The musical thematic analysis

by Marc Mandel

The stake is fully sung opera that I wanted the most melodic possible. It is composed of three kinds of type of musical themes :

1/ Musics to explain the progress of the action.
The game of brelan (Acte 2- Scène 6)
The murder (Acte 3 – Scène 5)
The stake (Acte 3 – Scène 2)

2/ Unique tunes for a scene.
Among others things :
The fan (Acte 1 – Scène 5)
The bet is won (Acte 1 – Scène 7)
Villefort and Louise (Acte 1 – Scène 10)
Charles (Acte 2 – Scène 4)
The Villefort’s death (Acte 3 – Scène 1)
Noayes comes to cash his debt regognition (Acte 3 – 7)
The Louise’s anger (Acte 3 – Scène 8)

3/ Tunes for soloist with quotes from these themes in other scenes.

The main is the love duet between Louise and Charles
(Acte 2 – Scène 7 – My love, my secret )

This tune is composed of two parts
A : “My love, my sun ..”
B : “I don’t want to leave you, keep me by your side”

This thème A is mentioned for the first time in the opening

He is introduced in Scene 3 of Act 2 when Manon introduces Louise to Charles. He underlines their love at first sight

The first duet that brings Louise and Charles together alone is introduced by the musical theme that will be developed in stage 7.

Maquette pas encore terminée (voix samplées à remplacer)

The second part of this tune slips against the singing scene 5 of Act 2, during the first duet of Louise and Charles.
Louise – I don’t know anymore
Charles – Louise
Louise – everything is confused
Charles – Louise
Louise – I’m lost

Demo not over yet (voices sampled to replace)

Finally comes the complete tune in scene 7 to conclude Act 2.

In Scene 4 of Act 3, Charles announces his departure for Versailles to Louise. She shows the desperation that the perspective of this separation brings to her by singing the air of their love duet

Act 3 – Scene 6 – Louise confesses her murder. Manon suggests hiding it in Spain. Louise does not want to be separated from her love and manifests it again by evoking the theme of the love duet

Demo not over yet Louise’s (voice sampled to replace)

Finally, in the last duet of the finale – scene 9 – Act 3, the theme is evoked one last time.

Demo not over yet Louise’s (voice sampled to replace)

Act 1 scène 1 : Noayes receive

This is the first scene of the Stake. The Marquis de Noayes welcomes his guests, who express their pleasure at being invited.
Louise arrives at her father’s arm.
Then Louise’s request to join her friends, whom she sees in the distance.
Finally Noayes evokes the future of Louise.

This 6-minute scene is composed of melodic interventions, coming against songs on a harmonic structure composed on a swing of 3 chords played by the harp that rotate during its duration.
Even if the tone modulates several times, the shape of the 3 chords persist.
At first we hear the harp turn on =>
Ab7 + / Bbm7 / Cm7/ Ab7 +
Then after the first modulation the chords become:
A 7+ / Bm7 / Dbm 7/ A 7+


The main tune of the scene 1 “This a delightful day – The gardens are beautiful – and the people strong friendly – we have the happy soul”
is repeated at the end of scene 3 in the trio Louise – Manon – Apolline

The weddings requests

During the reception given by the Marquis de Noayes, the Count de Villefort receives 2 wedding requests for his daughter Louise

The first one from Noayes him self

The second one from the marquis Philippe Baguy de Puyvallées

Laugh, mock and bet again

Act 1 – Scène 8 – Rembarred by Louise, Philippe is mocked by his friends

Act 1 – Scène 11 – Philippe, on the day of his wedding Louise, recall the laught of his friends

The Charles Ligeac de Vigonde’s military theme

Act 2 – Scene 3 – Emilien de Montéront to organize a reception in honor of his friend Charles Ligeac of Vigonde promoted captain of the Dragons, following his campaign with La Fayette, to liberate the new world.

At the beginning of this scene 3, the guests arrive two by two and have seen bits of their conversations. While the first couple continues their conversation gradually, the second comes to the fore, then gradually moves away to leave the foreground to a new couple. The 3 conversations are superimposed on a classical style accompaniment of this military theme in honor of Charles, until the request for silence of Emilien who sings the praises of Charles in the part mentioned in the previous paragraph.

But this theme is addressed for the first time at the end of stage 2 of Act 2, Manon invited Louise to this reception, makes him dazzle the interest to accept his invitation

Let’s drink to health

During this scene 3, Emilien invites the guests to drink to the health of Charles

Then this song is repeated again on other words, at the end of Scene 4, when Emilien brings down the tension created by Charles’s words about war and heroism

A road, a path, a trail

In scene 4 of Act 3, Charles announces his departure for Versailles but promises to find a road, a path, a trail to leave Louise out of confusion.

Scene 9 of Act 3, Charles keeps his promise

Thème B from the opening

I began this analytical study by explaining that theme A of the opening was the evocation of the love duo of Louise and Charles whose musical climax is in scene 7 of act 2
The theme B of this opening is developed as a counter-song in the final duet of Louise in Charles, in scene 9 of Act 3

Opening – Thème B
Acte 3 – Scène 9 (beginning) – thème B
Acte 3 – Scène 9 (final) – thème B