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

Friday, April 12, 2013

Books to Music: Rebecca (English demos)

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
When we kiss you are thinking of Rebecca
I don't ask you to love me
Let me be just your companion
I know well that you will always love her.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier!  Although this musical did very well in Europe, it hasn't been very lucky getting off the ground in America.  Which is unfortunate because I think it would be a fantastic spectacle dramatic show. Although there is a proper recording of the musical in German, I'm listening to the English demos from 2003 with Maike Boerdam as "I", Uwe Kroger as Maxim DeWinter and the very well-known Dutch actress/singer Pia Douwes as Mrs. Danvers.

First of all the music.  It's properly dramatic and stirring, with beautiful ballads and some dark and sinister overtones.  The recording has a few orchestral interludes (for stage changes?) which are so pretty - I think the music for this show is so gorgeous and rich.  Maike Boerdam's voice is so lilting and pretty and perfect for the shy, retiring "I", and while Uwe Kroger has a very strong voice, I did wish it was a little deeper to capture Maxim DeWinter's darkness better.  Pia Douwes is just perfection.

The lyrics are mostly very solid, but they don't seem very memorable to me.  I have a vague suspicion that the German libretto is better than the English, and I wish I could speak German to confirm.  The musical seems to follow the book very closely though, and I appreciate the fidelity to the source material.  There is one comic relief song for Mrs. Van Hopper which sounds very out of place with the tone of the musical, and a little insulting to Americans, but what can you do?  To get a sense of the story and the direction the composers wanted to take this story, this recording is excellent to listen to, and really makes me hope they will get the musical on Broadway soon!

Song Spotlight: Last Night I Dreamt I Went to Manderley
This is the first song on the recording and I like it the best! It begins with the sound of waves and a reminiscing chorus, and then the main character starts singing of what she remembers.  The music has that touch of something sinister while also being such a beautiful ballad - I love the way it sets up the beginning of the story and is so catchy and pretty.  The last part of the song (before the upbeat transition music kicks in) particularly stays in my head because it's so sweetly dreamy and leads perfectly into the first scenes of the musical.

And for fun, listen to the German version of the song!

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  1. Ooh interesting. I've never read this book, but I like seeing when books become musicals (since I love to read AND I love musicals.)

    1. It's a great book, but I think the Hitchcock film is even better. :) And I hope to see this musical someday, because I think it does a great job with the story. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Thanks Charlene! I didn't know there was an English demo, just the German version :)
      Oh, and by the way, have you seen Rebecca with Jeremy Brett as Maxim de Winter? I think his interpretation is more accurate to the novel, though I really like the Hitchcock version as well. And Laurence Olivier ;)

    3. I do love the German version, I think it sounds beautiful, and does sound a bit different from the demos at times. I have seen the Jeremy Brett version and love it! I've had a little crush on Jeremy for awhile. :) His version is pretty faithful to the book, but the Hitchcock version has more style I think. So I love them both as well. :) Thanks for commenting!

  2. I need to check this one out because I love the book!

    1. Yes! I think all the songs are on youtube, so it would be easier to listen to it on there - and watch some of the clips from the German production!