Thursday, February 03, 2005

"In His Eyes" from the Broadway Musical Jekyll and Hyde

"In His Eyes" from the Broadway musical "Jekyll and Hyde." Music by Frank Wildhorn. 1994 cast recording. Performed by Linda Eder as Lucy and Carolee Carmello as Emma.

Jekyll and Hyde takes place in London in 1885. Lucy, a prostitute, and Emma, the daughter of a high society family have both fallen in love with Jekyll. In this gorgeous duet, they separately and simultaneously express their deep but confused feelings for the man they both love.
The piece starts out in c minor, which allows for a sad and reminiscent mood as they sing, "I sit and watch the rain, and see my tears run down the window pane. I sit and watch the sky, and I can hear it breathe a sigh. I think of him, how we were, and when I think of him I remember."
The accompaniment at this point is very simple, mostly just sustained i iv and V chords supporting the vocal line. Once they start singing the refrain about all the hope that Jekyll has brought to their lives, the key changes to Bb major. At this point the orchestration becomes more interesting. The strings come in, the parts move around much more, and there is a lot of chromaticism and non-chord tones, especially suspensions.
The vocal line in this song is AMAZING. The melody is just gorgeous, and very memorable. This is a unique duet, because they don't actually sing together until almost the very end of the piece. But, when they do finally come together, it is a phenomenal sound. The harmonies are incredible. They are really tight and really move and work nicely together. When the duet begins, the accompaniment increases in density. There are more instruments playing, and the sound is even more full. At this point, the sound is forte, and it is just so passionate. The last line of the song is my favorite part: "Love is worth forgiving for! Now I realize. Everything worth living for is there, in his eyes." The vocalists belt out and sustain their last notes, and the orchestra plays brilliantly beneath them, and it is beautiful. It makes my jaw drop every time.

Can you all tell yet that I am a musical theatre freak? :-)


Scott Spiegelberg said...

Yes, you freak! :) I haven't heard anything from this musical except the showstopper, something about this is the moment? I wasn't impressed with that song, mostly because it didn't seem to fit with the whole dramatic flavor of the Jekyll/Hyde story. Are the other songs better?

katie said...

I like This is the moment as a song all by itself, but you're right, it doesn't really fit with jekyll and hyde. The other songs are more gothic sounding. In my opnion, it is your typical Frank Wildhorn popish broadway sounding stuff. If you ever get a chance, listen to some of my favorites: In His Eyes, Dangerous Game, and A New Life. Or if you are really in the mood for something skitsophrenic, try Confrontation. Ok, I better shut up now... my freakish musical theatre side is showing ;-)