Customer Review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic Translation-- Just get the original, 14 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Notre Dame de Paris (OST) (Audio CD)
Notre-Dame de Paris, the Musical is wonderful in French. I have not yet seen the English version but I have listened to the CD.
The CD includes highlights from the new English version of the French musical Notre-Dame de Paris. This tells Victor Hugo's famous Hunchback of Notre-Dame love epic.
To put it bluntly, the English lyrics suck. I'll give Jennings points for attempting, but English is nowhere near as lyrical as French and it doesn't translate well.
The French version is poignant, beautiful, and moving. It is my favorite musical of all times, and honestly Belle sparked my interest in French 1.5 years ago and I taught myself French through NDDP.
I have also been fortunate enough to see the musical in Paris during the most recent run. It was moving and definately a highlight of my trip. I cried twice.
Abaut Garou's voice (Quasimodo), I have to admit that at first, I thought that he sounded horrible and couldn't sing. He sounded a bit as if he had been munching on glass for half his life. However, after listening repeatedly to the songs (I am completely obsessed with the spectacle), I have grown used to it and in fact adore it.
Tina Arena definately does a better rendition of "Live" then Celine Dion, but the French version is highly superior to the English. "The Birds they Put in Cages" is my favorite (yes, I am American, that is not a typo). I heard it and I cried. The one problem with it is when Garou sings the name "Esmeralda." It comes out sounding like "Esmaraaaaaalda." I can completely picture some English coaches trying to explain the annoying "a" sound like in apple, but he took it too far, and it sounds terrible.
Here's the problem I see with the English version-- in French, lyricalness and beauty in language is seen as having class, style, and fluidity. In English, people view it as old-fashion and sappy. It sounds fake. Consequently, it will NEVER have all the beauty that it has in French.
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