Notre Dame De Paris - (Import CD)
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- Pop Vocal
- Show Vocals
- Mono / Stereo
- Ric Wake; David Foster
- Notre Dame of Paris
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS is based on THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME by Victor Hugo.
Music composed by Richard Cocciante. Lyics written by Luc Plamondon. English lyrics by Will Jennings.
Principal casst: Celine Dion, Bruno Pelletier, Lick Mervil, Daniel Lavoie, Steve Balsamo, Tina Arena, Garou, Natasha St.-Pierre.
Recorded at Studio Artistic Palace, Boulogne, France.
Composer Richard Cocciante and lyricist Luc Plamondon's musical Notre-Dame de Paris, based on the 1831 Victor Hugo novel (usually translated into English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), was an enormous French hit, both onstage in Paris and in record stores, where the cast album topped the charts. American lyricist Will Jennings was brought in to create an English-language version, and this is the result. The original backing tracks have been retained, as has much of the French cast -- Garou as Quasimodo, Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, Luck Mervil as Clopin, and Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire -- though Australian pop star Tina Arena has been brought in as Esmeralda, Steve Balsamo sings the role of Phoebus, and Natasha St-Pierre is Fleur-de-Lys. The album begins with a pop recording of Esmeralda's final ballad, "Live for the One I Love," rendered by "guest star" Celine Dion.
Hugo is a popular author for French musical theater writers, also having written Les Mis‚rables, which was successfully adapted into a musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Sch”nberg. And Notre-Dame de Paris, though an early work (he published it before he was 30), has had a long life, having been adapted into several films, including a Disney-produced animated musical version in 1996. Set in the 15th century, it tells the tragic tale of the love several men feel for a gypsy (Esmeralda), a captain (Phoebus), the hunchbacked bell ringer of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (Quasimodo), and the cathedral's priest (Frollo). There is a temptation when adapting it to emphasize its "beauty and the beast" aspect by focusing on Esmeralda and Quasimodo. This allows for cutting and simplification, but also tends to give the story more of a gothic-horror element than the author originally intended. But Cocciante and Plamondon restore the complicated romantic quartet, which means that many of the songs find these characters agonizing over their thwarted love.
On a single disc, with a running time of just over an hour (as opposed to the two-disc original cast version), this recording of Notre-Dame de Paris makes it sound like a ballad-heavy show. Song after song is taken at a slow pace, with brief melodic motifs repeated over and over. The French cast members adapt to the change in language without much trouble, perhaps in part because Jennings' translations are so spare and simple. Most notable among those repeating their roles is Garou, who has a gravelly, Joe Cocker-like voice appropriate for the long-suffering Quasimodo. Arena is fine and, in fact, handles "Live for the One I Love" better than the characteristically overexcited Dion. But based only on this recording, one is left wondering what all the fuss in Paris was about, since the show seems to drag along for most of its length. It may take a staging of the musical in an English-speaking country to explain what the French found so compelling. ~ William Ruhlmann
- Country of Origin
- Epic (USA)
- Sony Music Distribution (
- Various Artists
- Songs / Tracks
- [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Live for the One I Love - Celine Dion
- [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Age of the Cathedrals, The - Bruno Pelletier
- [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Refugees, The - Luck Mervil
- [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Bohemienne Song, The - Tina Arena
- [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Belle (Is the Only Word) - Garou/Daniel Lavoie/Steve Balsamo
- [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] My Heart If You Will Swear - Natasha St-Pier
- [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Torn Apart - Steve Balsamo
- [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Bells, The - Garou
- [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Pagan Ave Maria, The - Tina Arena
- [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Your Love Will Kill Me - Daniel Lavoie
- [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Moon - Bruno Pelletier
- [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] God You Made the World All Wrong - Garou
- [ Disc 01 Track 13 ] I'm a Priest - Daniel Lavoie
- [ Disc 01 Track 14 ] Birds They Put in Cages, The - Tina Arena/Garou
- [ Disc 01 Track 15 ] Cast Away - Luck Mervil
- [ Disc 01 Track 16 ] Live For the One I Love - Tina Arena
- [ Disc 01 Track 17 ] Dance My Esmerelda - Garou
- Studio / Live
- Video Disabled
- Manu Guiot
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