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 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 9:30 AM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

I'm trying to find some information on what music from Shostakovich's symphonies was used to re-score THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN but I'm having no luck just googling.

I don't know his work well enough to watch the film with his music and work it out myself.

Would anyone know which parts (movements would be specific enough) of which symphonies are used?

I believe that this link to Youtube shows the film with Shostakovich's music attached:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlOiT28NTDA

Thanks in advance for any help.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Ah think the bairn needs a tall guy tae the rescue!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Aye! So I believe.

And it seems I need some help posting new topics in the correct part of the forum. This was meant to go in the General Discussion. But it will do here.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2011 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Just wanting to keep this topic on the front page for a few more days.

I now have Shostakovich's symphonies 4, 5, 8, 10 and 11 to listen to and I'm hoping to get acquainted with them for when I watch THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN in order to get some sense of how his symphony music was used in the film.

I'm still looking for any help in "spotting" the various symphonies in the film.

NP: Hunting Humans - Evan Evans

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2011 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Chris ( TG ) does look in OT and I'm sure when he see's the magic words 'Dmitri Shostakovich' he'll help as much as he can

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2011 - 11:17 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Yes, well, going from the youtube clip, the first 3 minutes and 19 seconds are the start of the 5th symphony, then there's 20 seconds or so of "new" linking music, then an excerpt from the 11th, second movement, which goes on to 9'32". Sym 10 (third movement) steps in at this point, and goes on until 14'10", whereupon a bugle call from near the end of the 2nd mvt of the 11th sym appears for just under ten seconds in a sly edit, and then reverts to the 10th, first movement until 19'55", followed after a clumsy edit by another part of the same movement (well it is over 26 minutes long...)

Then, when the dramatic mutiny starts around 23'40", the 4th movement of the 10th sym kicks in (NOT the 2nd mvt, as one might expect...). At this point, the 4th symphony makes its first appearance, third mvt (but you knew that already, non?) and this goes on until 29'48". Then we're back to the 11th, towards the end of the first movement. Then at or around 33'20" it cunningly jumps to the 3rd mvt of the 11th. This continues to 41'45". At this point the music jumps to the 4th mvt of the 11th, and I think there are perhaps one or two little edits. This section of the film closes at 44' with a horrid little coda that I don't recognise.

"The Odessa Steps" starts at 44'7" with the scherzo 2nd mvt of the 5th symphony, which is played in full apart from the first minute or so and he last few bars, so that it ends with the little minor key bit that is clearly intended in the film to foreshadow a spot of bother - 48'33". At this point, it reverts to the latter half of the 2nd mvt, 11th symphony for the stampede down the steps. This goes on, shatteringly, until 52'16". (Seeing this played in concert was an almost religious experience - I swear that I lost peripheral vision during this passage.) Ther follows a short excerpt from the 1st mvt of the 11th - used as a sort of intermezzo when in reality it's used in the symphony to build up the tension before anything actually happens. At 52'52" the gong introduces the 3rd mvt of the 5th symphony, which carries the baby down the steps until 55'12". A short part of the 4th sym provides the backdrop for the big guns pounding the opera house until 55'50", the first movement, six or seven minutes in, if you must know. Then up to 57'25" there's part of the 3rd mvt of the 4th sym, which is the wind down where the orchestra gets its breath back before the last tutti of the work.

After this pays the actual coda of the 4th symphony, with its steadily beating heart, ending at 1:01'11". The 11th sym returns for two or three excerpts which I think have been edited to make sense within the film, continuing to 1:5'07" where four random drum rolls introduce the 8th symphony 2nd mvt, a terrifying portrayal of mechanised war. To digress, I'm pretty sure that Clint Mansell had to follow this as a temp track at the start of his score for Sahara - the track called "Ironclad". This carries on until 1:8'44", when it's bookended by the drum rolls again. At 1:8'51", the glorious finale of the 5th symphony carries us through to the end of the film.

Interesting that the film begins and ends with the 5th symphony. Written as Shostakovich's "apology" for his deviation from the Soviet line after the avant garde excesses of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District and the (then) abandoned 4th symphony, he later said of the apparent triumphant ending of the 5th - taken at face value for the end of Potemkin -

"The rejoicing is forced, created under threat, as in Boris Godunov. It's as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying, "Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing," and you rise, shaky, and go marching off, muttering, "Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing."

TG

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2011 - 1:59 PM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Is it just me or does the 5th that opens the film sound very similar to one of the cues in John Williams THE FURY? The bit where Amy whatserfaceoncemarriedtostevenspielberg blows John Cassavettes to pieces.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2011 - 2:56 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Is it just me or does the 5th that opens the film sound very similar to one of the cues in John Williams THE FURY? The bit where Amy whatserfaceoncemarriedtostevenspielberg blows John Cassavettes to pieces.

Wow - great spot! "Gillian's Power" on the original soundtrack disc. The first third has so much in common with the opening of the fifth that I can't believe I haven't noticed it after all these years...

I never had JW down as a Shostakovich channeler - I'll have to re-think that one!

Thanks, Tim. Another for my collection of DDS references.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 7, 2011 - 3:57 PM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Chris, I really appreciate you doing this. I'm keenly interested to see how Shostakovich's music is used in this film. I've just recently bought Meisel's score for the film and I'd like to see how different the two approaches used sound.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2011 - 3:31 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Second instalment - added to my original post for continuity purposes...

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2011 - 4:38 PM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Thanks again Chris for your continuing help.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2011 - 7:51 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Thanks again Chris for your continuing help.

My pleasure. It's all finished now, and I'd be very interested to hear your conclusions.

Best

Chris

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2011 - 6:32 AM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

I'm digesting Shostakovich's work at the moment. I'm only familiar with his film music but am liking his symphonies.

I'm amazed by how well the inclusion of his work into the film works, especially with some of the great big chunks of music that are pasted into the film. Sometimes even the film looks edited to the music!

Working through the film and the music, I've a question about the music used between 9:30 and 23:30. Is this all from the 3rd movement of the 10th Symphony? The beginning is but by 14:20 there seems to be music from another source and I'm having trouble identifying it.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2011 - 7:26 AM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

Not being familiar with Shostakovich's symphonies I find the spliced music used in the film not too jarring in most cases. For someone who is very familiar with these works I'd imagine that it is quite a different experience.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2011 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)


Working through the film and the music, I've a question about the music used between 9:30 and 23:30. Is this all from the 3rd movement of the 10th Symphony? The beginning is but by 14:20 there seems to be music from another source and I'm having trouble identifying it.


Oops - checked my notes and found that I missed out a chunk of the 11th symphony from 14'10" to 23'40". Sorry for the inadvertent misinformation there - I was obviously excited about the prospect of my dinner...now corrected.

TG

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2011 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I'm digesting Shostakovich's work at the moment. I'm only familiar with his film music but am liking his symphonies.

I'm amazed by how well the inclusion of his work into the film works, especially with some of the great big chunks of music that are pasted into the film. Sometimes even the film looks edited to the music!



The 11th features heavily in the score, and is the most programmatic of DDS's fully instrumental symphonies. Like the 12th (but more so) it follows a loose story that can be found on Wiki or in liner notes.

I'd write more, and also want to double check the sequence up to 23 minutes, but it's 11.30pm and I've been up since 3am...maybe tomorrow!

TG

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2011 - 11:28 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I'd write more, and also want to double check the sequence up to 23 minutes, but it's 11.30pm and I've been up since 3am...maybe tomorrow!


Done!

Sneaky editors jumped from 10th to 11th and back again, between movements and sometimes different segments of the same movements, but I refused to be shaken off.

I'm longing for the time to listen to the 8th, 10th and 11th without having to double-back, jump around and generally abuse iTunes. I'll be doing just that over the next few days. I recommend it to anyone!

TG

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2011 - 4:32 PM   
 By:   FalkirkBairn   (Member)

I've been going through the various Shostakovich symphonies, and with the help of Chris' notes, trying to marry up what goes where in the movie. The cutting has ranged from using large segments of specific movements from symphonies through to snipping out short sequences to try for specific sequences in the film. The 11th Symphony seems to be the symphony that is used the most out of those used. And, as I think I mentioned somewhere, I'm amazed sometimes how well Shostakovich's music fits the action on screen. Would anyone know if the film was edited at all when the new music was added?

I've now gone and made my own CD of the various cuts and edits that's a close approximation of what's heard in the movie, though it doesn't all fit on one CD. Although the film is a shade over 70 minutes in length I have a total of 82 minutes (that may fit on one CD if all the pits and grooves shove up?) because there was at least one sequence early on that had a lot of edits that I got lost with and so just used an entire sequence. And, there's a bit of a difference with the various performances of all the symphonies, but I'm happy with that.

Here's some detail if anyone is interested Numbers are track numbers followed by the times from the Youtube video):

01 - "The Ship / Sleeping Sailors"
00:00 – 03:19 – 5th, First movement : 3:19

02 - "The Men and The Maggots / The Canteen" - this was a sequence where I just took an 11-minute sequence from the symphony rather than edit it down.
03:39 – 09:32 – 11th, Second movement : 5:53

03 - "The Soup / The Ship's Store / Our Daily Bread"
09:32 – 14:10 – 10th, Third movement : 4:38

04 - "The Deck / The Men Divided"
14:20 – 19:55 – 10th, First movement : 5:35

05 - "The Condemned Sailors / The Priest"
19:55 – 23:09 – 10th, First movement : 3:14

06 - "The Mutiny / Assault On The Priest"
23:40 – 24:50 – 10th, Third movement : 1:10
24:50 – 25:56 – 10th, Third movement : 1:06

07 - "Brothers, Victory Is Ours! / Vakulinchuk Shot"
25:56 – 29:48 – 4th, Third movement : 3:52

08 - "The Death of Vakulinchuk / To Odessa / Vakulinchuk Laid Out"
29:50 – 31:18 – 11th, Second movement : 1:28
31:18 – 32:36 – 11th, Second movement : 1:18
32:36 – 33:05 – 11th, Second movement : 0:29

09 - "The Harbor of Odessa / The Uprising Gathers Pace"
33:05 – 41:45 – 11th, Third movement : 8:40

10 - "The People of Odessa March / Workers United"
41:45 – 43:36 – 11th, Fourth movement : 1:51
43:36 – 44:00 – 11th, Fourth movement : 0:24

11 - "The Odessa Flotilla Greets The Potemkin"
44:07 – 48:33 – 5th, Second movement : 4:26

12 - "The Odessa Steps"
48:33 – 52:16 – 11th, Second movement : 3:43
52:16 – 52:48 – 11th, First movement : 0:32
52:48 – 55:12 – 5th, Third movement : 2:24

13 - "The Reply To The Massacre"
55:12 – 55:50 – 4th, First movement : 0:38

14 - "Stormy Meetings"
55:55 – 57:25 – 4th, Third movement : 1:30

15 - "Restless Night"
57:25 – 1:01:11 – 4th, Third movement : 3:46

16 - "The Squadron Sighted / All Hands On Deck"
1:01:12 – 1:02:54 – 10th, First movement : 1:42
1:02:54 – 1:03:07 – 11th, First movement : 0:13
1:03:07 – 1:05:05 – 11th, Second movement : 1:58

17 - "Full Steam Ahead!"
1:05:12 – 1:08:45 – 8th, Third movement : 3:33

18 - "Brothers!"
1:08:51 – 1:12:51 – 5th, Fourth movement : 4:00

Taking a listen to both Meisel's version of the Odessa Steps sequence and what was used from Shostakovih's material it seems to me that Meisel's more rhythmic music seems to emphasise the advancing troops from beginning to end. However, the Shostakovich's music highlights the fleeing of the people in the face of the advancing troops.

I'm hoping to have a listen to both and see how both scores work in the film.

 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2011 - 4:39 PM   
 By:   Sarge   (Member)

For those in the L.A. area, a restored print of POTEMKIN will be playing at The Nuart for one week -

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-battleship-potemkin-20110318,0,6765330.story

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2011 - 4:41 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

You know, Alan, this is really useful information that I doubt anyone has done before. You must keep it in case it's needed as empirical material in future analyses.

 
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