Paul Connelly, Conductor for the 2013 performance of Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris. picture image
Paul Connelly, Conductor for the 2013 performance of Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris.

The Music of  Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris was composed by Maurice Jarre. Jarre is famous for composing the music of Lawrence of Arabia, Dr Zhivago and Passage to India. If you noticed a patterned, you will have noticed that those are all films.

Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet

This Ballet’s music plays like a film score. Which is really instresting since it’s a film score that is played live.

 On the whole I enjoy the music. It reminded me of video game music. I could see myself running through a dungeon in a JRPG game listing to some of this score. It really reminded me of Dragon Quest music, which is compliment. I really love video game OSTs a lot.  

Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Isabelle Guerin as Esmeralda Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris

This music fits on the emotional beats of the story and the music showcase the character’s personality. For instance I love that Esmeralda’s introductory solo’s music is both mysterious yet playful.  However there music doesn’t really stand out on their own against the ballet performance. That may not be a bad thing though, a film score is supposed to work in tandem with the visuals, they are not meant to overshadow them.    

Orchestra pit practice the music for Roland Petit's Notre Dame de Paris picture image
Orchestra pit practice the music for Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris

I also think there is not a stand out piece from the score but that could be a case that this music is not part of collective music landscape, outside of this ballet this music has never been referenced or sampled.  

Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo, Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Natalia Osipova as Esmeralda & Roberto Bolle as Quasimodo

If you listen to the music you can hear little bits that sound like the Lawrence of Arabia’s theme. I can really hear it in the pas de deux between Esmeralda and Quasimodo in the second act.  

Quasimodo and Esmeralda with thugs in  Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet picture image
Quasimodo and Esmeralda with thugs in Roland Petit Notre Dame de Paris Ballet

So while there is not a particular memorable piece of music in the score the music is fine. Weirdly the piece of music from this ballet that has been stuck in my head as been the music that plays when Esmeralda and Quasimodo are set upon by the thugs/court of miracles. I also enjoy the fugue-like  music for Frollo’s introduction.