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


This is the third part of the music review of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Hilf den Verstoßenen

Esmeralda singing Hilf den Verstoßenen in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing Hilf den Verstoßenen in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

Hilf den Verstoßenen (God Help the Outcast) is for the most part the same as the Disney version with one exception, Quasimodo sings in it. This add-on makes the song a touch longer. Another minor difference is that unlike the  parishioners in the Disney that sings about wanting wealth, fame, glory together in the stage show the first two lines are sung in solos. A minute difference. Musically the song is identical to the Disney. Seriously, play the songs together and they are the same musically.

It’s a nice version of God Help the Outcast. On the one hand, I rather like the addition of Quasimodo here but on the other it robs Esmeralda of a song to herself. I mean Phoebus gets one but Esmeralda also sings with someone else whereas Quasimodo gets two songs for himself, three is you want to count the Gargoyles as part of his psyche. Considering that I wish they had let Quasimodo out of the song but maybe Menken and Schwartz felt that Esmeralda and Quasimodo should have got one song together but Quasimodo shyness would have prevented him from actively singing with her so him stalking her around Notre Dame and sing along wit her prayer was a logic move to make but still would it have killed them to give her a solo song. Really if they really want to take God Help the Outcast from her they should made Einmal (Once) her solo song but we’ll get to Einmal later.

Watch a Video clip here

 

Hoch über der Welt

Esmeralda and Quasimodo during Hoch über der Welt in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo during Hoch über der Welt in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Hoch über der Welt (High above the World) takes place when Esmeralda and Quasimodo are a top of Notre Dame and it’s sung by Esmeralda and the gargoyles. Esmeralda thinks that Paris  is better when viewed from above and the gargoyles encourage Quasimodo to put the moves on her. His move constitutes asking to sit next to her, which she agrees to and in the gargoyle tradition of jumping to conclusions they start planning the wedding.

This song acts as a bonding song between the two and it’s a good example of what works in a musical version wouldn’t work in a movie. A song like this in the movie would have killed the pacing and would have worked against Esmeralda sweeter less experienced nature.

Musically it employs the tactic that  Zuflucht employed which was two melodies that are song together in the third part of the songs. This makes it so the first person(ie Frollo, Esmeralda, Phoebus etc) sing unaware of the gargoyles singing with them. And like Zuflucht the harmonies work well together.

Hoch über der Welt is a nice and sweet on Esmeralda’s end and fun and entergetic on the gargoyles’ end. It also works to help establish Quasimodo and Esmeralda’s friendship more than just one the conversation they had in the movie

Watch a a video of being performed  Here

Next Time-
Das Licht des Himmels (Heaven’s Light)
Das Feuer der Hölle (Hellfire)

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