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How Alan Menken Channels Chopin and Brahms in “Beauty and the Beast”
To my ears, the most striking moment in “Beauty and the Beast” happens in the transition from the bridge to the second verse, highlighting the words “as the sun will rise.” What makes this moment so striking is how Menken not only cleverly reimagines a couple of American song clichés but also prepares these clichés using motivic development. As we’ll see, both these traits have their roots in Classical music.