This is the fifth part of my review on the music of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame
Esmeralda is the closing number of Act 1 so it’s high on drama and plot. This song takes place when Frollo is searching for Esmeralda and Phoebus realizes that he would rather be “good than smart”, (morality over career ambition) and he disobeys Frollo. After he stands up to Frollo, Frollo condemn his to death and Phoebus flees with Esmeralda’s help. Frollo then begins to burn down Paris for Esmeralda while Quasimodo worries.
Musically this song is the melody that Clopin and Esmeralda sing in Tanz auf dem Seil and Draußen. However there are other melodies floating around in this piece and therefore it have more of mash-up feel.
What I like about this song is that it speaks to the basic plot of Hunchback, three men one women. There is another famous Notre Dame song like this, mmm but it’s name escapes me, what could it be? The inclusion of song is needed to get the point of what Esmeralda does to this cross-section of men, granted it’s different than in the book or the Disney movie especially with regards to Phoebus. Phoebus in the Disney movie didn’t have any character development, he started morally good and ended morally good. In the Book he is a philander but after his meeting with Esmeralda and getting stabbed by Frollo be commits himself to his fiancee Fleur de Lys. In this musical he starts off with career ambition and he wants to have a good time but after he meets with Esmeralda and is pushed by Frollo he decides to act in accordance with doing the right things, morally (ie. not burning innocents because the boss is crazy). Quasimodo here is worried about Esmeralda’s safety and Frollo wants her dead or to be his woman, either is fine. The point is this song shows that Esmeralda creates powerful emotions and with exception of Frollo the Disney version didn’t explored that part of the story.
All in all Esmeralda is a very dramatic song that ends the first act perfectly with Phoebus falling into a river. Mmm that reminds me of another Hunchback musical where the first act ends with Phoebus getting injured, mmm which one was that?
Note – this song made my list of the top Ten Best Hunchback song which was my fist squidoo lens. Click Here to go there now
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