badass_tiger: Fakir and Princess Tutu (Fakiru)
rufus ([personal profile] badass_tiger) wrote2017-06-01 01:46 pm

Music of Princess Tutu (abridged)

What's that, you're not into classical music? You don't thirst to know the title of every snatch of song that plays in Princess Tutu? Disgusting. *cough* I mean, this post is for you. Only contains key themes and recurring songs.

The Nutcracker - Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


The overture is the song that plays at the beginning of a concert, or as an introduction to the rest of the performance. The Nutcracker is a ballet about a girl named Marsha/Maria/Clara/etc. whose family is celebrating Christmas. Drosselmeyer the toymaker visits them with all kinds of exciting toys, but the toy Clara is most taken by is the nutcracker. In the night, the nutcracker comes alive to defend her from attacking mice. She helps him defeat the King of Mice, and the nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince who takes her to the Land of Sweets with him.

Thus, this song represents Ahiru as being the duck who awakens into a girl to defend her beloved Prince. It plays during many scenes when Ahiru is contemplating her place as a duck/girl/princess. In the first episode, she sings to the tune of the song in her first appearance, and the song continues to play after she stops singing.

The Nutcracker - Waltz of the Flowers by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


In The Nutcracker, after the prince brings Clara to the Land of Sweets, she is celebrated by gifts and processions from the prince's subjects. One of these is a string of flowers, represented by couples, who dance for her.

The song is Princess Tutu's theme song, and the OP, Morning Grace, samples it at the end. Sometimes this song plays before Princess Tutu even appears, softly at first, then triumphantly raising in volume as Princess Tutu dances in.

The Nutcracker - Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


The Sugar-Plum Fairy reigned over the Land of Sweets in the prince's absence, and she blesses his union with Clara when he returns. Mytho dances to this almost haunting tune several times, and it may signify his wish to have his heart returned to him, as the prince returned to the Land of Sweets.

Gymnopédies 1 by Erik Satie


This is Rue's theme song. Don't ask me about its symbolism. Nobody seems to even know what the original Gymnopédies were supposed to represent anyway. It is merely a soft, melancholic song for Rue, who is far from the true villain of the series, and simply has her sad, fragile wish to be loved.

Coriolan Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven


This song was composed for the tragedy Coriolan, about a battle-crazed war general about to go into war, while his mother pleads for him to desist. He is either killed or kills himself, depending on who you ask, but either way, the theme is clear.

Fakir believes himself to be the knight reincarnated, and that is how he chooses to protect Mytho. The song plays at many key parts, such as when he first demands Ahiru to stay away from Mytho, and later when he dances alone, pondering on the fact that Ahiru is Princess Tutu. The general Coriolanus is doomed to die in all versions of his story, and so it is that Fakir is fated to die if he continues to pick up his sword. The only way he can protect Mytho is by giving up war and turning to something more peaceful but equally or even more powerful. The famous adage comes to mind: 'The pen is mightier than the sword.'

The Nutcracker - Marche by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


The character of Drosselmeyer has a long and colourful history, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker being only one of many. Even now, whether he is sinister or benevolent is entirely up to the director of individual performances. This is not Nutcracker-Drosselmeyer's theme song, by the way, but the March has many characteristics that lends itself well to being Tutu-Drosselmeyer's song.

You will recognise this best from the commercial bumper of each episode, but variations of it also play whenever Drosselmeyer is up to something, or when characters ponder the mystery of Gold Crown Town.

Coppelia - Waltz of the Hours by Léo Delibes


Coppelia is the play about Swanhilda, whose sweetheart Franz falls in love with Coppelia, a girl who sits on a balcony and does nothing but read. Swanhilda steals into the house and discovers that Coppelia is a doll. Franz climbs into the house and is kidnapped by Dr Coppelius, the owner of the house, who wishes to use his life force to make Coppelia come to life. Swanhilda dresses in Coppelia's clothes, pretending that Coppelia has indeed come alive, and tricks him long enough to wind up the other dolls in the house, distracting Dr Coppelius and giving Swanhilda and Franz the chance to escape.

The Waltz of the Hours is only performed during the divertissement and has no real bearing on the story though. A music-box version of this song plays whenever the clock tower strikes.

Coppelia - Music of the Automatons by Léo Delibes


This is the song that plays whenever Dr Coppelius' dolls are wound up and start to march around. It acts as Edel's theme song, signifying her role as nothing more than a puppet who does Drosselmeyer's bidding.

Carnival of the Animals - Aquarium by Camille Saint-Saëns


This musically-rich and mysterious-sounding piece plays during most scenes where the characters discuss the story of The Prince and The Raven. For example, it plays in the third episode when Pike and Lilie tell Ahiru that her 'dream' is nothing more than Drosselmeyer's story, and later in the same episode, it plays again when Ahiru discovers that Princess Tutu was a character in the story too. It sometimes plays when Fakir argues with Rue over Mytho, signifying their discussion of the prince from the story.

Pictures at an Exhibition - The Old Castle by Modest Mussorgsky


Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite composed by Mussorgsky in memory of his painter friend, Viktor Hartmann. Each movement represents one of Hartmann's paintings. The Old Castle represents a painting before which a poet is singing.

This song is the theme of episode 9, when Rue embraces her role as Princess Kraehe. It seems to represent each of the characters embracing their role in the story, as they are all characters archetypical of a castle setting: the prince, the princesses, and the knight.

Scheherazade - The Story of the Kalendar Prince by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov


The suite this movement is from is inspired by the story of the sultan who believed that all women were faithless, and took to marrying women only to kill them after the nuptial night. Scheherazade volunteered to marry the sultan, and on the first night, she told him a story. She stopped halfway, and the sultan's curiosity to hear the rest of the story caused him to spare her another night. The next night, she continued the story, then began another one, also stopping it halfway. This continued on for 1001 nights, until the sultan realised he was in love with Scheherazade and spared her life.

Thus, the suite of Scheherazade represents the enchanting power of stories, and all of its movements play in Princess Tutu. The gentle and tender melody representing Scheherazade in her desire to reform the sultan, plays often throughout the anime.

Swan Lake - Swan Theme (Moderato) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


You know this song, of course. It is the theme of the most famous ballet of all time. This tempestuous piece plays when Princess Tutu dances her solo pas de deux to attract Mytho to herself, reaching its climax as Mytho calls out to her, and she rushes into his arms.

Pictures at an Exhibition - The Great Gate of Kiev by Modest Mussorgsky

The painter Hartmann designed a huge gate to celebrate Tsar Alexander II's narrow escape from assassination, and this song celebrates that majestically. This song plays when Princess Tutu discovers that the gates of Gold Crown Town are impenetrable, and the triumphant score continues as she descends to shield Fakir from having his hands cut off.

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns


Danse Macabre is a genre of art representing the universality of death, which affects all of life, great or small. This piece composed by Saint-Saëns was created with the image in mind of Death, playing music to summon forth the spirits of the dead and allow them to dance. One night only in the year, the dead celebrate, and then they return to rest. This piece is the theme song of the Raven - though he is a much more sinister figure than Death - as he forces people to dance and do his bidding.

Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner


Richard Wagner composed the famous opera Siegfried about ... in a nutshell, it's about a hero in Norse Mythology, and that's all you need to know for now. But he originally composed this piece for his wife, after the birth of their son Siegfried. In the anime, it plays when Princess Tutu returns Siegfried's final heart shard to him, so it represents the birth of Prince Siegfried.


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