This is the eighth part of my review on the music of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame
Wie aus Stein
Wie aus Stein is Quasimodo’s despair song. The song is lifted from the movie when the gargoyles are trying to convince Quaismodo to save Esmeralda who is moments away from death. In the musical this scene occurs the night before Esmeralda is to be sentenced and instead of a short scene between the gargoyles and Quasimodo, we have a song.
This song is Quasimodo at his most angry and his most broken-hearted. He is clearly angry at the gargoyles as they don’t understand his pain as they’re made of stone and he wishes he was like them. He regrets his emotions and wishes they would go away. I really can’t not imagine the Disney movie Quasimodo getting this angry and morose. Plus it’s nice to hear Quasimodo really telling off the gargoyles.
The title Wie aus Stein (Made of Stone) is taken from the original book when Quasimodo mournfully asks why he wasn’t made of stone. He’s not exactly angry in the book but more sad that he is in love with Esmeralda and can’t really do anything about it.
Musically this song is great it has wonderful tension and drama. Quasimodo voice moves though these soft parts like suppressing rage and parts him fully expressing his rage with great power in his voice. Quasimodo’s angry and despair really come though.
I really enjoy this song, it’s a great way to showcase the singer for Quasimodo. I find this song oddly additive and it’s one of my favorites from the show.
Watch a video clip of Wie aus Stein here
Einmal (Once) is the song Someday which was created as a second option for the song used in the “Esmeralda Prayer” sequence in the movie. However Someday was used as the credit song which had two pop song recording.
Einmal occurs after Frollo gives Esmeralda his ultimatum in jail (Be Mine or Die). Esmeralda considers taking it if only to save Phoebus. Phoebus tells her she should do it for herself, so she can live. Esmeralda says she doesn’t consider a life with Frollo living. She then sings along with Phoebus and eventually with Clopin and the ensemble about how she hopes the world will learn after countless war and bloodshed to live and not to hate.
Unlike Someday, Einmal’s lyrics are less soft and gentle. In Someday. Esmeralda sings about the world becoming more mature and in Einmal she sings about the world learning after making mistakes. The song ends as Esmeralda about to be put to death which makes this song all the more poignant and dramatic as Esmeralda dying wish for the world.
Muscially it’s a pretty song and while I like the inclusion of Phoebus, Clopin and the crowd, this means Esmeralda does not get a solo song of her own, which I find a bit sad. But as the song stands on it’s own merits, it is quite lovely and powerful with the overlays of singing. And like Wie aus Stein it’s high on my list of favorites from the show.
Watch a video clip of Einmal here
A Final Thought on these songs;
Wie aus and Einmal are very nice counterpoints to each other in both mood and meaning. In Wie aus Stein we have Quasimodo who is depairing in life and in Einmal we have Esmeralda who has hope as she about to die. It a just a nice example of selfness vs altruism in the show, and I love contrast.
Next Time – The Grand Finale,