Continuing my summer of 2014 series, which was begun right here and chronicled my history with said device, examining the music that ended up on my iPod byway of the films that featured it on their soundtracks. An inventory, as it were, and one I continue to add to. Especially since I press on with my movies-watching and music-listening.
New song and those of a more vintage variety, even years after the initial screening, which still got there purely because of a movie. As alluded in another series, the convergence of the music and film arts is one I’ve spent much time toward. I’ll attempt to break these songs up into the categories most fit into, at least for my bizarre thinking, purely to make it more manageable in presentation. Fewest to most.
– serious or conventional music following long-established principles rather than a folk, jazz, or popular tradition.
- music written in the European tradition during a period lasting approximately from 1750 to 1830, when forms such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata were standardized. Often contrasted with baroque and romantic.
I should note the one famous piece that’ll be missing from my list. The finale to the William Tell Overture. Stirring beyond words for classical music enthusiasts, like me. Covered extensively in my 8th grade Music Appreciation class, too. Yet, I wasn’t introduced to this in school, or from a movie — although last year’s Disney movie did use a revamped version of it. No, the climatic music came byway of watching reruns of an American western television program, which originally ran from 1949 to 1957.
Waltz of the Flowers – Fantasia (1940): Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (1840-1893) stirring and momentous piece instantly became one of my favorite’s, of this composer and genre, when I initially caught this film as a kid.
Ode to Joy – Help! (1965): I know a few thought I’d have said Die Hard was the influence for this standard, Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) final movement of his 9th Symphony. Nope, Richard Lester’s second film with The Lads would be it!
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
The Blue Danube: I was simply mesmerized during the transition to and beyond Earth orbit with Johann Strauss II (1825 –1899) music accompanying those sequences in Kubrick’s conundrum of a sci-fi film.
The Gayne Ballet Suite (Adagio): The Adagio movement from Aram Khachaturian’s (1903–1978) four-act Gayne Ballet Suite “…is simply an elegant and evocative piece of music…”
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor: I know I had heard this piece by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) before seeing the speculative sci-fi film. Seeing and hearing how it was deployed, I had to have the soundtrack.
Adagio for Strings and Organ in G minor: Discovering this haunting Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1750) piece was the revelation on the soundtrack. It traced the lead character’s dissolution sadly, beautifully.
Sleeping Beauty Waltz: Like Bach’s Toccata above, just ditto that for Tchaikovsky’s ballet piece with this.
Concert in G – All That Jazz (1979): If the “Alla Rustica” movement in this concerto by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) awoke the Bob Fosse character in the film, it’d work for me, too.
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Romanze)– Alien (1979): The lovely intimacy and tenderness of Mozart’s (1756-1791) second movement won’t help Capt. Dallas. In fact, it kinda betrays him.
Bolero – 10 (1979): Let me just say that my 8th grade music appreciation teacher never…NEVER asserted Maurice Ravel’s (1875–1937) Boléro as the film contended. If she had, we’d have paid more attention. Believe me.
O Fortuna – Excalibur (1981): The open and shut case for the Carl Orff (1895 –1982) piece was here for me in the film’s cataclysmic battle sequence. Bar none.
Clair de Lune – The Right Stuff (1983): One of the great split-scene sequences, in the final act of this film, was shaped by Claude Debussy’s (1862 –1918) most famous piano suites. So memorable.
Adagio for Strings, Platoon (1986): Samuel Barber’s (1910–1981) second movement for his String Quartet, Op. 11 was that rare piece. Oddly spectacular and heartrending in the film’s signature sequence.
Canzonetta Sull’aria – Shawshank Redemption (1994): Composed for the third act of Mozart’s comic opera in 1786, it was used as a sweet-sounding and singular sequence in the film that’s unforgettable. Just go here to see why I say that.
The Flower Duet – The American President (1995): Clément Philibert Léo Delibes’ (1836-1891) famous duet, between characters Lakmé and Mallika, from his opera Lakmé, just worked in this romance tale.
Vide core Meum – Hannibal (2001): This particularly mournful piece by Patrick Cassidy, incorporating female and male contending voices, worked for Ridley Scott in both sequences of his film adaptation.
Barber of Seville – Rabbit of Seville (1950): Believe me, though I saw it on television in the late-60s, in my grandmother’s living room, this certainly counts. It’s production code is 1138, too (hey, George Lucas!). Care of the Looney Tunes Wiki entry:
“Rabbit of Seville is a 1949 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released on December 16th, 1950. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The short was re-released on January 18th, 1969 as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodie.”
How about you? Any classical music you’ve collected because of a movie?
The entire series can be found here.