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Thread: Best Film Uses of Non-Film Music

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    Senior Member Freischutz's Avatar
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    Default Best Film Uses of Non-Film Music

    Title says it all!

    I was watching Marathon Man a few days ago and smiled when I heard Die Schone Mullerin, even though it was a Nazi murderer listening to it.

    Of course, one of the best cinematic uses of classical music was in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which featured Strauss's Zarathustra, the other Strauss's Blue Danube and, equally importantly, a handful of pieces by Ligeti, such as Atmosphères and Lux aeterna. I love Ligeti's micropolyphony anyway, but I wonder if hearing it in a dramatic, visual context helps people appreciate it.

    So what are some great uses of classical music not originally written for the cinema that you can think of? I am going to ban you from choosing music biopics because that's just cheating.

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    Senior Member Serge's Avatar
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    Many, many... But let's start the fun!

    Shutter Island

    Mahler - Quartet for Piano and Strings in A minor:

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hMh_gaevYE[/yt]

    Which reminds me... the need to recommend the movie itself.
    When I hear John Cage’s 4’33”, I reach for my earplugs.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Beethoven's Pastoral in Soylent Green...


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    Senior Member Serge's Avatar
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    There Will Be Blood

    Brahms - Violin Concerto in D Major.

    A short final scene extract:

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1PYp-fsZOA[/yt]

    And the piece itself:

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EhQd4nugps[/yt]
    When I hear John Cage’s 4’33”, I reach for my earplugs.

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    Senior Member geralmar's Avatar
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    Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 (Allegro) in The Brain Eaters (1958).

    Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor (Allegro) in The House That Dripped Blood (1971).

    Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 ("Anitra's Dance") in Faces of Death (1978) (slaughterhouse sequence).
    Last edited by geralmar; Jun-26-2014 at 23:13.

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    There was very effective use of the allegretto from Beethoven 7th in The King's Speech. It was in the more-or-less climactic scene near the end, where King George V/(Firth) makes the declaration of war speech on the radio. In the movie, the scene is tense and quiet at the beginning, but the cinema audience is euphoric by the end. Considering the text itself it pretty uninspiring by today's standards, and Firth can't (by definition!) make a great oration of it, how is the emotional effect achieved in the audience? Simple; the music does it. The stuttering opening to the Allegretto is actually a perfect fit for the atmosphere in the film, and then over the next 5 minutes or so, Beethoven does the job than no-one else could have.
    I felt like shouting out afterward to the whole cinema "That was Beethoven who did that, don't you realise. Go home and listen to real music!"
    cheers,
    GG

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    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
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    Breaking Away used Mendelssohn's Fourth Symphony

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    Senior Member GreenMamba's Avatar
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    My Dinner with Andre and Man On Wire both used Satie's Gymnopedie #1 to great effect.

    Mascagni's Intermezzo in Raging Bull is a classic.
    Last edited by GreenMamba; Jun-27-2014 at 01:22.

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    Senior Member Varick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza sordino View Post
    Breaking Away used Mendelssohn's Fourth Symphony
    It also used Rosinni's Overture

    I also thought Beethoven's 7th in The Kings Speech was masterful.

    Perhaps my favorite (as well as one of my favorite moments in movie history) was the duet from Lakme in "True Romance." That scene between Dennis Hopper & Christopher Walken was absolutely intense. Heck, I'd pay good money to watch those two have a cup of coffee together.

    I also enjoyed Grieg's Pier Gynt #2 in Stephen King's "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

    V
    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Visconti's Death in Venice, which critic John Simon called "a thing of beauty and a bore forever," owes whatever success it may claim largely to Mahler's Adagietto from the 5th Symphony.

    Alan

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    Roy Scheider starting each day with Vivaldi's "Alla rustica" in All That Jazz

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    Chopin E flat Nocturne (just the music and no situational sound) as Billy Bob Thornton lurches drunkenly through some messy self destruction in the early part of Bad Santa. Also some Sleeping Beauty, Carmen and Barber of Seville overture in same

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    Ethan Haweke and Julie Delpy discovering a harpsichordist performing Variation 25 from the Goldbergs in Before Sunrise:


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    ^^^^I love that movie!
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonNZ View Post
    Ethan Haweke and Julie Delpy discovering a harpsichordist performing Variation 25 from the Goldbergs in Before Sunrise:
    Anyway to me the most effective use of music in Before sunrise is the use of the Kath Bloom song "Come here". A bit off topic, because it's not classical music, but a brilliant and moving scene.
    Last edited by norman bates; Jun-30-2014 at 15:42.

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