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 Posted:   May 18, 2009 - 4:13 PM   
 By:   KevinSmith   (Member)

Two things about the score:

1) The synthesizers are somewhat distracting from the film. If money was an issue (which I doubt that it could have been because this movie is one of the most expensive German films of all time. However, they could have elected to skimp the money on the music), then I can understand using synthesizers instead of an orchestra. But if there was no money problem, why use a synthesizer when you can get a real orchestra to play to express the same musical ideas/feelings?

An example where I feel a real orchestra could have given a different result is when the captain, the chief, and Lt. Werner board the U-boat for the first time in the submarine pen. We hear the synthesized french horns/brass fanfares trying to rouse the audience and to make the musical statement that "captain aboard, the boat is ready to go". However, given the weak power/audio technology of the synthesizers (which were very novel in the early 80s), the brass fanfares sound a little limp and date the film.

2) The overwhelming repetition of the title theme can get on the nerves in the ocean scenes in the longest version (TV miniseries). I would agree that the title theme in catchy, but through lack of variation, it becomes rather stale.

 
 
 Posted:   May 18, 2009 - 4:21 PM   
 By:   ahem   (Member)

I couldn't disagree more. Perfectly scored, and proof that period movies don't need orchestral scores all the time (this makes that point better than Chariots of Fire ever could, IMHO).

I think Hans Zimmer had an eye on Das Boot when he scored Crimson Tide.

Doldinger should have kept scoring big movies, in my opinion. For such a brief run in the limelight he sure made a great impression.

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2009 - 4:38 PM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

I love this score, I certainly don't think it would be any better if performed by an orchestra.

I do agree the lack of variation in the main theme calls attention to itself after awhile. It does get a little redundant. But what a great theme!

 
 
 Posted:   May 18, 2009 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   betenoir   (Member)

. . . Perfectly scored, and proof that period movies don't need orchestral scores all the time . . .

Doldinger should have kept scoring big movies, in my opinion. For such a brief run in the limelight he sure made a great impression.


I agree with ahem, and Michael. This is a superb score! Oddly, the first time I saw the film, I immediately loved the score, but the film itself was so powerful that I kind of spaced out the music afterward. I saw it again, and made a mental note to get the score. It took quite awhile, because I had to special order the LP.

The expanded CD was a welcome addition, and was a rare occasion when the rearrangement of tracks from the chronological was good, I think, because it ended with a bit of an upbeat rather than tragedy. Makes a less draining stand-alone listen that way. It's also one of the very few discs where I don't mind some dialog, since those are in tracks at the end.

I too would like to have heard more from Doldinger.

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2009 - 5:19 PM   
 By:   Elmo Bernstein   (Member)

But if there was no money problem, why use a synthesizer when you can get a real orchestra to play to express the same musical ideas/feelings

The score for Das Boot does use an orchestra. It is a small orchestra, with a prominent number of synths, but those are real horns and trombones as they board the U-Boat. And those are real strings when they escape Gibraltar.

 
 
 Posted:   May 19, 2009 - 11:51 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I would actually go the opposite route and say that the film would have been WORSE if the score had been predominantly orchestral. It's the electronic timbres that create the sensation of claustrophobia, mechanics and "underwater" anxiety. Doing things otherwise would not have made it the classic it is today, much like you don't replace Kubrick's classical compositions from 2001 and replace it with North's rejected score if you want to retain its "canon" value in film (music) history.

 
 Posted:   May 19, 2009 - 12:12 PM   
 By:   Urs Lesse   (Member)

Klaus Doldinger has - apart from his jazz credentials (look up his Live Jazz version of "Das Boot" featuring his band "Passport") - a reputation first and foremost as a TV composer. He composed several famous (i.e. in Germany) title tunes of decades-long running TV series over here. Among his most popular ones are the themes from "Ein Fall für Zwei" (Warning/Tease: Hyper-1980s synth theme which has developed a lot since its inception in 1981)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Rv86topXE and "tatort" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veOJYxHlgW8. You can find several compilation CDs of his TV music.

Urs

 
 
 Posted:   May 19, 2009 - 2:37 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Klaus Doldinger has - apart from his jazz credentials (look up his Live Jazz version of "Das Boot" featuring his band "Passport") - a reputation first and foremost as a TV composer. He composed several famous (i.e. in Germany) title tunes of decades-long running TV series over here. Among his most popular ones are the themes from "Ein Fall für Zwei" (Warning/Tease: Hyper-1980s synth theme which has developed a lot since its inception in 1981)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Rv86topXE and "tatort" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veOJYxHlgW8. You can find several compilation CDs of his TV music.

Urs


Yeah, I remember they showed TATORT on Norwegian TV in the early 90's. Some good music there (also by cult favourite Peter Thomas, if I remember correctly). I didn't know that Doldinger worked on this. Thanks for the info.

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2014 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I just found this LP for a dollar. It is very cool. I never saw the film. I'm sure the synths were a deliberate aesthetic choice and not viewed as cost-cutting measure.

How is the film?

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2014 - 10:55 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I just found this LP for a dollar. It is very cool. I never saw the film. I'm sure the synths were a deliberate aesthetic choice and not viewed as cost-cutting measure.

How is the film?


It's brilliant -- especially the extended version.

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2014 - 11:24 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Thanks. Is the extended version the typical version on DVD or Blu Ray?

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2014 - 4:39 PM   
 By:   betenoir   (Member)

Thanks. Is the extended version the typical version on DVD or Blu Ray?

I don't know about that, but Thor is correct, the film is brilliant, and emotionally moving. One of the best war films of all time, from any country. I first saw it in a theater with an old friend who served in the merchant marine during the war, on cargo ship runs to Murmansk, and ships in his convoys were being sunk by U-boats. He had tears in his eyes when the film ended, and not for the fate of a torpedoed ship but for the U-boat crew, though he wouldn't admit it. See it in whatever form you can.

 
 Posted:   May 11, 2014 - 5:06 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Well I'll back up the OP! Nice electronic score on it's own, but a total distraction in context of the film, save a few scenes.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 7:11 AM   
 By:   mikael488   (Member)

I'd say this score is predominantly orchestral rather than electronic. As a matter of fact, most of the tracks feature real strings and brass. The synths used included a Minimoog (used for a lot of the bass sounds) and Prophet 5 as well as the Fairlight CMI I sampler**. The latter was mainly used for those raunchy, raw, semi industrial types of sound (eg the submarine sonar and motor sounds) but I also recognize the breathy (pan)flute patch and the (in)famous 'orchestra hit/stab' sound which would become so overused a few years later.

** Das Boot is one of the very first scores to utilize this digital sampler.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 7:11 AM   
 By:   mikael488   (Member)

Double post deleted....

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 3:08 PM   
 By:   counterpoint   (Member)

That`s Doldinger`s original 70s end credit music for TATORT. I prefer it over the newer version. It has those wonderful groovy wild organ parts. Love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvalGxHcgCw

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 3:16 PM   
 By:   counterpoint   (Member)

That`s another nice Doldinger melody. The theme from the Fa soap commercials in the 70s. Too bad only that extended pop version has been released since they produced many cues with that theme that had a wonderful lush exotic flair.

I`m sorry that doesn`t have anything to do with DAS BOOT.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btys15P1h4M

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2014 - 6:26 PM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

The standard American Blu-ray of Das Boot is the Director's Cut version, which is a medium between the theatrical release and the mini-series version. I happen to prefer this version to the theatrical (I don't think I've ever come across anybody who didn't), but I've never seen the mini-series.

This is one of the greatest war films ever made… definitely worth checking out.

I happen to really like the score. There are several different themes that are developed throughout, and their use in at least the director's cut of the film is spread out enough that I never found any of it too repetitive. For my money the expanded soundtrack album has enough variation and a good flow to keep the score fresh to the end.

The synths never bothered me. I always felt that the synthetic sounds were well matched to the claustrophobia of the submarine, and that may be one of the reasons why this score made such an impression on the genre. I do think that the overall sound of The Hunt for Red October and Crimson Tide bear the influence of this score.

 
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