Good morning/afternoon class today I will be analysing the song ‘I dreamed a dream,’ sung by Anne hathaway in the popular musical ‘Les Miserables’. Change slide Les Miserables is tells the story of broken dreams, unrequited love, passion and sacrifice. Fantine is one of the main characters of the musical. Throughout the film she experiences any hardships that she must face in order to survive in the cruel world of reality. Change slide. Fantine sings, ‘I dreamed a dream’ after she has been prosecuted change slide and it portrays a sorrowful and angry mood. In order to rely this mood to the audience, the composer uses various elements of music such as: dynamics and density, lyrics and melody to portray it’s mood of sorrow and anger. Change slide
Dynamics and density work together to contribute to the mood of the song. It uses a full orchestra of instruments as well as piano to create a background accompaniment for the main timbre, voice.
Throughout the piece there is a lot of dynamic contrast. During the introduction, the texture is quite dense with an orchestra of strings at mezzo forte for a short period of time, it then diminuendos and thins out to just piano and voice. The piano is in piano and voice in mezzo forte while also crescendoing at her long notes at the end of each phrase. After Fantine sings her first few lines, the lower strings come back in but in a soft, mezzo piano dynamic. *clip1 The higher strings come later in the verse. *clip 2 when clip is done next slide When Fantine starts singing about when things went wrong, the overall pitch of the piece got lower and crescendos. This is when the mood changes from a sad and sorrowful mood to one of anger. *clip 3 The loudest part of the song is when the accompaniment is in forte and the voice in fortissimo and is still in the very angry mood. It then suddenly diminuendos to piano and thins out to only voice. At end of the song, the texture thickens again, however like in the introduction, is played in piano while the voice is in mezzo piano and the song returns to the sorrowful mood. *clip 4 and change slide
The lyrics of I dreamed a dream is one of the most vital elements of music used to create the songs mood. They are meaningful and poetic throughout the whole song and force the audience to feel a sense of pity for Fantine. From the beginning, they let the audience know that the good times have past from the lyrics ‘time gone by’. At first Fantine was optimistic as a naive child, with the lyrics ‘hope was high’, ‘love would never die’ and ‘god would be forgiving’. She then goes on to say that when she was young, she was unafraid. She is implying that this was not because she was brave but because she had not seen or experienced the dangers of reality yet. The words ‘no song unsung/no wine untasted’ express the carefree nature of a young person. The idea of love returns with, “He slept a summer by my side/ He filled my days with endless wonder.” However, theses lyrics also imply that he left quickly and “he was gone when autumn came”. In the song, the loss of love. She sing “still dream he’ll come to me/ That we’ll live the years together.” The tragedy is that “there are storms we cannot weather” meaning some that some heartaches will never fade.
The final stanza shows how her life was like “hell” compared to her perfect dreams. The song then has a climatic ending, a final realisation that “life has killed/ The dream I dreamed”.