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 eighth part of my review on the music of Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Wie aus Stein

Drew Sarich as Quasimodo in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Drew Sarich as Quasimodo in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

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

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

Ann Christin Elverum as Esmeralda singing Einmal Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

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.

 

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda singing Einmal Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda singing Einmal Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

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,

Molten Lead Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Molten Lead Der Glöckner von Notre Dame