Thursday, April 07, 2005

"moonfall" from the mystery of edwin drood

"Moonfall" from The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Music and Lyrics by Rupert Holmes.

Jasper, Rosa Bud's creepy music teacher has fallen in love with her. He writes this song for her to sing in one of her lessons. Unfortunately, Rosa Bud does not return his affections, and is really just kind of creeped out by the whole thing.
The scenario that this song is being sung in requires a song that sounds kind of creepy. It is really chromatic, kind of tempo-less and wandering, and a little hollow sounding. It is really a cool piece, and great for a good soprano because this is more of a classical musical theatre piece as far as the technique and training needed to sing the vocal line well.
The song begins with the motive that is carried throughout the song. It is a descending line with a lot of chromatic notes in it. After the first statement of the motive, it is repeated again, but a third higher. This happens again, but this time is connected into the bridge, which really isn't that much different from the rest of the song. It is a little higher, and at a louder dynamic, and the tempo picks up a little. After the bridge, the motive comes back and the rest of the song is almost identical to the beginning.
Another cool element about this song is the accompaniment. Up until the bridge it is mostly just arpeggiated chords... but they have a lot of chromaticism in them... and they just wander. You can't ever really predict where they are going... they just just aimlessly float around in a hollow way. It's a very neat effect. At the bridge, they are still arpeggiated, but they are full chords now. Almost every note in every chord is a nonchord tone. There is a huge crescendo and it sounds almost frightening. Very cool. After the bridge there is a break from the storm like effect in the chords, and they become calm and wandering again like they were in the beginning.
It's a cool piece. Barbara talked me into singing it at NATS, and I am really glad I agreed. It's different... and it's not the typical sweet soprano role. I wish I could play piano well enough to play this. It looks fun. John Clodfelter hates playing musical theatre and HE even likes this one. That's saying something :-)

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