Stranger Than You Dreamt It excerpt
Little things I love about Phantom’s orchestration:
This might seem like a kind of random clip to pick, but there’s a reason for it, I promise. Listen closely to the second part of Erik’s tirade (from ‘Curse You!’ to the end) and you can hear what I mean.
The underscoring music is none other than the whole-tone scale used as a part of Don Juan Triumphant later on in the musical. We hear this at least two other times besides in the ‘opera’ itself–once as Christine and Raoul escape to the roof after Buquet’s death, and a couple times during the Don Juan sitzprobe. But this one has extra meaning for me; it’s got a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it feel to it, which is a shame, because I’ve always felt that it’s a brilliant tie-in to the Leroux novel.
If you’ve read it you’ll remember that when Christine removes his mask he goes absolutely ape, making her dig his fingernails into his face and what-not, but he also says that he is ‘a kind of Don Juan,’ and that ‘once a woman sees me, she belongs to me and loves me forever.’ I love this line and really think fits in both the creepy-terrifying and sad factors for this scene in the novel; unfortunately the line is never said in the musical.
However, instead we get this underscoring, the first time we hear the Don Juan theme in the musical; the juxtaposition of the theme with the line ‘Now you cannot ever be free!’ is awesome from a meta-perspective, because it acts as a nod toward the original even without stating the line from the novel.
It’s the sort of thing you probably wouldn’t notice (or care) about if you didn’t have prior knowledge of the novel; it’s certainly not the sort of thing one picks up on a first listening. Heck, I don’t even know if this was ALW’s intention in using this theme here, but y’know what it’s still awesome.