I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Books to Music: Pride and Prejudice

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Girls beware, ladies do take care
If a man is proud, if he's vain.
If allowed he'll look down on all that you do
With contempt and disdain.
If you're wise, if you're smart
You'll refrain from the start
From affairs of the heart
With a man who is proud

This is another Bernard J. Taylor musical (last week I looked at his Wuthering Heights) and I think this musical fares a little better then WH.  It benefits from having five Bennett sisters so there can be some wonderful harmonies in their songs, and with Mrs. Bennett and Mr. Collins for comedy, their songs are pretty entertaining.  Especially Mr. Collins pigheaded, self-absorbed ramblings.  I think the music is a little repetitive though (which is something I had a problem with in Wuthering Heights) and the use of synthesizers (I think?) doesn't help the sound much.

The musical as a whole is a bit staid and bland again, especially in what is musicalized.  The songs tell the story too much I think, where it would be more entertaining to hear songs that comment on the emotion of the character or give some insight into character, instead of purely advancing the story.  They say (who's they? I don't know!) that every musical should have an "I want" song. Let's say Wicked for example, I would say that song is "The Wizard and I". Or The Little Mermaid it would be "Part of Your World."  The Producers would be "I Wanna be a Producer" (they really made that easy). I couldn't find an "I want" song in this musical, and I think it's because it doesn't delve deep enough into the characters.  So although this musical is very listenable, it's not very memorable.  I wonder why there has never been a big Broadway musical of Pride and Prejudice, it seems like a property that people would be excited to develop.

Song Spotlight: Don't Ask Me Why
Yay, this song is on youtube! Check out the fan video someone made for the song by clicking on the song name.  I think this song is far and away the best one on the soundtrack, and so different musically to the rest of the recording.  I wouldn't be surprised if this was the first song written for the show, it's so distinct.  Mr. Darcy is singing about his confused feelings for Elizabeth, and I would guess he's actually singing it to her in the show, instead of it being a monologue, so even though it isn't terribly romantic to be told you are loved against better judgement, this song's wistful, romantic melody, and Peter Karrie's sentimental vocals makes it pretty swoon-worthy I think.  There's a latent passion in the words, especially as the song modulates upward, and it ends on a poignant, appealing high note as Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth to marry him.  YES I'LL MARRY YOU MR. DARCY.

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  1. Interesting post! I have never heard of this, but a I love musicals it seems just like my kind of stuff. And yes, it's strange that there hasn't been a Broadway retelling of P&P.

    1. Oh so cool that you are fan of musicals! This one isn't very well known I don't think, but maybe for good reason. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Okay I LOVE that song!! So romantic! Sighhhh...I need to check this musical out!

    1. Oh yay! I'm so glad you likey! It is pretty romantic! :)