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Best use(s) of classical pieces in Movies


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Not including films about composers or things related to such.

Please include your choice(s) with what piece(s) were in the film and perhaps why you chose it

Me:- Master and Commander-Various classical pieces played by Aubrey and Maturin(so much in fact that before the actual movie, there were 2 volumes released on the pieces used in the books)

-X2-Dies Irae

-Minority Report

Bach

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring from Cantata No.147

Haydn

String Quartet in C, Op.64 No.1, 3rd movt.

Schubert

Symphony No.8 "Unfinished", 1st movt.

Tchaikovsky

Symphony No.6 "Pathétique", 3rd movt.

All recent movies, I know

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"Nessun Dorma", Sum of All Fears.

The Berlioz piece at the beginning of First Contact.

"Thomas Tallis Fantasia" in Always (if that counts, since it was written in, not used wholly)

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Nessun Dorma in The Sum of All Fears

The piece used when Anderton is scrubbing the images and finds himself in them in Minority Report

I don't know if this counts, as the movie is about music, but the William Tell Overture in Clockwork Orange

Beethoven's 9th in Die Hard, when they open the vault

In The Hall of The Mountain King in Fritz Lang's M

Goldberg Variations in Silence of The Lambs

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Mozart's "Adagio" from "Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra" in "Out of Africa". I like the movie, love the score, love the Mozart's work and this actual classical piece meshes seamlessly with Barry's music.

There would be so many more to mention on and on, of course.

 Goldberg Variations in Silence of The Lambs

Yes, this is the haunting one and fits perfectly in! Seems the actual score composer wasn't able to pull off anything to go so well with that slaughter scene. I was never able to work out which variation was used and I'm sure only one was used. You know which one, Morlock? Help me solve the enigma! ;)

Roman.-)

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Replacing Alex North's score with classical music was not a very nice thing to do but it worked so well that I forgive Kubrick. From 2001: A space Odyssey, here are:

Also Sprach Zarathustra - Richard Strauss

Blue Danube [Excerpt] - Richard Strauss

Gayane Ballet Suite (Adagio) - Aram Khachaturian

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Alex Cremers

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The point is that, once the music was put against the images, those famous classical pieces got a whole new dimension. That resulted in an cinematic effect that was bigger then it could ever be with just another soundtrack. BTW, North knew he had to share the soundtrack with existing classical music. I think North's work is a major achievement, one of my favorite soundtracks, but he never composed music for the whole film because Kubrick told him he was definitely planning on using other music as well. What North didn't know was that Stanley was going to replace every single note. It was the studio that insisted on using a film composer. Kubrick had other plans from the start.

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Alex Cremers

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That resulted in an cinematic effect that was bigger then it could ever be with just another soundtrack.

Umm, I dunno, what if we put Holst in place of Star Wars main titles?

The point is that, once the music was put against the images, those famous classical pieces got a whole new dimension.

Yes, but they are their own works, and it makes much more sense to make something new to fit the new movie. Now when everyone listens to those Strauss pieces they are going to be thinking of it as a film score, I don't think that's what Strauss wanted.

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That resulted in an cinematic effect that was bigger then it could ever be with just another soundtrack.

Umm, I dunno, what if we put Holst in place of Star Wars main titles?

Then everyone would say, "Hey, Lucas is copying Kubricks idea! Away with him!"

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Alex Cremers

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But then nobody would have said, wow Williams. ;)

Note that Cleopatra managed to get up to number 2 on the charts for albums for 3 weeks when it was released and stayed on the list for 6 months. There was a market for his jazz-influenced style, it sounded contemporary and pop like to audiences of the day I suppose a bit like Zimmer.

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Frank Costanza was telling a story from Vietnam, he was the cook, and he tried to save some bad meat, when the soldiers ate what he made, everyone got sick, that scene where you see the soldiers vomiting, and going to the letrines is played in slow motion with Barber's Adagio playing.

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The BEST would be Beethoven's 9th in Die Hard. Simply brilliant.

Next up, very close second, is Dies Irae from X2. Very exciting.

While this isn't exactly fitting, the use of Star Wars in Ferris Beuller's day off is one of the most hilarious damn moments in film history.

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Classical music should stay out of movies otherwise it's meaning is changed from what the composer intended, leave films to film composers.

What if someone were to use the music from an opera? Isn't that similar since they both were used to highlight and emphasize the emotion on stage? Wouldn't you then say it would be appropriate? Especially if the plot in the film were to have striking similarities to that of the opera?

Just wondering what your take on this is...

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HaHaHAHAHA, is Seinfeld already on DVD?

It's a bit more complicated. Jerry Seinfeld is having a bad time convicing the rest of the cast (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards) to essentially give up their fees from the DVD profits. This isn't the first time he's kept his profile high in detriment of his co-stars', so they are aware now. Which means, we'll just have to wait to see who gives up first.

Also, on the thread title, I would have to go with Swan Lake, used as Bela's theme in Ed Wood, by Howard Shore. Brilliant.

Offenbach also had a nice wink in Moulin Rogue, but that's plain anecdotic.

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Not including films about composers or things related to such.

Damn i was going to put Fantasia 2000.

Exactly. They Rhapsody in Blue segment is perfection, seamless match of audio and images.

It is quite magical when you have some sound you attach to a bunch of images and the result isn't sound plus images, but a completely different reality. Not easy to do.

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Also, on the thread title, I would have to go with Swan Lake, used as Bela's theme in Ed Wood, by Howard Shore. Brilliant.

I loved it too- but that was not Shore's doing. The only music heard in the original Lugosi Dracula was Swan Lake. Untill Philip Glass' wrote a score for it a few years back (He wrote a great score- would be a classic if it were the original movie score)

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What if someone were to use the music from an opera? Isn't that similar since they both were used to highlight and emphasize the emotion on stage? Wouldn't you then say it would be appropriate? Especially if the plot in the film were to have striking similarities to that of the opera?  

Just wondering what your take on this is...

Umm, maybe if it's a movie version of the opera. :mrgreen:

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I think that both Alexcremers and Hector J. Guzman have missed the best use of Barber's Adagio in a film. In fact the name of this thread is "Best use(s) of classical pieces in Movies".

The best use of Barber's Adagio for Strings is in Oliver Stone's "PLATOON".

Of course "Death in Venice" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" are magnificent examples . But I think that everybody has missed some great ones:

John Boorman's "EXCALIBUR" makes use of:

- Carl Orff's "O Fortuna" from "Carmina Burana"

- Wagner's Prelude for "Tristan und Isolde"

- and I am not quite sure if it also makes use of the Prelude for "Lohengrin" or "Parsifal", both from Wagner

Francis Ford Coppola's "APOCALYPSE NOW"

- Wagner's "Walkürenritt" form "Die Walküre"

Francis Ford Coppola's "THE GODFATHER III"

- Pietro Mascagni's "Cavaleria Rusticana"

(the use of the famous "Intermezzo" to accompany Michael Corleone's death is superb)

Woody Allen's "MANHATTAN"

- George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"

Martin Scorsese's "CASINO"

- Bach's "St Mathew Passion" (this one is a favourite, isn't it?)

Sergio Leone's "ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA"

- Rossini's "La gazza ladra"

Well, I cannot think of any more at this time.

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Francis Ford Coppola's "THE GODFATHER III"

- Pietro Mascagni's "Cavaleria Rusticana"

(the use of the famous "Intermezzo" to accompany Michael Corleone's death is superb)

I think the bestuse of Cavaleria Rusticana in a film is in Raging Bull.

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LOL

I think that both Alexcremers and Hector J. Guzman have missed the best use of Barber's Adagio in a film. In fact the name of this thread is "Best use(s) of classical pieces in Movies".

The best use of Barber's Adagio for Strings is in Oliver Stone's "PLATOON".

After I heard this music on Seinfeld, I later found out it was used in Platoon. Then, I've heard it other times after now knowing the piece's name.

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