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 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 1:42 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Well, I finally got my Intrada 2001: A Space Odyssey and have listened to it three times in addition to synching the score to the relevant portions of the film.

First off, the fact that there has been so little comment on this release is shameful.

Second off, anyone who thinks they've heard this score because they own the Goldsmith recording is living in a fool's paradise. There is no comparison, not one, between the two releases. One is authentic North and one isn't - it's that simple, and a simple A/B listening will tell you that instantly - unless you simply don't want to hear it or unless you don't really know what North is all about.

Third off, this is one of the best-sounding mono recordings I've ever heard - full-bodied, with great dynamics - it really sounds amazing. If I was a big member of the IFCINHTKENTK
or whatever that group is, I would vote this one of the albums of the year, even though it's only February.

Fourth off - synching the music to the film - how interesting it is, and all the timings referenced in the wonderful booklet match up perfectly. There was never really any way to match up anything on the Goldsmith recording because so much of it is error-ridden, either in notes or in titles or in how much music was recorded.

So, how does the music work with the images? Well, after giving it some thought, Kubrick was completely right to do what he did for the film he made in 1968. It would not have become the iconic film it is. Forty years on, I think the film would have aged better with some of the North score. I think Kubrick was spot on not to have any music in most of the dawn of man sequence - it's great without music until the monolith, and the North music just makes it seem like a movie instead of these magnificent tableaus. Zarathustra is also a perfect choice for the opening of the film.

But, beginning with the Space Station Docking cue, North comes completely alive. It's nearly impossible to divorce yourself from The Blue Danube and its use in this scene, but the North is so magical and such a brilliantly written cue, that I watched the sequence about four times, mesmerized. Once the Danube version has been seen a few times, it really, at least for me, becomes interminable to watch, whereas the North, as I said, is magical and, most importantly, gives the sequence pace, without losing its majesty. A great cue.

The Moon Bus cue is also fantastic and works perfectly with the images and I like it much better than the piece used in the film. The other cue that is perfection is Space Talk which, when synched properly (the Varese booklet misidentifies how the cue should work), just lends that whole sequence a really wonderful quality (I believe it's sans music in the film).

In short, if you have the Goldsmith (and many who do say they never play it - and when you hear the soundtrack recording you'll know why), you don't really have this score. Just because it's stereo and Jerry doesn't mean it's authentic or shows off this score at its best. For those who say they don't "get" Mr. North's music, but they do get Hans Zimmer or Klaus Baedelt or any of these guys, well, I don't know what to tell you. For me, Mr. North's music has always been accessible, even as a twelve-year-old seeing Spartacus. No, it's not a bunch of monothematic thumping and boring repetitious meanderings that all sound the same in just about every film made today - North, unlike these boys and girls who score today, actually had a voice, he was unique, and he was brilliant and anyone who calls himself a film score fan (and not just a fanboy (as Ford would say) who can't see beyond their own generation, shouldn't be without this recording - it's that good.

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 2:52 AM   
 By:   Ag^Janus   (Member)

I'm expecting a copy soon, I couldn't order it fast enough.

I however disagree with music not composed for the film being used. I don't associate Blue Danube or Zarathustra with 2001 at all. Hearing them in the film is a bizarre twisting for me. I think it's boarding on abuse of the music composed to have it associated to images it was not in anyway intended to accompany by the composer.

Perhaps a closer collaboration between North and Kubrik would have yielded a better result for both artists.

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 5:14 AM   
 By:   Ed   (Member)

I made an attempt to start this discussion here:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=39514&forumID=1

I'm glad to see the release of this legendary rejected score has made an impression on others. I agree with you that 2001 works better with Kubrick's music choices, but I really, really enjoy what North wrote for the film as music. It has a wonderful, brutal quality to it, like "The Rite Of Spring" meets Spartacus.

I'm more favorably inclined toward the Varese re-recording, though. Clearly, there were editing choices made, but it works for me. I think Goldsmith took his conducting chores very seriously. The Intrada recording favors the inner voices of the orchestra and the percussion more than the Varese, but that's just the way symphonic recordings are done these days, I guess. Having said that, there is no substitute for the original.

A Jupiter-sized thank-you to Doug, Roger, Nick, and everyone at Intrada who made this release possible.

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 5:32 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

I think it's boarding on abuse of the music composed to have it associated to images it was not in anyway intended to accompany by the composer.

I agree. Source music is one thing, when the music is there for justified reasons (say, a John Dowland lute piece in an Elizabethan drama or The Garry Owen in a movie about Custer), but stealing a dead composer's music and using it totally out of context is worse than disrespectful.
How would Kubrick have felt if his film was stolen and used as background iimages for rap concert?

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 5:44 AM   
 By:   SteffM   (Member)

But, beginning with the Space Station Docking cue, North comes completely alive. It's nearly impossible to divorce yourself from The Blue Danube and its use in this scene, but the North is so magical and such a brilliantly written cue, that I watched the sequence about four times, mesmerized. Once the Danube version has been seen a few times, it really, at least for me, becomes interminable to watch, whereas the North, as I said, is magical and, most importantly, gives the sequence pace, without losing its majesty. A great cue.

The Moon Bus cue is also fantastic and works perfectly with the images and I like it much better than the piece used in the film.
:

I totally agree about the Space Station cue. I once tried to match the Goldsmith recording of this track to the film, and the result is just beautiful to behold. But I respect Kubrick's decision, for he wanted some kind of cultural, old-world reference there, his sociological comment about the order of things and the past meeting the future... Besides, North's waltz later found such a new, strong life as the DRAGONSLAYER End Credits that upon hearing it, I can't help but think of that film.

Though personally, I couldn't in any way substitute the otherworldly strains of Ligeti's Lux Aeterna for the Moon Bus sequence, which will always be, for some strange subconscious reason, my all-time favourite movie moment, making it all the more dreamlike...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I made an attempt to start this discussion here:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=39514&forumID=1

I'm glad to see the release of this legendary rejected score has made an impression on others. I agree with you that 2001 works better with Kubrick's music choices, but I really, really enjoy what North wrote for the film as music. It has a wonderful, brutal quality to it, like "The Rite Of Spring" meets Spartacus.

I'm more favorably inclined toward the Varese re-recording, though. Clearly, there were editing choices made, but it works for me. I think Goldsmith took his conducting chores very seriously. The Intrada recording favors the inner voices of the orchestra and the percussion more than the Varese, but that's just the way symphonic recordings are done these days, I guess. Having said that, there is no substitute for the original.

A Jupiter-sized thank-you to Doug, Roger, Nick, and everyone at Intrada who made this release possible.


I did the A/B comparison to Goldsmith, and I find his conducting ponderous - the whole thing sounds heavy and bloated, with none of the North "sound" - the ethereal quality of his string writing - in Goldsmith's hands it sounds more like a Goldsmith score than a North score - I have generally found Goldmith's conducting of North to be sub-par - none of the re-recordings comes close to the originals.

Plus the whole concert hall vibe just isn't as immediate as the original tracks. When the Goldsmith came out, I listened to it exactly once, felt I'd done my duty and didn't take it out again until doing this A/B comparison. On the other hand, I've already listened to the new CD about six times because it's simply a whole different experience and it now sounds like an Alex North score.

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 8:30 AM   
 By:   Stefancos   (Member)

Critisism on Goldsmith, on the FSM board?

Has hell frozen over?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   The_Mark_of_Score-O   (Member)

I think it's bo[dering] on abuse of the music composed to have it associated to images it was not in anyway intended to accompany by the composer.

Using the On the Beautiful Blue Danube waltz as an example, I find it no more "abuse of" J. Strauss, jr's music or intent to have it accompany the image of an spaceplane docking with a wheeling space station, than to fit the composition to abstract images of, say, flower petals drifting on water, which is certainly in the spirit in which Strauss composed it.

Ligeti's suing Kubrick and MGM over unauthorized alterations to his music as used in 2001 is quite another matter, however, and the composer was entirely justified in seeking compensation for "slanders" done to his music and person.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Trying to sync the music with the visuals is a good idea - especially for rejected scores.

But isn't it the case that movies run at slightly different speeds in the US compared to, say, the UK? And that would affect the accuracy of the listed timings.

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   Stefancos   (Member)

It would only be effective using a NTSC encoded DVD, so Region 1 and 3.

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 9:38 AM   
 By:   Moonie   (Member)

Critisism on Goldsmith, on the FSM board?

Has hell frozen over?



Oh there's been a few and a very few others criticize the Master, it goes in one ear and out the other and I say , I didn't hear that!
hehe.

sd smile

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 1:06 PM   
 By:   Hellstrom   (Member)



Thanks Haines, for your very positive review of the new 2001 CD. It is certainly a very subjective listening experience when contrasted with what Kubrick decided to use. There are pros and cons in all the choices of course, and I agree with you that it is preferable to have the "Dawn of Man" scenes unscored, but North's later cues such as "Space Station Docking," "Space Talk," "Trip to Moon," etc, are far better than the temp track. In fact "Space Talk," when correctly synched is a real joy, especially the latter part that coincides with Vivian's appearance on the picturephone. How tender and romantic it becomes.....and I'm sure that was a sympathetic nod from Alex to Stanley---father to father.

To Falkirk Bairn:

Yes, it is unfortunately true that region 2 PAL discs won't synch correctly to our timings in the booklet. As a Brit myself it is endlessly annoying that our frame rate is 25 per second as opposed to 24 on our TV and Video broadcasts. When I recently isolated the "Carousel" and "King and I" scores for worldwide release on DVD, it amused me to hear the "pitch-shift" on the region 2 disc. As of course the whole film is speeded up, the synch holds, but the music runs fast, the pitch changes, and it's not the same. It's a bummer. If you have an all-region player, isolated scores are best heard on the NTSC-encoded DVDs. Sorry.

 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 2:33 PM   
 By:   Ed   (Member)

A question for those who've been syncing North's score to the film: do the long sustains in "Space Station Docking" relate to the Orion Interior shots where Heywood is sleeping and his pen in floating next to him?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 2:56 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Yes, that seems to be the way it works.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 3:05 PM   
 By:   Hellstrom   (Member)

Yes, that seems to be the way it works.

Interestingly, of course the "space station" scene as we know it in the finished print of the film plays only with music and images. It is unknown whether or not "f/x" were ever to be part of that scene, especially in the interior Orion portions. Alex's sustained chords may have meant to feature lower in the mix when contrasted with other sounds.

As we state in the booklet, the cue known as "Interior Orion" on the Varese re-recording is in actuality the "coda" to the docking sequence, but as an afterthought, (and we use take 2 on its own as track 13 on the disc), it was alternately intended to be used for the "Heywood, sleeping," segment, and track 13 synchs pretty well there, starting at 21.38.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 3:53 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I think it's bo[dering] on abuse of the music composed to have it associated to images it was not in anyway intended to accompany by the composer.

Using the On the Beautiful Blue Danube waltz as an example, I find it no more "abuse of" J. Strauss, jr's music or intent to have it accompany the image of an spaceplane docking with a wheeling space station, than to fit the composition to abstract images of, say, flower petals drifting on water, which is certainly in the spirit in which Strauss composed it.

Ligeti's suing Kubrick and MGM over unauthorized alterations to his music as used in 2001 is quite another matter, however, and the composer was entirely justified in seeking compensation for "slanders" done to his music and person.


This is your contribution to this thread? One has heard rumors, oh, yes, one has heard rumors that 2001: A Space Odyssey is your favorite film and that you have tons of memorabilia culled from, shall we politely say, sources. So, have you not purchased this new CD of the original music to your favorite film, if only as a curio to add to your collection? Do you have no thoughts on it? This thread isn't about Ligeti and his litigation, this thread is, as the header title suggests, the North score, the recording and how North's music functions in the first part of the film, as compared to the classical tracks.

Have you purchased the disc, Mr. Hearn?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 7:34 PM   
 By:   Bob Bryden   (Member)

A stunning release.
For fun - I made a master-comp from both versions - alternating original tracks with
the Goldsmith re-recording. The re-recordings
hold up quite well. Jerry was a true fan of
North's and did-him-proud in the interpreting.
Of course, the original tracks have an edge,
a bite - as they should. All in all - I'm in awe of what I've lived to see released.
Thanks to God, Intrada, FSM, Varese, Prometheus, Rhino, etc.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 7:54 PM   
 By:   Brian D. Mellies   (Member)

I haven't gotten my hands on the new release yet, so any comments I make are subject to reinterpretation later.

That said, it has long been my belief Alex North was the best conductor of Alex North (not withstanding the fact his long time associate Henry Brandt was occasionally his uncredited assistant conductor). And this includes his great acolyte, Jerry Goldsmith. I suppose this is because there are times a composer finds the language used to annotate music wanting.

I know for a fact when North conducted the Main Title music at the initial "Spartacus" sessions, it was so powerful, and such a surprise to the musicians, they broke into spontaneous applause at the end of the first take. It's probably also worth noting the producers found the music to be perhaps too powerful and asked him to pull it back, which, in subsequent takes, he dutifully did. There are notes, in North's hand, in which he refers to the making of "Spartacus" as "The Amateur Hour", but that's another story.

While I think it unfortunate Kubrick saw fit to unceremoniously jettison North's score without even the courtesy of telling the composer he was doing so (North attended the London premiere fully expecting to hear his music), I think we do not need to mourn it's loss too much. After all, nearly every note of it appeared in subsequent North films.

North had, after all, the last laugh.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 10:41 PM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Thanks to Stefancos and Hellstrom for your replies.

It's unfortunate about the different speeds but it doesn't detract from North's excellent score.

I quite enjoy trying to sync up scores that have very limited liner notes with the images and I go down the alternate route of linking everything in with the cue timings rather than the visual timings.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2007 - 11:31 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

How would Kubrick have felt if his film was stolen and used as background iimages for rap concert?

He probably would have sued them for damages if he felt he had a case. He was a clever guy. But he doubtless couldn't have objected to the gesture on artistic grounds...

... wonder what he would have thought of the 2001 parodies in MAGNOLIA and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY?

 
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