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Hunchback of Notre Dame [Original recording remastered, Soundtrack]

Stephen Schwartz, Charles Kimbrough, Tom Hulce, Mary Stout, Jason Alexander, et al. Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 15.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 July 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Disney
  • ASIN: B000001M31
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Two hundred tormented priests raise their voices in an agony of penitence, timpani pounding and strings ablaze. And always the tolling of the bells, the bells. It sounds more like the Day of Judgement than a Disney soundtrack.

But then The Hunchback of Notre Dame, first released in 1996, was always a difficult concept. The material couldn't quite lose the unhappiness of Hugo's original, despite its modern messages about body image and equality.

The music created even more of a fuss. Scored by Disney veteran Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid) with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the soundtrack had a gothic edge which allegedly terrified kids the first time round. Remastered, it is now re-released to coincide with the launch of Menken's latest Disney score, Home on the Range.

It's worth it. Hunchback is a fully-formed musical, a soundtrack which works without the film. The narrative is strong and characterisation clear.

The music's pretty sophisticated. Opening track "The Bells of Notre Dame" sets the tone: an unholy marriage of the Tridentine Mass and Les Mis. Driven by hysterical choirs and crashing percussion, the Latin liturgy is indeed rather scary. It's most effective in "Hellfire", a histrionic setting for the fantasies of monstrous monk Frollo, sung in deliciously desiccated tones by Broadway veteran Tony Jay.

Alongside the demonic is some nicely hammy comedy. "Topsy Turvy" is a big showtime number with a slapstick MC and a swelling chorus. "A Guy Like You", a song of encouragement by Quasimodo's friends, has some charming lyrics. "You're a surprise / From every angle", they reassure him.

Less likeable are the straight numbers. The sentiments of "God Help The Outcasts", Esmeralda's plea for society's rejected, are spoiled by syrupy production and an overwrought performance from Bette Midler. Ditto Eternal's charmless "Someday."

Still, Hunchback ranks among Disney's best soundtracks, certainly of recent years. Chocka with chutzpah, it has a decent libretto, big numbers and a playful imagination. Just think twice before playing it at your six-year-old's bedtime. --Jack Smith

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The content and feel of the music 4 Nov 2001
Format:Audio CD
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 5 star album displaying once again Menken's talents. The music can be enjoyed by child fans of the movie and adult music lovers, although I feel some messages in the songs are too heavy for young children. The music has a catholic choral style (as some is in latin) as well as a gypsy bohemian theme contrasting. 'Hell fire' is a passionate song of lust with a heavy theme on the morals surrounding gypsys, witchcraft, church and the law. But the right message is sent out in the ballad 'God help the outcasts'. The music brilliantly describes the time and feel of Victor Hugo's epic novel with a touch of comedy in the talking gargoyles. This c.d is fabulous!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning 18 Jun 2009
By Francois The Armaldo VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What can I say...a gorgeous movie with a gorgeous soundtrack! I saw The Hunchback of Notre Dame when I was a child and the music always haunted me, raising goosebumps on my arm. At twenty years old I rewatched the movie and was so wowed by the music I finally hunted down the OST on Amazon, and I'm so glad I did. Its barely been out of my player since the day it came! Beautiful lyrics and surprisingly very deep for a Disney film with its undertones of lust, judgement and death (especially my personal favourite track Hellfire, a wonderfully profound song of faith conflicting with desire that leaks hypocrisy from every word-it's amazingly written and perfectly performed by Tony Jay as Frollo) so please don't mistake this for a 'kiddy' album to silence the little uns for an hour or two (though even at my age it's very tempting to sing along to the quirky fun numbers like 'the court of miracles'). The choral score is immensely stirring and the booklet that comes with the CD gives a latin-english translation of the words, which is a nice touch. All in all this is highly recommended if you appreciated the music of the movie; this has got everything you could possibly want and it stands head and shoulders above most other Disney OSTs. My only negative comment has to go to Bette Midler's God Help The Outcasts-the lady is a fine singer but it isn't a patch on the movie version (which is on there too, don't worry). This soundtrack should be recognised up there with The Phantom of the Opera and other classics, it is simply that memorable and that good. I never tire of it.

Also recommended if you like this are the Trinity Blood OST and Noein OSTs; both have some beautifully rousing choral music.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work AT ALL 7 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
my CD player won't play it, neither will my computer, or my brothers, or my dads...
It recognizes that there's music on it, but it's so corrupted that it won't play at all!
Definitely not the quality I was promised!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest Disney Soundtracks 29 Jan 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This astonishing soundtrack composed by Alan Menken is certainly a true masterpiece. Including all of the films magnificent songs, powerful choral works and beautiful instrumental pieces, this soundtrack is a true work of art. Lyrics are included.
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