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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Books to Music: Wuthering Heights

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
It's been a long long road
But now my quest is through
There's no where else to go
There's no one else but you
I'm racing with the tide
To have you by my side
Only this time it will be forever

So.  This musical isn't terrible.  It's just terribly bland.  It might work better live, but listening to the soundtrack, my mind wanders.  The music is repetitive, and not very inspiring.  There are some phrases in this dramatic score that are very pretty - mainly the ones that recur throughout the musical. But because they recur a little too often, it feels like padding.  The lyrics aren't very inspiring either.  They don't really capture the powerful and concise prose of the novel.

The musical only adapts the first half of the book, as usual for Wuthering Heights adaptations.  And it may be that Heathcliff is rendered a little more sympathetically in the story, as his songs are rather soft, and appealing and dramatic instead of angry and vengeful.  It seems to be equally sympathetic to both Cathy and Heathcliff though, even though I've always thought Cathy was more to blame for the tragedy of the story.  I think what would work best for a musical version of Wuthering Heights is something a little hard-edged and not so traditional sounding.  There's very little warmth in this story, and I feel like it should be reflected more in the music.  The singers are all fantastic though, with the bonus of Bonnie Langford as Isabella (Classic Doctor Who fans anyone?)

Song Spotlight: Coming Home To You
I like this song the best (although I have to say that "I Belong To The Earth" is another good one).  Heathcliff is happy to be coming home to see Cathy (his joy is soon to be cut short of course).  And it's not a side of Heathcliff one would normally see, as he is so hopeful.  The song builds in a way that is both sweeping and driving and a touch haunting as Heathcliff sings about his hopes now that he has worked so hard to become independent and can now marry Cathy.  When I listen to this song, I feel the buoyant hope of Heathcliff, but there is this tragic sense underlying it which may be more me reading into the song.  But it does feature one of the more catchier musical phrases.

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  1. Aidan wasn't that keen on it either! You know how much he loves Wuthering Heights!

    1. It is too bad that this didn't capture the book better! It seems like they had very good intentions, and the singers are really good.

  2. A musical about WH? Awesome. I should listen to it, but I feel it might be all very depressing. I mean, the book didn't made me very happy! Lol.

    1. LOL, it may be a little depressing, but the music tempers that a little! It's not the best though, so maybe wait until someone releases a new musical version! :)