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2001: A Space Odyssey (soundtrack)

2001: A Space Odyssey is a soundtrack album to the film of the same name, released in 1968. The soundtrack is known for its use of many classical and orchestral pieces, and credited for giving many classical pieces resurgences in popularity, such as Johann Strauss II's 1866 Blue Danube Waltz, Richard Strauss' symphonic poem Also sprach Zarathustra (inspired by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche), and György Ligeti's Atmosphères. The soundtrack has been re-issued multiple times, including a 1996 version and a digitally remastered version in 2010.

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001 A Space Odyssey (soundtrack).jpeg
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released 1968
Genre Classical
Length 36:41
Label MGM Records
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

From very early in production, Kubrick decided that he wanted the film to be a primarily nonverbal experience[2] that did not rely on the traditional techniques of narrative cinema, and in which music would play a vital role in evoking particular moods. About half the music in the film appears either before the first line of dialogue or after the final line. Almost no music is heard during any scenes with dialogue.

The film is notable for its innovative use of classical music taken from existing commercial recordings. Most feature films then and now are typically accompanied by elaborate film scores or songs written specially for them by professional composers. In the early stages of production, Kubrick had actually commissioned a score for 2001 from Hollywood composer Alex North, who had written the score for Spartacus and also worked on Dr. Strangelove.[3] However, during postproduction, Kubrick chose to abandon North's music in favor of the now-familiar classical pieces he had earlier chosen as "guide pieces" for the soundtrack. North did not know of the abandonment of the score until after he saw the film's premiere screening.[4]

Also engaged to score the film was composer Frank Cordell. Cordell stated in interviews that the score would primarily consist of arrangements of Gustav Mahler works.[5] This score remains unreleased. Like North's score, Cordell's work was recorded at the now demolished Anvil, Denham studios.[6]

2001 is particularly remembered for using pieces of Johann Strauss II's best-known waltz, The Blue Danube, during the extended space-station docking and Lunar landing sequences. This is the result of the association that Kubrick made between the spinning motion of the satellites and the dancers of waltzes.[7] It also makes use of the opening from the Richard Strauss tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra[8] performed by the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan. The use of Strauss's Zarathustra may be a reference to the theme of mankind's eventual replacement by overmen (Übermensch) in Nietzsche's work Thus Spoke Zarathustra.[9][10] Gayane's Adagio from Aram Khachaturian's Gayane ballet suite is heard during the sections that introduce Bowman and Poole aboard the Discovery, conveying a somewhat lonely and mournful quality.

In addition to the majestic yet fairly traditional compositions by the two Strausses and Khachaturian, Kubrick used four highly modernistic compositions by György Ligeti that employ micropolyphony, the use of sustained dissonant chords that shift slowly. This technique was pioneered in Atmosphères, the only Ligeti piece heard in its entirety in the film. Ligeti admired Kubrick's film but, in addition to being irritated by Kubrick's failure to obtain permission directly from him, he was offended that his music was used in a film soundtrack shared by composers Johann Strauss II and Richard Strauss.[11] Other music used is Ligeti's Lux Aeterna, the second movement of his Requiem and an electronically altered form of his Aventures, the last of which was also used without Ligeti's permission and is not listed in the film's credits.[12]

HAL's version of the popular song "Daisy Bell" (referred to by HAL as "Daisy" in the film) was inspired by a computer-synthesized arrangement by Max Mathews, which Arthur C. Clarke had heard in 1962 at the Bell Laboratories Murray Hill facility when he was, coincidentally, visiting friend and colleague John R. Pierce. At that time, a speech synthesis demonstration was being performed by physicist John Larry Kelly, Jr., by using an IBM 704 computer to synthesize speech. Kelly's voice recorder synthesizer vocoder recreated the song "Daisy Bell" ("Bicycle Built For Two"); Max Mathews provided the musical accompaniment. Arthur C. Clarke was so impressed that he later used it in the screenplay and novel.[13]

Many non-English language versions of the film do not use the song "Daisy". In the French soundtrack, HAL sings the French folk song "Au clair de la lune" while being disconnected.[14] In the German version, HAL sings the children's song "Hänschen klein" ("Little Johnny"),[15] and in the Italian version HAL sings "Giro giro tondo" (Ring a Ring o' Roses).[16]

A recording of British light music composer Sidney Torch's "Off Beat Moods Part 1" was chosen by Kubrick as the theme for the fictitious BBC news programme "The World Tonight" seen aboard the Discovery.[17]

On June 25, 2010, a version of the film specially remastered by Warner Bros, without the music soundtrack, opened the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the Royal Society at Southbank Centre in cooperation with the British Film Institute. The score was played live by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Choir.[18] This has become a recurring event at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, with repeat performances in 2011 and on October 2, 2016. These later two performances were played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Philharmonia Choir, the latter as part of a more general programme of similar events entitled "Film Scores Live." [19]

On June 14, 2013, a repeat presentation of the film accompanied by live orchestra and choir was performed at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, again accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch together with the choir Ex Cathedra.[20]

A presentation of the film accompanied by live orchestra and choir premiered in the United States on August 18, 2015, at The Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California, accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Brad Lubman together with the choir Los Angeles Master Chorale.[21]

MusicEdit

2001 is particularly remembered for the use of the opening theme from the Richard Strauss tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra (Usually translated as "Thus Spake Zarathustra" or "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"[8] where the soundtrack album gives the former, the movie's credits give the latter). The theme is used both at the start and at the conclusion of the film. Also memorable in the film is its use of parts of Johann Strauss II's best-known waltz, An der schönen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), during the extended space-station docking. Composers Richard and Johann Strauss are not related.

In addition to the majestic yet fairly traditional compositions by the two Strausses and Aram Khachaturian, Kubrick used four highly modernistic compositions by György Ligeti which employ micropolyphony, the use of sustained dissonant chords that shift slowly over time. This technique was pioneered in Atmosphères, the only Ligeti piece heard in its entirety in the film. Ligeti admired Kubrick's film, but in addition to being irritated by Kubrick's failure to obtain permission directly from him, he was offended that his music was used in a film soundtrack shared by composers Johann and Richard Strauss.[22]

The Richard and Johann Strauss pieces and György Ligeti's Requiem (the Kyrie section) act as recurring motifs in the film's storyline. Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra is first heard in the opening title which juxtaposes the Sun, Earth, and Moon. It is subsequently heard when an ape first learns to use a tool, and when Bowman is transformed into the Star-Child at the end of the film. Zarathustra thus acts as a bookend for the beginning and end of the film, and as a motif signifying evolutionary transformations, first from ape to man, then from man to Star-Child. This piece was originally inspired by the philosopher Nietzsche's book of the same name which alludes briefly to the relationship of ape to man and man to Superman. The Blue Danube appears in two intricate and extended space travel sequences as well as the closing credits. The first of these is the particularly famous sequence of the PanAm space plane docking at Space Station V. Ligeti's Requiem is heard three times, all of them during appearances of the monolith. The first is its encounter with apes just before the Zarathustra-accompanied ape discovery of the tool. The second is the monolith's discovery on the Moon, and the third is Bowman's approach to it around Jupiter just before he enters the Star Gate. This last sequence with the Requiem has much more movement in it than the first two, and it transitions directly into the music from Ligeti's Atmosphères which is heard when Bowman actually enters the Star Gate. No music is heard during the monolith's much briefer final appearance in Dave Bowman's celestial bedroom which immediately precedes the Zarathustra-accompanied transformation of Bowman into the Star-Child. A shorter excerpt from Atmosphères is heard during the pre-credits prelude and film intermission, which are not in all copies of the film. The adagio movement "Carpet Weavers" from Aram Khatchaturian's Gayane ballet suite no. 3.[23] is heard during the sections that introduce Bowman and Poole aboard the Discovery conveying a somewhat lonely and mournful quality. Other music used is Ligeti's Lux Aeterna and an electronically altered form of his Aventures, the last of which was so used without Ligeti's permission and is not listed in the film's credits.[24]

Since the film, Also sprach Zarathustra has been used in many other contexts. It was used by the BBC and by CTV in Canada as the introductory theme music for their television coverage of the Apollo space missions, as well as stage entrance music for multiple acts including Elvis Presley late in his career. Jazz and rock variants of the theme have also been composed, the most well known being the 1972 arrangement by Eumir Deodato (itself used in the 1979 film Being There). Both Zarathustra and The Blue Danube have been used in numerous parodies of both the film itself and science fiction/space travel stories in general. HAL's "Daisy Bell" also has been frequently used in the comedy industry to denote both humans and machines in an advanced stage of madness.

Album releaseEdit

The initial MGM soundtrack album release contained none of the material from the altered and uncredited rendition of "Aventures", used a different recording of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" than that heard in the film, and a longer excerpt of "Lux Aeterna" than that in the film. The soundtrack was a commercial success, reaching the 24th spot at the Billboard 200,[25][26] and receiving a RIAA certification of Gold for an excess of 500,000 copies.[27]

In 1996, Turner Entertainment/Rhino Records released a new soundtrack on CD which included the material from "Aventures" and restored the version of "Zarathustra" used in the film, and used the shorter version of "Lux Aeterna" from the film. As additional "bonus tracks" at the end, this CD includes the versions of "Zarathustra" and "Lux Aeterna" on the old MGM soundtrack, an unaltered performance of "Aventures", and a nine-minute compilation of all of Hal's dialogue from the film.

Citing John Culshaw's autobiography Putting the Record Straight,[28] the Internet Movie Database explains

The end music credits do not list a conductor and orchestra for "Also Sprach Zarathustra." Stanley Kubrick wanted the Herbert von Karajan / Vienna Philharmonic version on English Decca for the film's soundtrack, but Decca executives did not want their recording "cheapened" by association with the movie, and so gave permission on the condition that the conductor and orchestra were not named. After the movie's successful release, Decca tried to rectify its blunder by re-releasing the recording with an "As Heard in 2001" flag printed on the album cover. John Culshaw recounts the incident in "Putting the Record Straight" (1981)... In the meantime, MGM released the "official soundtrack" L.P. with Karl Böhm's Berlin Philharmonic "Also Sprach Zarathustra"[29] discreetly substituting for von Karajan's version.

Track listingEdit

[30]

No.TitleMusicPerformer(s)Length
1."Also sprach Zarathustra"Richard StraussThe Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Böhm1:46
2."Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, 2 Mixed Choirs and Orchestra"György LigetiThe Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Francis Travis4:04
3."Lux Aeterna"György LigetiThe Stuttgart Schola Cantorum, Clytus Gottwald5:50
4."The Blue Danube"Johann Strauss IIThe Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan6:55
5."Gayane Ballet Suite (Adagio)"Aram KhachaturianThe Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky5:12
6."Atmosphères"György LigetiThe Südwestfunk Orchestra, Ernest Bour7:56
7."The Blue Danube"Johann Strauss IIThe Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan3:30
8."Also sprach Zarathustra"Richard StraussThe Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Böhm1:37

Unused scoreEdit

In the early stages of production, Kubrick had actually commissioned a score for 2001 from noted Hollywood composer Alex North, who had written the score for Spartacus and also worked on Dr. Strangelove.[31] However, during post-production, Kubrick chose to abandon North's music in favor of the now-familiar classical music pieces he had earlier chosen as "guide pieces" for the soundtrack. North did not know of the abandonment of the score until he saw the film's premiere screening.[4]

In March 1966, MGM became concerned about 2001's progress and Kubrick put together a show reel of footage to the ad hoc soundtrack of classical recordings. The studio bosses were delighted with the results and Kubrick decided to use these "guide pieces" as the final musical soundtrack, and he abandoned North's score.

In an interview with Michel Ciment, Kubrick explained:

However good our best film composers may be, they are not a Beethoven, a Mozart or a Brahms. Why use music which is less good when there is such a multitude of great orchestral music available from the past and from our own time? When you are editing a film, it's very helpful to be able to try out different pieces of music to see how they work with the scene...Well, with a little more care and thought, these temporary tracks can become the final score.[32]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 2001: A Space Odyssey [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] at AllMusic.
  2. ^ "New Titles – The Stanley Kubrick Archives – Facts". Archived from the original on July 5, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2007. 
  3. ^ Time Warp – CD Booklet – Telarc Release# CD-80106
  4. ^ a b LoBrutto, Vincent (1998). Stanley Kubrick. London: Faber and Faber. p. 308. ISBN 0-571-19393-5. 
  5. ^ Cinefantastique, Volume 24, Issues 6-26 p. 41
  6. ^ "Recording Engineer - Eric Tomlinson" (PDF). Chris Malone. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ "1968 : La révolution Kubrick". Cinezik web site (French film magazine on music in film) (in French). Archived from the original on October 23, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Usually translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra or occasionally Thus Spoke Zarathustra - The book by Nietzsche has been translated both ways and the title of Strauss's music is usually rendered in the original German whenever not discussed in the context of 2001. Although Britannica Online's entry lists the piece as spoke Zarathustra, music encyclopedias usually go with 'spake'. Overall, 'spake' is more common mentioning the Strauss music and 'spoke' more common mentioning the book by Nietzsche. - the soundtrack album gives the former, the movie's credits give the latter.
  9. ^ "What did Kubrick have to say about what 2001 "means"?". Krusch.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ Donald MacGregor. "2001; or, How One Film-Reviews With a Hammer". Visual-Memory. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
  11. ^ Keller, James M. "Program Notes- Ligeti: Lontano for Large Orchestra". San Francisco Symphony. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. 
  12. ^ Kosman, Joshua (June 13, 2006). "György Ligeti—music scores used in '2001' film (obituary)". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 13, 2006. 
  13. ^ "Bell Labs: Where "Hal" First Spoke". Bell Labs Speech Synthesis web site. Archived from the original on April 7, 2000. Retrieved August 13, 2007. 
  14. ^ Chion, Michel (2001). Kubrick's Cinema Odyssey. Translated by Claudia Gorbman. London: British Film Institute. ISBN 0-85170-840-4. 
  15. ^ Pruys, Guido Marc (1997). Die Rhetorik der Filmsynchronisation: Wie ausländische Spielfilme in Deutschland zensiert, verändert und gesehen werden (in German). Gunter Narr Verlag. p. 107. ISBN 3-8233-4283-5. 
  16. ^ Fini, Massimo (2009). Nietzsche. L'apolide dell'esistenza (in Italian). Marsilio Editori. pp. 408–9. ISBN 88-317-9722-0. 
  17. ^ David W. Patterson, "Music, Structure and Metaphor in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"." American Music, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Autumn, 2004), pp. 460–461
  18. ^ "royal society southbank centre". 2001: A Space Odyssey. 2010. Archived from the original on July 25, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Film Screening: 2001 A Space Odyssey". Southbank Centre. Southbank Centre. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  20. ^ "2001: A Space Odyssey". 2001: A Space Odyssey. 2013. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  21. ^ "A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey". Hollywood Bowl. 
  22. ^ James M. Keller. "Program Notes- Ligeti: Lontano for Large Orchestra". San Francisco Symphony. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. 
  23. ^ "Carpet Weavers", http://www.classicalarchives.com/work/89605.html
  24. ^ Kosman, Joshua (June 13, 2006). "György Ligeti—music scores used in '2001' film (obituary)". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  25. ^ "Soundtrack | Chart History. Billboard 200". Billboard. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 7 April 2018. 
  26. ^ "List of Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  27. ^ "Search for album charts at RIAA.com". Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  28. ^ Culshaw was former manager of the classical division of the Decca Record Company. This incident is discussed on p. 204 of his autobiography Putting the Record Straight Viking Press, 1982
  29. ^ The 1996 special edition CD with two versions of Zarathustra states that the original soundtrack had a version conducted by Ernest Bour conducting the Südwestfunk Orchestra- the same credits for all Odyssey-related recordings of Ligeti's "Atmospheres". However, the original vinyl LP credits conductor Karl Böhm as does this quote from Imdb. This is likely a clerical error on the 1996 special edition CD.
  30. ^ album sleeve. Music from the Motion Picture 2001: a space odyssey. MGM Records. 
  31. ^ Time Warp – CD Booklet – Telarc Release# CD-80106
  32. ^ "Kubrick on Barry Lyndon: An interview with Michel Ciment". Archived from the original on 4 July 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 

External linksEdit