Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Les Miserables- I Dreamed a Dream

Unlike a good deal of the Theatre pieces I’ve listened to, this piece seems to use classical form. The cool thing is that the form allows the change in musical material to reflect the life of Fontine. The piece begins with a sort of introductory passage that seems a bit unrelated to the rest of the piece. This function could possibly be representing this segment as her introduction into life before her dreams were denied. Fontine sings this whole section all a rhythmically altered E, and although the instruments play a scalar ascension of the harmony, the key of the piece is established as E major. Then the texture changes and the harmony now scales down, but the melody that Fontine sings still keeps a tight tonal center around E, so the often use of mode mixture and quick chordal changes does not cause confusion. The A section is made up of many symmetrical parallel periods with HCs and IACs leading to PAC. This gives it a strophic feeling. The words of this section deal with all the dreams that she had when she was younger and has a mood of hope. Then the words change to talking about the reality of the darkness that began to come at night. Here the mode changes to minor and the mood is hopeless and dismal. I see this part as the B section. Then there is a short transition rising back into the major mode. Now she starts talking about the great time when a man came into her life and that she still dreams that he’ll return. The A section motive returns hear and is varied by change in register and dynamic increase. The last phrase softly fades out in a terminative section ending on a PAC as she says “now life has killed the dream I dreamed.” Poor Fontine, but good thing all those dreams will now be realized in heaven.

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