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[Philip Quast - Javerts Suicide]

This is absolutely fascinating. So fascinating I made a transcript with a little help from Laura and Mia from Twitter. I am not using a cut either.

Один из исполнителей роли Жавера, Филип Кост, восхитительно рассказывает, как поётся последняя ария - самубийство. Перевод тоже вскоре последует - когда я перестану переживать по поводу всякой музыкальной терминологии, к которой не знаю, как правильно подступиться.

–– Trevor [Nunn] said to me, just speak the lyrics to "How can I now allow this man", right? So just speak it. He put his arm around me and said, "Just speak it slowly". So I went, "How can I..." – how can who? – And I have to say, "How can Inow" – and he said, "When?" – "How can I now" – not yesterday, not tomorrow – "now" – and then I go "allow" – do what? "allow" – that means that in order to allow someone, I, you have to have power –


and then in order for someone to have power a–ha, and then I suddenly think ‘oh god, there’s assonance’: how – now – allow. Did you know that was there?


and you can't do that, unless when you're singing, "How can I now allow..." – and you get it? "this man" – which man? "this man" – of all men – so then we have the antithesis – and the whole thing is to be or?

Not to be.

every argument you have in a song generally includes antithesis, because you're having an argument with that or that.


do I eat that fattening thing or don't I? do I have another drink or don't I?

Yeah. (Laughter)

you are constantly in "do I sing loud, do I sing soft?" you look at all those things in a language that are antithesis, you know, like, we've got black, white.

We've got?

Hot. We've got cold. We've got stop, we've got?


Right, or start. You know, there are thousands, there is very–very few things that are in the middle – medium, average, normal – we've got abnormal, but there's very few real words for down the middle.


so when you get "How can Inow" – after all my life – "allow – this manto hold" – to hold what? – and Trevor would say, "See if you can find another word for "dominion" – now dominion has a line of a held dominion, it sends us a sense of religion about it, doesn't it? Dominion. It has to do with a – kingdom, empire, Earth – to hold – and I, he said, "See if you can find another word" – to hold power – no, that's not right, – to hold sway, to hold what? – Can someone think of another word?


see how hard it is to think?


So there's only one word it could be. What is it?


Dominion. But if I sing, "To hold dominion..." I haven't thought of the word, so I have to raise ahead a little bit, to hold what? – Dominion. I have to get a little bit ahead in the music to give myself time to find that word, to coin it. Because I can't sing, "To hold dominion..." because where does the word "dominion" come from? So I go, "To hold dominion over me!" Do you understand? Otherwise, it's pointless. It's just a word that comes out, I'm singing it.

Yeah, yeah.

And then it has meaning, because he is... At the same time, I have to respect the music, because if I backphrase to try and "to hold dominion", it makes it passive. So I have to raise ahead, and the conductor's gotta know that, not to follow me, because he'll make up lost time, and I can't find the word. Does that make sense to you?


So I have to race: to hold what? And I often have an internal monologue. How can I – who? – Inow – when? – allow this man – to hold – what? – dominionover? – me. This – what? – this desperate. I can't go "this desperate", so I have to go "this desperate man", I have to look for the word, "desperate" – "this desperate man whom I have" – what? – hunted. And "hunted", "h" is the hardest sound in the English language, and it's hard on your chords, so you have to find a way of doing it, so you don't go hurt your voice, so you go hhh, something, and it's the same sound in the word, every time Javert was mentioned, we all had to go, Javert! That hard , so you hear, "I'm warning you – Javert! – we always do it, because it's devil or whatever. It's – Javert! And that means, "run for your lives!" So it creates, gives him power. So – "this desperate man whom I have hunted" – now let's go on with the antithesis: "he gave me""he gave me my" – what? – "life". – "He gave me" – what? "Freedom". – Now, the whole notion is that I've spent my whole life saying, "He can't have his freedom". And I'm now in confusion, because he could've killed me – he gave me freedom. "I should have perished" – what? – "by his hand" – "I should've perished by his hand" – "it was his right" – "it was my right as well" – "instead I live, but live in hell" – "and my thoughts fly apart" – "and my thoughts" – as a result of that, "my thoughts fly apart". – "Can this man be believed?" – One question. You've gotta ask the question. If I go, "can this man be believed, shall his sins be..." – you've gotta ask the question, "Can this man be believed?" – there's no answer, so I have to ask another question, "Shall his sins be forgiven?" – still no answer – so I ask another question, "Shall his crimes be reprieved?" – still no answer. – And we tend not to ask the question. But until I literally ask, "Can this man be believed?" – Nothing. – "Shall his sins be forgiven?" – No answer. – "Shall his crimes be reprieved?" – Another question: "And must I now begin to doubt who never doubted all these years? My heart is stone," – antithesis – "and still it – trembles" – soft – hard – hard – soft – "my heart is stone and still it trembles". "The world I have known" – which is the world of the stars – "is lost in – shadow" – antithesis again – so we're weighing up the scales of justice now – "is lost in shadow" – and what's next? – say, I shouldn't have to sing this, I should know, I haven't done it for years – "is lost in shadow. Is he from heaven or from? – hell" – so we have the antithesis again – and it's a question. "And does he know that granting me my life today this man has killed me" – so we have life – and death – "even so". There's no answers to all those questions, so he goes, "I'm reaching, but I – fall. And the stars" – which now shone – "are – black and cold". – "I'll escape now from that world. From the world of Jean Valjean" – why? – because "there's nowhere I can turn – there is no way to go –––..."

That's it.

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