end well with two more episodes left? Well, since you already brought us up in this emotional roller-coaster ride, we demand a good compensation, geeeniusss Writer nim! No more crumbling, pweaseee!

Once again, Jomo and Mrs. Ockoala are recapping this drama together in Koala’s Playground. And you can also have some discussions and share thoughts with other Secret Love Affair fans in Soompi Forums. Make sure you check both of these awesome sites.

And for the live captures, follow our twitterLet’s hold hands together and brace ourselves for whatever the end of this story brings! Secret Love Affair daebak!

(Check more pictures and behind-the-scene photos in here and here)


Screencaps provided by DC

12 Responses to “Secret Love Affair Crunchy Bites Episode 13-14: From Sea of Tears, Padwereski to Dvorak”
  1. jomo143 says:

    Thanks for this!! I really should learn to read Korean, but since I have you, I don’t need to be completely cut off from the news in SK.

    As far as the ratings, it is pretty amazing considering the story is about the rarefied world of classical pianist, composers and the references are literary. I love the fact that the creative team expects the audience to be smart, but also understands we like our kisses HOT.

    Two more shows and out? I honestly don’t think I could have survived 20.
    I have to avoid soompi until the series ends because of my pathological fear of spoilers, but I can’t wait to go back when it’s done.

    Thanks, too, for all your hard work!

    • Furbabe says:

      I’m not that good in Korean either and still learning too. I’m glad I can help you and the others with my so limited skill. And yes, this is an unexpected popularity, but then having read the reactions and comments in Korean news outlets/forums, I realized how much they love classics, and how eager they are to know more about that world. There’s a classical competition going on right now there to find “the real genius Lee Sun Jae”, and there was a classical concert that performed SLA soundtracks recently. They don’t find the affair and age gap as some issues that needed to be avoided, but rather to be discussed about. Maybe because it’s the issues that they can relate to their real life.

      Same with you, I’m glad it sticks to 16 episodes as planned, otherwise I would have to buy more life stocks 😀 Thanks for dropping by and for your awesome recaps, Jomo!

      • jomo143 says:

        I don’t often wish to travel to SK because of the language barrier, but I would think about flying over for a concert of the cast of this show performed. It would be perfect, and probably $1000. USD a ticket!

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for this article! My heart beats faster as episode 15 preview out!

  3. Niki says:

    Can we buy the soundtrack of the Secret Love Affair in South Korea now? one of my friend will go there for holiday. If yes, I really would like to buy one to support such great drama I have ever enjoyed that much!!

  4. Thanks for all the great info about this amazing drama. Good job!

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  1. […] As mentioned previously, Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No.2 in A major, Op.81 has four movements: Allegro, ma non tanto; Dumka: Andante con moto; Scherzo (Furiant): molto vivace; Finale: Allegro. From episode 15 throughout 16 they play all the movements of  Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No.2 in A major, Op.81. […]

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