The Music of the Night

"The Music of the Night" (also labeled as just "Music of the Night") is a major song from the 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera. The music was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe.[1] Initially made famous by Michael Crawford, the actor who originated the role of the Phantom both in the West End and on Broadway,[2] "The Music of the Night" has appeared on many cast recordings of the musical,[3] sold millions of copies worldwide, and has been translated into many languages.

SynopsisEdit

"The Music of the Night" is sung after the Phantom lures Christine Daaé to his lair beneath the Opera House. He seduces Christine with "his music" of the night, his voice putting her into a type of trance. He sings of his unspoken love for her and urges her to forget the world and life she knew before. The Phantom leads Christine around his lair, eventually pulling back a curtain to reveal a mannequin dressed in a wedding gown resembling Christine. When she approaches it, it suddenly moves, causing her to faint. The Phantom then carries Christine to a bed, where he lays her down and goes on to write his music.

CompositionEdit

Sarah Brightman declared at the London's Royal Albert Hall Concert in 1997,[4] that the song was originally written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for her, the first time he met her. That version had different lyrics and was called "Married Man". The lyrics were later rewritten and the song was added to The Phantom of the Opera.

A year before The Phantom Of The Opera opened at Her Majesty's Theatre, the original version of the song was performed at Andrew Lloyd Webber's own theatre at Sydmonton, along with the first drafts of the show.[5] The audience were a specially gathered group of Webber's acquaintances. The Phantom was played by Colm Wilkinson.[6] The lyrics were very different from the ones used in the three variations of the song as lyricist Charles Hart had not yet become involved in the project.

Due to similarities between the song and a recurring melody in Giacomo Puccini's 1910 opera, La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), the Puccini estate filed lawsuit against Webber, accusing him of plagiarism. An agreement was settled out of court and details were not released to the public.[7]

RecordingsEdit

To promote The Phantom of the Opera's opening in London, the production's producers, The Really Useful Group, filmed a video starring Crawford and Sarah Brightman (who did not sing).

The song has also been covered by many artists.

Barbra Streisand & Michael Crawford versionEdit

"The Music of the Night"
 
Single by Barbra Streisand and Michael Crawford
from the album Back to Broadway
Released1993
Genre
Length5:37
LabelColumbia Records
Songwriter(s)
Barbra Streisand singles chronology
"Someone That I Used to Love"
(1993)
"The Music of the Night"
(1993)
"As If We Never Said Goodbye"
(1994)

In 1993, American singer Barbra Streisand and British actor Michael Crawford released a duet on "The Music of the Night". It is taken from Streisands album Back to Broadway and peaked at number 54 on the UK Singles Chart.

Critical receptionEdit

Ron Fell from Gavin Report called the song "the year's most triumphant duet".[8] Lennox Herald wrote, "Familiar song which might be a hit again, given the high profiles of both stars."[9] People Magazine noted that Streisand, "crossing cadenzas with Broadway's first Phantom", Michael Crawford "goes for grandeur instead of intimacy and winds up with grandiosity."[10] The Stage stated that they both are "squeezing the last drop" out of "Music of the Night".[11]

ChartsEdit

Chart (1994) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 54

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "License Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical The Phantom of the Opera". The Musical Company. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  2. ^ Fierberg, Ruthie (2018-01-27). "Read the Original Reviews From The Phantom of the Opera's 1988 Broadway Bow". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  3. ^ "The Phantom of the Opera : CastAlbums.org". castalbums.org. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  4. ^ Sarah Brightman concert
  5. ^ Edwardes, Charlotte (2013-04-23). "Andrew Lloyd-Webber: the Government won't talk to me because they think I'm 'unhip'. David Cameron didn't even return my call". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  6. ^ "Trivia about Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera". The Musical Company. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  7. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (2006-01-02). "Aspects of Andrew". Toronto Star – via EBSCOHost Research Database.
  8. ^ Fell, Ron (1993-09-17). "A/C: New Releases" (PDF). Gavin Report. p. 30. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  9. ^ Lennox Herald. 1994-01-14. p. 22. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  10. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Back to Broadway". People. 1993-07-19. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  11. ^ The Stage. 1993-12-09. p. 36. Retrieved 2020-11-27.

External linksEdit