Last year’s Academy Award for Best Picture, The King’s Speech, tells the story of how King George VI, who was never intended to be king, overcomes a debilitating speech impediment in order to better rule England during the perilous years of the 2nd World War.
The movie’s climatic scene, where King George successfully delivers a national radio address on the brink of World War 2 was set to the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. The piece starts softly and slowly and gradually builds to a dramatic, full orchestral finale. The entire movement is propelled by a an unrelenting ostinato rhythm that gains in force taking on an almost frenzied tone by the movement’s end.
Because the movie is a historical drama, it lends itself well to a classical music soundtrack. The story revolves around the English Royal Family. The music lends itself well to the regal atmosphere in the film.
This is one of the things classical music underscore does well. It can add a refined, even divine, beauty to a scene. Classical music is quite versatile as soundtrack but I hear it mostly used to underscore serious positive emotions like glory, bravery, eloquence, refinement.
There are exceptions however. Clockwork Orange is one, where extreme violence occurs against a soundtrack of (mostly) Beethoven’s orchestral music. Here the music creates a type of absurd burlesque, making a sarcastic societal comment on violence.
Terrence Malik’s new film The Tree of Life relies only on a classical music soundtrack as well. It makes sense, Malik’s storytelling is poetic and non-linear and attempts to bring a special type of beauty to filmmaking. The film zones in from theological and cosmological musings to capture the smallest human gestures.
French Canadian filmmaker André Forcier makes great use of Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King in his film Je Me Souviens. This track was licensed from the UniqueTracks Production Music Library. You can hear it used in the film’s trailer.
Because the classical music recordings in the UniqueTracks library use authentic symphony orchestras, the tracks have a genuine, unsynthesized sound. UniqueTracks can license every movement of Beethoven’s 9 symphonies. including the popular Ode to Joy, the Choral finale from the 9th Symphony. We have Bach’s greatest titles as well as several full Tchaikovsky ballets.
UniqueTracks licenses royalty free music, sound effects and animated stock footage to media producers who, in turn, integrate the media into their DVDs, videos, podcasts, radio and TV advertising, Flash and Powerpoint presentations and music-on-hold programming.