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Awesome Music / The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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The musical

  • Listen to the La Jolla Playhouse cast recording. Just. Listen. It's loaded with music which successfully manages to range from menacing and sacred to jovial and then sorrowful. These and more make the recording's music hauntingly amazing and perfectly fitting to every single scene in the musical.
  • "Top of the World" is a song sung by Esmeralda (later accompanied by Quasimodo and the Chorus) from the musical about how everything is so much better when she's staring down at Paris from atop the highest balcony of the Notre Dame.
    Seeing life from the top of the world/Nothing needs fighting and no one needs pity/Thanks for giving this moment to me/When just for a moment things stop/Here at the top of the world!
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  • "Made of Stone" is pure Tear Jerker material, but the last line, "As if I were made of stone!" contains two long notes that are nothing short of awesome. Those two notes (one of which is a Bb4, very high for a male singer) are held while the singer is almost doubled over in Quasi’s distinctive posture. A moment of awesome for any actor who can pull it off. Trivia: On the cast recording? Michael Arden (Quasimodo) recorded it while being very hungover after the opening night party of Spring Awakening. Awesome professionalism indeed.
    Quasimodo: ...and my one human eye will evermore be dry until the day I die, as if I... were made of stone!
  • The cast recording's version of "Hellfire" deserves mention. A renowned villain song in the original movie, it is carried wonderfully by Patrick Page as Frollo and manages to get across the torment his character feels for his impure thoughts.
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  • "Esmeralda" is the absolutely stunning finale of the first act. All the main characters get a part and the choir/ensemble provides epic background vocals for the last part of the song, layered and ending on the 'Bells of Notre Dame' harmony.
  • "Rhythm of the Tambourine", Esmeralda's introductory number. The vocals soar, the percussion is intense (reminds one of "Dancing to the Wedding Drum," almost)... If this song doesn't make you want to dance the tarantella, what will?
  • "In a Place of Miracles" is a poignant number showcasing the romance between former cathedral guard captain Phoebus and Esmeralda as they see in each other a new reason to live and reaffirm their companionship. As for Quasimodo, the song perfectly reveals his grief over being passed over by Esmeralda, the very first person who showed him actual compassion, with Michael Arden's vocals also hammering the sorrow into the lyrics. Then there's the chorus who nails the persecution the Roma endure; their sadness is also very evident with Clopin even wishing there was "a country kinder to [their] race" in melancholy.
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  • "Tanz auf dem Seil" (or "Balancing Act" in English), a song exclusive to the German production, is an epic introductory song for Clopin, Esmeralda, and the Roma of Paris. As he welcomes Esmeralda to their clan, Clopin explains to her (and to the audience) how miserable a Roma's life is in Paris, and how they're constantly treated like the scum of the city. While the context of the song is quite sad, the music is grand and and triumphant, signifying that despite their hardships, the Roma will stick together and face discrimination head on, and that it won't stop them from being who they are.
  • The opening of the stage production is something of a rarity, an entrance in which the choir is heavily showcased!
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