Shostakovich in his study next to the bust of Beethoven by Gabriel Glikman with the score of “Petrushka” by Stravinsky. Photograph taken by Semyon Isaakovich Khenkin in the flat on Nezhdanova Street. 10 April 1968.
By Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Voices of Carlo Ragoni, Eros Pagni, Franco Chillemi
Bells of Notre-Dame (Italian)
Score by Alan Menken Italian voices: Carlo Ragone (Clopin), Eros Pagni (Frollo), Franco Chillemi (Archdeacon)
It always strikes me how good Clopin’s voice (theater actor Carlo Ragone) is in the Italian rendition. As much as I like the original version (and a few in other languages), I don’t think any Clopin can equal the Italian one, whose final high D in this intro is arguably the most powerful and clear of all.
Many describe those pieces as sad or melancholic, but I like to define them as “pondering music”: it is music that describes your mental processes when, in moments of silence and solitude, you reflect on all and nothing, on life and everything about it. It is really deep, and yet you don’t carry it as a burden on your shoulders. It is, in fact, as light as thoughts.
When Liszt first began as Kapellmeister in Weimar (1842), it astonished the orchestra that he said: ‘O please, gentlemen, a little bluer, if you please! This tone type requires it!’ Or: 'That is a deep violet, please, depend on it! Not so rose!’ First the orchestra believed Liszt just joked; more later they got accustomed to the fact that the great musician seemed to see colors there, where there were only tones.
Anonymous, as quoted in Friedrich Mahling, p. 230.