Last week I randomly listened to 20 songs on my iTunes so see what the probability was of getting either a Hunchback song or a song sung but an artist affiliated with a Hunchback version. The result were one in five or 20%.  This is the second test. Nothing have changed I have added no new songs.

So instead of me listing all the songs I got I’m only going to mention which Hunchback songs were played because no care about my music.

Test 2 had disappointing results as only one Hunchback song was played and it should barley count. The song was Visite de Frollo Esmeralda from Notre Dame de Paris  but it was only the Je t’aime part. A while ago I wanted it for a ringtone. Turns out I used the opening of La Sociere more.

So the result was 1 in 20. or 5%. Not as good as last time. Went down 15% from test one.


Here’s a dumb post, what is the chance of me getting a hunchback or hunchback related song (as in a singer who associated with a Hunchback version) to randomy play on itunes when it is on shuffle? I know, super important scientific enquiry!

Now I don’t really listen to my music on iTunes anymore. I tend to use Pandora, spotify or youtube so the music I have on iTunes represents my taste circa mid 2000s up to 2014 roughly. So I have a lot anime/ video game music and Bollywood and random stuff as well as Norte Dame de Paris and other Hunchback stuff.

I took a sample of 20 songs because 20 is a good sample size. So what is the likelihood of me listening to a Hunchback song or a singer from a Hunchback version on itunes in shuffle mode?

Click for the list of songs

1. Rien n’est comme avant by Helene Segara (1)
2. Beau comme Soleil by Nadia Bel (2) DAMN first two out of the gate
3. Higurashi no naku koro ni opening
4. Tromme in der stadt from Berlin Hunchback Musical (3) We’re getting so many
5. Now I’m your Mom by David Byrne
6. Tere Liye from Veer-Zaara
7. Wind City [ City of Wind Windia] by Cyril the Wolf (This is the 2nd time I have listen to this)
8. Kokoro no Kasa wa from Sakura Wars
9. Kogaku Motet from Final Fantasy 9 Plus OST
10. A Walk in the Dark by David Byrne (I love this song)
11. Fossil Roo from Final Fantasy 9 OST
12. Pandemonium from Final Fantasy 9 OST
13. Broken Things by David Byrne
14. Surreal by Ayumi Hamasaki
15. Sumida from Sakura Wars
16. Hungarian Dance no.5 by Brahms
17. Amnesie by Julie Zenatti (4)
18. La Sorciere from Notre Dame de Paris (5)
19. Kalluri Vaanil from Pennin Manathai Thottu (The Benny Lava song)
20. Phony King of England from Disney Robin Hood



The result is one in five or 20%

But everyone knows that good science requires testing so MAYBE  I will do this again sometime for science. Another good experiment would be the frequency of language. Like how many English language songs I get, or French, or Japanese or Hindi, but this a Hunchback blog so let’s keep to hunchback.  But in this case of this sample because I’m curious;

Click for song language frequency

Engish – 5 out of 20
French – 4 out of 20
Hindi – 1 out of 20
Instrumental – 4 out of 20
Japanese – 4 out of 20
miscellaneous – 2 out of 20

I’m kinda surprised that  more English songs came up.




Sets of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Sets of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

For the most parts you don’t really notice the sets in this Ballet, mainly because so much of the attention is focused on the dancing, as it should be. If you do happen to  look at the sets you would see they are quite lovely.

The only set that is noticeable  would be  drop cloths that are used as transitions. They usually appear when characters are crossing the stage so there is little dancing taking part. The designs on the cloth is typically maps and   they have a nice cross hatching on them that make them feel like antique book illustrations. The concept of a basic though nicely done dropcloth does seem a little on the amateurish side but it does help set a tone.

The other sets are very well detailed and are more representational opposed to symbolic of Paris and Notre Dame. Meaning it looks like Notre Dame  instead of  columns and a gargoyle like  in Notre Dame de Paris. Neither approach is wrong just a style choice. Also Notre Dame is for most always seen in the distance. Always omnipresent. The realistic sets are also a good counter to the symbolist representation of the story through dance.



Lighting of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Lighting of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

This is one of the strongest aspects on the show. It always convey the right mood and drama for the scene. The best use of lightening is during Frollo’s meltdown with  dancers bathed in red contrasted in cold blue of Frollo. Also the Pas de deux between Quasimodo and Esmeralda at the end in a wash of blue added to the tragic ending.



Conductor of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Conductor of La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Not as crazy about the music. It sounded like it was trying to be the Dance of the Hours even though Ponchielli composed Dance of the Hours in 1876 and Pugni composed La Esmeralda in 1844. I don’t know much about 19th century music but the music didn’t to move me.  It wasn’t bad or incompetent by means. If you like the music that’s great but I do not. I  could just have unrefined tastes in music. 

Can you guess the theme of these songs?

Le Mot Phoebus (The word Phoebus)

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Helene Segara as Esmeralda in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with Helene Segara as Esmeralda

Le Mot Phoebus is one of my favorite little bridge songs in Notre Dame de Paris. First off the melody is very pleasant and sweet. Second this the ONLY time that Gringoire and Esmeralda get a duet, which is a shame, makes sense but a shame, though in other versions the get two lines in La Cour des Miracles but still.

In Le Mot Phoebus Esmeralda tells Gringoire he has been Friend-zoned and Gringoire isn’t that upset about it. I think he would have been happier with her be his muse, nymph, his lady but Gringoire is a chill dude and just goes with it.

It’s just a few nice lead into the next song.

Beau comme le Soleil (He is like the Sun)

Juie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys & Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris Original Cast, picture image

Juie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys & Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris Original Cast

And what is this? It’s the next song, fancy that. Beau comme le Soleil is a rather interesting song as it’s another duet sung by Esmeralda and Fleur-de-Lys in tandem but not really together about the man-whore know as Phoebus.

Now Esmeralda has known him for a solid day and had two interactions with him. One she was more-or-less flirtatiously gave a vague account of her life and the second time she refused him after he saved her and then somewhat agreed to met him at a brothel and now she in totally in love with him, teenagers am I right? Whether or not it’s believable from a logical stand point, Esmeralda’s part is a directly foiled by Fleur-de-Lys’ part.

Esmeralda’s part is just about a growing love or fascination for a guy she doesn’t know at all. All she knows is he is handsome. Fleur-de-Lys knows more about him like he is rascal but she is attracted to me on a more physical level than romantic idolization. It’s an interesting pairing of two loves that are both shallow and immature.

The melody is nice and the part they sing together is really pretty. I love how great the original cast harmonizes toegther.

Also I haven‘t talked about the editing very much but that overlay at the end with Phoebus is so derpy. In other versions, Phoebus appears between the ladies but on the Original cast DVD, that overlay makes me laugh every single time.

Déchiré (Torn)

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus from Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus Notre Dame de Paris

Ah Déchiré, Déchiré and I go way back to my first AMV, the character was pretty the embodiment of this song. And what is Déchiré all about? It’s about how Phoebus is super duper happy that two lovely ladies want him.

Unlike in the book, Phoebus here expresses a desire for having both women in his life instead of Esmeralda being a one night stand. Fleur-de-Lys would have been the wife and Esmeralda would have been the mistress. At some points in times, mistresses were totally ok, I’m not sure if that was the case for 1482 France but the point is two women want his love and he is normal for being happy about it.

I really enjoy this song. I would say this song is upbeat even though it’s a little disguised as being being moody and other versions don’t have the same level of dark wit. The song defiantly has great energy and is a testament to the stupid male ego.


Another song named after Quasimodo.

The song captures Quasimodo as a figure who is pushed around and who suffers but breaks free of and does accept himself. Of Course the song has a lot of interpretations but given the name it has to a reference to Quasimodo the literary figure.

Get the song here,

This is also on the DVD but you don’t get the cool Japanese subtitles.

It’s a lovely rendition and the video takes  more straight forward approach to the visuals than the Arena version where is lost in an labyrinth.

This song is on Dion’s All The Way…A Decade of Song album.

Quasimode Sounds of Peace 2008 album

Quasimode Sounds of Peace 2008 album

I randomly discovered a Japanese Jazz group that calls themselves “Quasimode”. Doesn’t that sound very similar to our hunchback pal ‘Quasimodo”? Turns out that the name isn’t a reference, the name came from their pianist who says that the name means “mix, blend” (interview link) but I can’t seem to separate out the connection between the names. So I’m sorry to say that for me Quasimode will alway seem like a secret Hunchback reference.

Quasimodo Illustrtion Francois flameng

Illustration of Quasimodo


As for their music, I like it, I think out of what I heard I like Last Nine Days the best, it’s off the The Land Of Freedom album. It would be so cool if they did a Hunchback/Notre Dame de Paris inspired album ^^…… mmm Notre Dame and Jazz, seems like an odd and cool combo.

Esmeralda dancin' in the club (Candice Parise)

Esmeralda dancin' in the club (Candice Parise)

So I was on Notre Dame de Paris fans on tumblr and saw that there is a Trance/Dance Remix of Belle  (From Notre Dame de Paris). Yeah….. it’s not half bad…. I’m sure it could have been worse……. Okay I like it, I confess it’s exactly what I didn’t know I always wanted… Belle with the space sounds mixed with electric sounding violins… and you can deny it all you want but you know it awesome.

Go Here to have a listen,

Appartently it’s by Life Sentence, it’s Russian and it’s from 2003.
(Silly Photo-manipulation of Candice Parise as Esmeralda created by me)


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