the duet and the aria
I spoiled myself and listened to the duet ahead of time but it really couldn’t be helped. I thought it would be this grandiose production of a song and actually find myself more blown away by the simplicity of it.
In the aria, we have an entire ensemble. Brass, winds, percussion, strings, the whole crew. It’s a big performance because it’s by Viktor Nikiforov. He has a lot of this emotion built up from all these years of loneliness. He needs all the power possible to convey his message because he’s been doing it all on his own for too long. Yet, the song still sounds lonely. He’s still isolated. A solitary figure on the ice, putting on this extravagant performance.
And then we have the duet. It starts with the piano and on the same note and key as another familiar song. The airport reunion scene song. I realized today that although that song sounds like Serenade for Two, there are parts that actually sound like a softer version of the Stay Close to Me aria. So now we have a connection between these two songs. This gentle piano accompaniment. Note that the aria never had piano in it originally.
(Btw, what else uses piano? Yuri!!! on Ice (the FS program) does.)
We also have the string instruments playing here. And that’s it. No other instruments. Why?
Because this song is not a cry for help anymore. This song is between two people who have grown to love and cherish and respect one another. It is not for an audience. It is for each other. It is the sweetest melody sung from one heart to the other.
Notice how the singers are singing the same melody. It’s not really a harmony. They don’t have to complement each other. They are singing the same feelings to one another.
Did you notice how the aria ended? Building crescendo with blaring horns and pounding percussion and tinkling of bells. Everything gets louder toward the end. Louder and louder and it’s like Viktor is screaming from his heart. And then it just cuts off and he’s left there. Hanging.
And how does the duet end? On the softest note. Fading. The two people are not calling for each other. They are sure of what they have. They are right there, at each other’s side. They will stay close to one another. They are ready to go. Together.