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Monday, June 12, 2006

Passages

Composer Gyorgi Ligeti has died. I don't know much about him, really, aside from the use of a portion of several of his works in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey:

:: Atmospheres is used as an overture to the film (before the opening titles and Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra.

:: The Requiem for soprano, mezzo-soprano, two mixed choirs and orchestra is heard during the "Dawn of Man" sequence as the monolith appears to early man in Africa.

:: Ligeti's Lux Aeterna is heard during the sequence when Heywood Floyd and a number of scientists venture out to confront the monolith on the moon.

:: The Requiem and Atmospheres are both reprised during the film's Jupiter sequences, when the Discovery spaceship arrives at Jupiter and then when David Bowman leaves the ship and travels across space and time to...wherever it is that Bowman ends up.

Many film music afficionados believe that the film would actually have been better served by the score that composer Alex North wrote for it, but I've never agreed. Stanley Kubrick may not have handled that situation tactfully (apparently he didn't tell North about his decision to stick with his original "temp track" of classical works), but I can't imagine the film without the music Kubrick eventually used. Ligeti is a big part of that.

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