Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo,The Secret of the Hunchback picture image

Gargoyles sing to Quasimodo,The Secret of the Hunchback

If you had known two things about Secret of the Hunchback going before now it would have been Quasimodo is an angel and the singing “Jazzy” Gargoyles. Clearly this is what inspired Josh Brolin with his failed “jazzy” Hunchback movie.

This song is sung by a Gargoyle in Quasimodo’s dream, so unlike Disney this movie makes it clear that the Gargoyles aren’t real except when they cry, confusion. The subject matter on this song is just what you think, Quasimodo is awesome, fuck looks. The Gargoyle uses phrases like “out of sight,” and “doo-wa” to get this point across.

My God is this song just out of left field in terms of style. It’s Jazzy with its “Doo-was” and electric piano and cello that they back-up gargoyles are playing. One could make the  argument that Disney’s Gargoyles did this but they were more consistent throughout their movie, here it’s like a weird WTF slap in the face.

It’s a harmless dumb song but my brain can’t really process the utter dumbness of Doo-was and sunglass wearing Gargoyles for a few minutes.

Also this song feels much longer than it is, I blame the Jazz-y-ness.

The Gargoyles were by in large, the biggest flaw in Disney’s The Hunchback in Notre Dame. Out of the three Gargoyles, Hugo was the most annoying. He was loud, brash and stupid. In June 2013 Disney released a teaser trailer for Frozen that featured Olaf and Sven trying to get Olaf’s carrot nose on ice. This was not a good introduction to Olaf because all he did was laugh. For many people they thought this snowman was going to be annoying. Perhaps not as annoying as Hugo but still annoying. As it turns out Olaf wasn’t annoying, he was likable.

Olaf vs Hugo

Olaf vs Hugo

Olaf and Hugo are polar opposites while still being very similar. They are both short comic relief sidekick who are of the magically variety that help the main protagonist. But where Hugo is loud, Olaf has a soft tone most of the time, where Hugo talks about looks all the time, Olaf talks about people’s warmth. Olaf seems to have a childlike innocences while Hugo is more affective. Olaf wants warm hugs and to see summer while Hugo wants Quasimodo to get a girlfriend or to at least gain some self-worth.

Anna and Olaf Frozen picture image

Anna and Olaf

And this makes sense with their characters. Olaf is newly given life in the movie so his innocence makes sense. I’m sure Disney could have made him loud rough talking like so many of the 90’s sidekick but the soft innocence worked so much better and was refreshing.

Hugo playing poker Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo playing poker Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo on the other hand was a product of the other Disney movie cashing in on the wisecracking sidekicks. His affectedness makes sense if you think of him as part of an old work structure. It could make sense if he was a facet of Quasimodo’s personality too. Maybe Hugo is Quasimodo’s Id personified (more on this in a future blog post).

Sven and Olaf from Frozen picture image

Sven and Olaf from Frozen

While Hugo brings down The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it’s not really his fault that he is a product of the Disney Standard of the time. He is a colossal fail and that why Olaf, Sven and even Tangled sidekicks are refreshing and seem better by comparison. Olaf clear winner.

Notre Dame's Floor Plan  picture image

Notre Dame’s Floor Plan

Construction  on Notre Dame de Paris began  in 1163 when the first cornerstone was laid down.  It was completed between 1250-1345.

Interior of Notre Dame  picture image

Interior of Notre Dame

Notre Dame is a prime example of Gothic architecture. Gothic architecture is characterized by pointed arches, vertical heights, flying Buttress, vaulted ceiling, light and airy interiors, gargoyles, and decorative and ornate style.

Illustration of Flying Buttresses picture image

Illustration of Flying Buttresses

Notre Dame was among the first buildings in the world to use flying buttresses. The reason for a buttress is to resist the lateral forces pushing a wall outward by redirecting them to the ground. The flying buttress does not connect to the wall or ground and instead the the lateral forces  are being transmitted by an intervening space. The flying butress made it possible for buildings to be taller, creating larger Rose windows and reinforce  the wind loading on buildings.

Speaking of Rose Windows, or sometimes called a Catherine windows, a Rose window is a term for  a circular window in Gothic architecture.  Though the term Rose window wasn’t used till the 17th century.

Notre Dame's South Rose Window picture image

Notre Dame’s South Rose Window

The South window was a gift from King Saint Louis and was designed by Jean de Chelles and Pierre Montreuil. It depicts  Christ surrounded by saints and angels.  The North window was also designed by Jean de Chelles and depicts the old testament surrounding the Virgin Mary. There is also the Western Rose Window, which is the window of the facade which also depicts the Virgin Mary.

Notre Dame's Gargoyle picture images

Notre Dame’s Gargoyles

Probably Notre Dame’s more iconic feature is its Gargoyles. Gargoyles are used as decorative element and as gutters. The myth behind the Gargoyles on Churches is that they keep evil spirits away.

The Gargoyles are ready for Halloween.

Gargoyle celebrating Halloween picture image Hunchback of Notre dame

Gargoyle celebrating Halloween

 

Frollo Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo Puppet

The stage show of  Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Disney Parks is like a high school production where the show has a high budget but the cast isn’t really that talented. Wait a second that’s pretty much what this is. Expect  they’re actually college students interning (slave labor) there for the summer. So what is the stage show about?  All  it is a rehashing of the movie. That’s it. I’m basing this review off these videos which you can watch it HERE.  (I’m sorry for the pictures)

 

Frollo interrupting the couple in Notre Dame a.k.a Not Grope Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo interrupting the couple a.k.a Not Grope

A Guy Like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

A Guy Like you

Frollo finding out Esmeralda escape a.k.a Not Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo finding out Esmeralda escape a.k.a Not Hellfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

But is the show bad? Yes, yes it. Everything that you love is gone, i.e Frollo. Well that’s not true Frollo is there and he gets line or two but there is not grope and no Hellfire basically what makes Frollo a character is gone. Frollo is just a plot point. Also they kept a guy like you over hellfire which seems like a big “Fuck-you” to audience.

 

Clopin's singnature pose Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture

Clopin's singnature pose

But how are the other actors? Umm, not so good. We’ll start with the best, Clopin at least he can sing well. Though he strikes the same pose and hand movements over and over.

Phoebus... that is all Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Phoebus... that is all

Quasimodo with a plastic model Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Quasimodo with a plastic model Esmeralda

The Gargoyles... they get more lines than Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

The Gargoyles... they get more lines than Frollo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phoebus is meh. Quasimodo is forgettable. The gargoyles are annoying.

 

Esmeralda from the Stage Show of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame at MGM Studios picture image

Esmeralda

And then there is Esmeralda. First off I  say this with out trying to be offensive but she sounds like she from a 30’s movies. Other than that her acting is weak and over-the-top and she’s not a great singer. I think she was cast for the splits she does during the dance.

Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show Esmeralda's Kneepad image picture

Esmeralda's Kneepad

And she wears knee pads during the dance which I found hilarious.

 

Frollo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Frollo he's too cool for this play

 

Frollo’s not even a character so he doesn’t count. But even still he’s WAY cooler even with no personality.

Djali as a Marionette Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show

Djali as a Marionette.... where can I get one?

So the setting and the plot were okay. The whole puppet thing for the backstory was weird and a little silly. I mean I get why the did, because it’s Clopin’s puppet show, but to see a big Frollo puppet was too funny for me. I have a bad habit of laughing at puppet play even when that are suppose to be serious. Also Djali as a marionette was unnecessary. Actually Djali was unnecessary and that pains me to say.

 

Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show Spire Turn during Out there picture

Spire Turn during Out there

Also I just want to mention that you know in “Out There” where the camera spins around Quasimodo while he’s on the spire yeah, they do that here except while the performer sings on a platform, two guys spin said platform around, it very silly and awkward.

 

More Puppets dolls Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

More Puppets erm I mean Dolls

Basically  the whole thing a very rushed feeling and it over superficial, I mean it’s a appropriate, given that it’s in a Disney park. It’s flash and no substance. It subtracts too much from the movie and if their intent was to take that film and make it even more “Kid Friendly” why not do an after-story or sequel. Frollo doesn’t do anything cool here so who cares if he’s in the show. It at least could have been more interesting than seeing a water-down version of a classic story that Disney already watered down.

 

Getting the Lead out Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage Show picture image

Getting the Lead out

On the plus side, I liked the extras and the lead pouring was cool.

 

Today I’m going to review Youtube Reviewer LazerDude99 as he reviews  Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame mainly because they are at lot of problems with it. I’ll start with negatives and end with positives. (and just for the record, I know I’m not a perfect reviewer so take what I say with a grain of salt when I review reviews.)

 

LazerDude99 Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

LazerDude99 Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

My first problem is on the technical end. The Sound mixing is  not very good. His voice is too quiet while the film’s audio is too loud, the point of the review is to hear the review.   This could be a problem with compression or microphone. The visuals of the DVD is also not that crisp and washed out again this could be a problem with video compression.

 Painting of Esmeralda as she is being taking to the scaffolds with Sachette by Nicolas-Eustache Maurin

Painting of Esmeralda as she is being taking to the scaffolds with Sachette by Nicolas-Eustache Maurin

However my biggest problem with is review is the fact checking. He does admits that he didn’t know that story and got it wrong in the comments but if your going through the trouble of writing a review, recording it, ripping the DVD, editing the video taking 5 minutes to read wikipedia or just a summary  doesn’t seem like that big of a task. In the video he says that he thinks that Quasimodo kills Esmeralda in  jealous rage.  However he also didn’t know that Djali was original to Hugo or Clopin’s voice actor. Not knowing that Paul Kandel did Clopin’s voice won’t have been a problem if he hadn’t mention Kevin Kline voicing Phoebus. While mistakes are likely to happen just make sure that if you can Fact check, do it.

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise

I also have problems with  the ascertain that he made about “Director losing his vision” . First there were two directors (Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise { Fact Checking). Now I can’t know what happened behind the scenes but I think they bought into that mindset that films are a collaborative process. Maybe it was too collaborative as there were 18 writers on Hunchback but it seem from the commentary that studio was behind the dark tones of the film and didn’t try to rain it in. (Now I’m making ascertain based on the commentary). I do know that they wanted to make Hunchback as mean to push CG animation and because they felt at it’s core that Hunchback had fairy tale archetypes.

 

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hugo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hugo A Guy like you Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another problem was the discussion of  the Tone. Hunchback does have a lot of tones. It’s humorous and dark But is that actually bad in a film to be multi-toned? NoIdo not think so. I’ve watch a tons film/tv series that are multi-tone. Take a Bollywood movie, one minute you can have crying the next dancing. The trick to a multi-toned  film is good transitions from one tone to next i.e flow which Hunchback does have. It’s not like Hellfire goes to the gargoyles’ annoying antics to someone being fatally wounded to a silly song. It has good flow thou I do wish the “child-friendly” stuff was toned (no pun intended), the kids would have been fine. I also think Phoebus’ humor and the Old Heretic help to bridge the gap between the dark elements and kid-friendly stuff. As Phoebus is sarcastic and the old heretic is a running gag that reflect Frollo’s insane control.  Also I would point as dark as people say the book is it does have a lot of funny moments.

 

LazerDude99's Barney/Die Hard joke

LazerDude99's Barney/Die Hard joke

 

Also the jokes he makes are not that funny (at least to me). They feel really forced. The clip of the  pumpkin dropping on the car was too long it should have ended on impact or after the screams but it  felt forced joke. The Hellfire as camp song joke was forced too. Maybe if he had gone over the top with it (Green Screen) or sang to it to “Kumbaya” (cliche camp song) it might have been better. The Barney/Die Hard joke might have been funny but I couldn’t tell because I couldn’t make out the picture (making it bigger didn’t help). Admittedly he did this review a year ago and this is the only one I’ve watched so he might have learned from mistakes and these negative at mute points and not really need the repeating.

Ok, positives and these are things I agree with.

Xed Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame image picture

Xed out Gargoyles Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Gargoyles, yeah he hates them too. Does any out there like them? I mean I’m sure they are some people but rarely do I ever see a defense for them. I’d be curious to hear from gargoyle supporters

 

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Old Heretic Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

He likes the Old Heretic, he was may favorite gag in the film.

Frollo Hunchback of Notre Dame with Clopin Disney picture image

Frollo with Clopin Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

 He praises Frollo and hellfire. Everyone seems to but in this case everyones right. Frollo and Hellfire are the highlight the movie. He also enjoyed Phoebus and Clopin, and I can’t argue with that. Phoebus maybe a little too pefect but at least he’s amusing and I liked Clopin a lot.

 

Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo's Reveal Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

I do have to agree with him about Quasimodo is boring. Like Esmeralda, he is a little too perfect of a character. He’s not really flawed like he is in the book or in other adaptations.

LazerDude99's rating of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

LazerDude99's rating of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now I don’t watch many reviews on youtube but LazerDude 99 does seem to try to make a decent review of the movie that for the most part is well made. I mean video compression is a hard thing to master, camera/microphone can be expense. I just wished he had fact checked better, Quasimodo Killing Esmeralda is wrong on some many levels. And the jokes need to tighter and clearer because I feel that they fall flat. I suppose in the realm of the youtube reviewer his probably is good, I mean he did book effort into it and did back up his thoughts in an intelligent way.

Watch the Review for yourself by clicking  HERE

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Cast Poster of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Cast Poster of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Der Glöckner von Notre Dame has a lot of differences from the Disney Film; some small some big. Here are the major differences in a nutshell (in no real order);

Jens Janke as Clopin in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Jens Janke as Clopin in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Clopin with Puppet Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Djali or Achilles, Esmeralda dies, Quasimodo kills Frollo, Frollo was a Priest, Phoebus starts off somewhat of a philander, the gargoyles are 100% imaginary, the gargoyles have different names (Antoine, Charles and Loni opposed to Victor, Hugo and Laverne), the story is told as flashback by Clopin as an old beggar man who doesn’t use puppets, Esmeralda is shown out of Notre Dame rather than Quasimodo holding her while climbing down, The Court of Miracles Song is replace by a dance number, the archdeacon brings a wounded Phoebus to Quasimodo and Out There is split between two songs.

 

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

Frollo and Quasimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Frollo and Qausimodo Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of these differences don’t add too much but some add a great deal because some of these differences add Character Development. Quasimodo gets an arch in the stage version. Like in the Disney movie Quasimodo starts off naive, he wants to see the world for himself despite what Frollo tells him, however in Glöckner Quasimodo does not come off as gentle as he does in the movie and his emotions are more intense. This gives way for more interesting character development. Also in the movie Quaismodo claims to believe Frollo only out of fear for Frollo not because he actually believes him. In Glöckner it seems that he fully trusts Frollo  at the beginning, they even make a point of  mentioning Quasimodo lying to Frollo for the first time at the end of Act I when Quasimodo denies knowledge of Esmeralda’s escape to Frollo. Quasimodo’s trust in Frollo makes Quasimodo killing Frollo at the end all the more dramatic.

 

Quasimodo, Esmeralda and Phoebus performing Weil du Liebst Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo, Esmeralda and Phoebus performing Weil du Liebst Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Phoebus and Esmeralda Kiss Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus and Esmeralda Kiss Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not just Quasimodo to get a character development Phoebus gets an arch too. He starts off as a guy who just wants to have fun and views his new position as a path for “Rest and Recreation.” But through interactions with Esmeralda he learns that he would rather be “good’ than do what his boss tells him i.e burning an innocent family to death. Esmeralda doesn’t exactly get character development but her backstory  about of how she gets into trouble and is forced to move around because she expresses her opinion without a filter makes her at least a little more human and flawed. Disney’s Esmeralda was just too perfect, some goes for Disney Phoebus.

Norbert Lamla as Frollo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Norbert Lamla as Frollo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However I don feel that Frollo’s backstory was unnecessary (Frollo’s background as a Priest). I know what Glöckner was trying to do and as a fan of the book I do appreciate that they tried to make Frollo like he was in the book but it didn’t really add to any character development or an arch. To my knowledge Frollo being a former Priest  was only mentioned once. I guess it adds a single shade of a backstory to him but most megalomaniacal people in power position don’t really need a reason to think they are better than most people. Plus why would someone who was once a Priest decide that the best way to cleanse to the world (or in this case Paris) of vice and sin was to promote genocide and corporal punishment? If anything Glöckner’s Frollo being a Priest adds further questions to his character and backstory. At least Disney’s Frollo was just a megalomaniacal mad man who has power and was having a control issue.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame image picture

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda reading Quasimodo's palm Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do think a lot of changes between the film and stage version were good and added something that was missing from the original Disney film. However adding things from the book  to make a compromise between the book and the Disney film really didn’t work that well. Maybe had the spent some more time developing Frollo it could have worked but it really didn’t.

 

Next time – Conclusion

Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame image picture

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

I’ve made no secrets that I love costumes but I got to say the costumes in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame do nothing for me. For the most part they are pretty generic. The costumes were design by Sue Blane of Rocky Horror fame but I feel like there was little to no real effort put into them.

 

Frollo and Phoebus Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Phoebus Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

My first problem is the use of colors. Costumes used in musicals  can help identify the characters and colors are a great way to do this. When colors are used like that they can add a style to the overall look of the show. Some examples are  Romeo and Juliet where Montagues are in Blue and Capulets are in Red. Notre Dame de Paris also does a good job of using colors to distinguish the characters Esmeralda- Green, Quasimodo- Red, Frollo- Black ect. In Glöckner Quasimodo wears red but so does Esmeralda, Clopin wears brown, Frollo wears Black and Purple, Gargoyles in grayish taupe, Phoebus is wears Dark Blue and Gold? So the colors they wear do not make characters stand out from each other.

 

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

A second problem is the details on the costumes. It not that they’re badly done, it’s just that, if you’re sitting in the audience of the show you’re not going to see them. Little details don’t work in musicals. So the lace on Esmeralda’s Blouse and embroidery on her corset  are lost to the audience. All the costumes I’m sure are lovely up close but it’s wasted from the audience’s perceptive.

 

Quasimodo with Antoine, Charles and Loni Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo with Antoine, Charles and Loni Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

The one costume(s) that I like are the a gargoyles, at least they have a sense of drama and design to them. Quasimodo is hardly ugly, Esmeralda looks like she threw together a renaissance fair costume from her closet, Phoebus looks more like a musketeer than Burgundian  Knight, the Archdeacon’s costume looks way too modern and Frollo’s costume just looks like they copied  Frollo’s costume from the 1939 version, fitting given that Disney copied that movie but kind of lazy. Clopin has two costumes, the beggar and the King of Gypsies, and yet I don’t get a true sense of personality from either one. There is just no cohesion to these costumes, no style no real personality that makes these costume feel like they belong to the show.

Esmeralda and Clopin Tanz auf dem Seil Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Clopin Tanz auf dem Seil Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Next Time – Stage vs Film

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Cast Poster of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Cast Poster of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

I’d say that the songs  in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame are good. Sure there are some weak songs but they’re thoughtful and the either drive the plot forward or develop a character. However the music is not without problems.

 

Ann Christin Elverum as Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Ann Christin Elverum as Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

First off, I HATE, hate that Esmeralda doesn’t get a solo in this. With exception of the Archdeacon, Clopin and the gargoyles she the only character not get one. Now you maybe thinking “But Hunchblog  the majority of the characters in this didn’t have their own songs. ” Well that  is true but let’s face, each of the gargoyles couldn’t get their own song they’re a trio and as a trio they almost get a single song, Clopin may not a single song but he sings a lot as the narrator and the archdeacon is hardly  even a character so he doesn’t count. Beside the plot pretty much revolves around her you’d think she’d get one but her only big songs has Quasimodo in it. I mean in Notre Dame de Paris every character got one even Fleur de Lys (Phoebus’ Fiancee) got one (La monture) and she is seldom even in the adaptations. So that was a BIG negative.

 

Esmeralda and Antoine Der Glöckner von Notre Dame pictureimage

Esmeralda and Antoine Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

I also got bit tired of the gargoyles singing over people. I do think it was a great way to show that gargoyles are 100% in Quasimodo’s head but it’s gets a bit old after a while. I think the show kept putting the gargoyles in songs so that A Guy Like you wouldn’t feel out of place.  Another thing that gets old is hearing Draußen (Out There) over and over again. Anytime the play wants to reenforce Quasimodo to the audience Draußen is played. Admittedly this maybe unfair because Die Glocken Notre Dames is the most overused as in the play this how Clopin does most of his narrating but since I’ve been judging off the CD it’s Draußen that got old.

 

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame image picture

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

So yeah the songs are good for the most part but what I think really helps a lot of these songs is that singing quality is better. Though I’ve picked on Draußen in this review,   I much prefer it in this musical than in the Disney movie along with Ein Mann wie du (A Man like you). The singers are just much better  and that helps the enjoyment of the songs. Conversely, Hellfire suffers for this and it’s not because the is bad, I mean he put emotionally intensity into the next song Esmeralda, but maybe Hellfire is Tony Jay’s  and no one else compares. Esmeralda and Clopin are one the level though the cresendo at the end of Bell isn’t as powerful as Kendal but he does a great job otherwise.

 

Esmeralda and Clopin during Drunter Drüber" (Topsy Turvy) Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Clopin during Drunter Drüber” (Topsy Turvy) Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

The musical does make the recycled Disney movie songs feel like it’s own which is nice, you don’t feel like their just simply lifted from the movie and put in to a musical. And while I do prefer Notre Dame de Paris Der Glöckner von Notre Dame has wonderful music. Just wish Esmeralda got one song to herself.

 

Next Time – The Production; Sets

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Frollo and Quasimodo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

This is the Ninth Part (or the last part) of my review on the music of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Molten Lead Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Molten Lead Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Grand Finale or Ultimo Finale is the ending and occurs in two parts. The Finale is where the two most famous differences occurs; The death of Frollo by Quasimodo and the death of Esmeralda. Apparently the translator Michael Kunze campaigned to have Esmeralda die which makes it more like the book, though her death is by a different method. Kunze’s reasoning for this is that Esmeralda’s death would be viewed by European audiences as moving and more romantic of an ending. We’ll see how the American Broadway version handles this, though I kind of hope they keep the German ending.

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda with Frollo (Norbert Lamla) Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture images

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda with Frollo (Norbert Lamla) Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

The Final starts with Frollo pronouncing Esmeralda’s sentence then it goes into “song” portion. I  use  the word song in quotes because the Finale is a melody piece as it uses songs from throughout the show with one exception.  So it starts pretty much the same as the movie with Sanctuary playing complete with latin lyrics as Esmerlada starts being burned and Quasimodo saves her and proclaiming sanctuary. Then Phoebus starts railing the people of Paris  with the tune of Einmal (Once). Then the scene shifts back to Quasimodo who is defending Notre Dame from Frollo and his minions as he sings the tune of Wie aus Stein (Made of Stone).

Esmeralda dying  Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda dying Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

After he pours the led from Notre Dame Quasimodo checks in on Esmeralda who is dying. My guess is she dying of asphyxia which is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen in body that arises from being unable to breathe normally. In her case this occurred from the fire. Anyway Quasimodo and Esmeralda have  little conversation while Draußen (Outside) is played in the background. Esmeralda thanks Quasimodo for being her friend and then sings Hoch über der Welt (High above the World) and then the conversation  continues for a  couple more lines and then she dies. After she dies Frollo comes in and sings about how he happy to be free of her to the tune of Esmeralda but he sings this in a creepy, off balanced way. Quasimodo gets mad and the song shifts to a new melody with gargoyle singing with the latin choir. The gargoyle basically sing that God strikes the wicked, so the gargoyles, or aspects of Quasimodo’s own mind are telling him that he should kill Frollo, which he does by throwing Frollo off of Notre Dame, like in the book. I will point out that Quasimodo in the book does this in a fit of rage and here it’s a little more pre-mediated. After this the gargoyles sing  Zuflucht (Refuge) about how the world is both cruel and kind. Quasimodo then sings Draußen (Outside) and sings about how he must live out there with all the pain, sorrow and fear that world can bring. He the carries Esmeralda outside and is joined by Phoebus. The ensemble then sing Einmal with as Quasimodo disappears. Then Clopin in his narrator role sings Die Glocken Notre Dames (The Bells of Notre Dame) and it’s pretty akin to the reprise at the end of the movie.

Quasimodo carrying Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo carrying Esmeralda Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

It’s vague what happens to Quasimodo but given how he sings about living it is doubtful that Quasimodo goes off to die. Also considering the two deaths this pretty much same except for Quasimodo and Esmeralda epic running away scene, that’s not there either.

 

So both Musically and plot wise we have a lot going on. However it’s a fitting ending. All the songs used here fit well together so while it could have felt a bit all over the place the emotional intensity flows well from one into the next. So if you like all these song before you’ll like them here.

 

Next time – A conclusion  of the music

Esmeralda dancing Der Glöckner von Notre  Dame Picture Image

Esmeralda Dancing Der Glöckner von Notre Dame