WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

2001: A Space Odyssey - Original Soundtrack

Release Date: 10/29/1996 
Label:  Rhino Records   Catalog #: 72562   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  György LigetiRichard StraussJohann Strauss Jr.Aram Khachaturian
Conductor:  Ernest BourHerbert von KarajanFrancis TravisClytus Gottwald,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony OrchestraVienna Philharmonic OrchestraBerlin Philharmonic Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
This title is currently unavailable.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Ernest Bour, cond; 1 Sudwestfunk O; 1 Francis Travis, cond; 2 Bavarian RO; 2 Clytus Gottwald, cond; 3 Stuttgart Schola Cantorum; 3 György Ligeti, cond; 4 Intl Musikinstitut Darmstadt; Read more class="SUPER12">4 Herbert von Karajan, cond; 5,6 Vienna PO; 5 Ernest Bour, cond; 5 Southwest German RO; 5 Berlin PO; 6 Gennady Rozhdestvensky; 7 Leningrad PO; 7 HAL 9000 8 RHINO 72562, analog (78:51)

LIGETI Atmosphères. 1 Requiem: Kyrie. 2 Lux aeterna. 3 Aventures. 4 R. STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra: Sunrise. 5 J. STRAUSS II The Blue Danube. 6 KHACHATURIAN Gayane: Adagio 7 Dialogue montage 8

In 1968, my parents took me to see the original release of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey . I was five years old, and the location was Atlantic City (of all places). Needless to say, I didn’t know what to think, but think I did, and think I continue to do right up to and including today.

The Classical Hall of Fame is not the place to discuss the film’s merits at length. Suffice it to say that, whether you like the film or not, it has become a milestone of Western culture. It is discussed in graduate seminars and parodied in commercials and animated cartoons. It is, to use a trite word, unforgettable.

Many people know that Kubrick asked Alex North to write the score to this film, but that North’s soundtrack was never used. Instead, Kubrick decided to use the classical scores that originally had been intended only as temporary tracks—music by György Ligeti, Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, and Aram Khachaturian. This decision had a tremendous impact on the success of the film. Collaterally, it also had a tremendous impact on the music itself. Movie viewers who might never have heard Also sprach Zarathustra— let alone anything by Ligeti—were turned on. Such was my experience, as a five year old. It is likely that, sooner or later, I would have discovered this music on my own. 2001 sped up the process, however, and it also was my first lesson on the purpose of film music. I think it’s safe to say that I hadn’t noticed film music until April 1968. I haven’t stopped noticing it—for good or for ill—ever since. ( 2001 also made me want to be an astronaut!)

Richard and Johann Strauss were dead, of course, and if Aram Khachaturian had an opinion about the inclusion of a gloriously melancholy excerpt from his ballet Gayane , I am not aware of it. I understand that Ligeti was not pleased, however, particularly because an electronically altered form of his Aventures was used near the end of the film. In time, though, I am sure that Ligeti realized that 2001 must have spurred many listeners to hear more of his music as he intended it to be heard. And 2001 was not the last Kubrick/Ligeti “collaboration”: The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut both include Ligeti’s music.

Why am I including this disc in the Classical Hall of Fame? Simply because 2001 was a “gateway” film that had the unintended effect of introducing new audiences not just to classical music, but also to important classical music that nevertheless was far off the beaten path in 1968. Kubrick’s contributions to Western civilization went beyond the actual films themselves.

This CD was released in 1996, and it contains not only the music as it appears in the film, but an unaltered version of Aventures , a full-length version of Lux aeterna , and Bour’s version of the opening of Also sprach Zarathustra (included on MGM’s original soundtrack LP, but not used in the film). The CD closes with a nearly 10-minute montage of dialogue spoken by HAL 9000, the space probe Discovery’s computer, including his famous performance of “Daisy, Daisy” as he is disconnected by scientist Dave Bowman near the planet Jupiter. The handsome 24-page booklet contains many photographs and stills, plus essays about the film and the music by Robert C. Cumbow. I’ve corrected some of the booklet’s errors; there is no such place as “Darmstardt,” for example.

Long live Stanley Kubrick, and long live György Ligeti!

FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
Read less

Works on This Recording

Atmospheres by György Ligeti
Conductor:  Ernest Bour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; Vienna, Austria 
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30: Sunrise by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895-1896; Germany 
Requiem: no 2, Kyrie "Molto espressivo" by György Ligeti
Conductor:  Francis Travis
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963-1965; Vienna, Austria 
An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314: Excerpt(s) by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Vienna, Austria 
Lux aeterna by György Ligeti
Conductor:  Clytus Gottwald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Stuttgart
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Vienna, Austria 
Gayaneh: Adagio by Aram Khachaturian
Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942/1957; USSR 
Aventures by György Ligeti
Conductor:  György Ligeti
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title