Thursday, February 10, 2005

Phantom of the Opera- The Music of the Night

Upon examining the form, I think that Andrew Loyd Webber intended to relate the order of his form to the meaning of the words. In the first section, the soloist, the Phantom, sings two pairs of identical phrases. The first pair includes two soft phrases ending in a cadence, reaching up to the final note and sparking a need for continuation. This phrasing gives the sense of something creeping in (the music of the night) and reaching for something. The next pair goes up, but again ends on half cadences. The voice then cuts off, and the strings play a transitional phrase that leads right back into the beginning without ever reaching the expected destination. This time through, the voice continues past the same four phrases, and eventually goes on a pattern upward until it finally reaches complete resolve on the high note (at the word “soar”). The sensation of finally reaching the highest point is enhanced through a dynamic increase and then a sudden shift to soft, and the pause at the end also serves to signify a breaking point. It then sinks back down in a link back to the beginning section. This pattern continues throughout the piece, with occasional whishing sounds played by the strings adding to the feeling of drifting and confusion. At the very end of the piece, it again reaches the highest note in a PAC. This time, the voice reaches the note first, and the strings slowly creep up to meet it, causing a very strong yearning for that final completion.

1 comment:

mvittorio said...

Thanks for stealing my piece copy cat.