BEST USES OF CLASSICAL MUSIC IN FILM
Movies are probably the reason I learned to like classical music to begin with.
- •"Tristan und Isolde Prelude," Richard Wagner - MelancholiaI absolutely love this movie, mainly because of the inclusion of this song. Not only is this one of the best uses of classical music in film, but it's one of the best uses of music in general. The music is so powerful, and the beats so perfectly line up with specific points in the movie, it's almost as if they were written for each other. This film is a ballet more than a drama.
- •"Toccata & Fugue in D Minor," Bach - FantasiaI know it's cheating to include Fantasia on this list considering the entire movie is a classical music fest, but this opening number is truly magical. The imagery, the song itself, the rolling hills, and the many WTF moments, I never quite appreciated Bach before seeing this as a child (or heard of Bach back then).
- •"Minuetto," Luigo Boccherini - This Is Spinal TapWhen Spinal Tap breaks into this classical piece at the end of their song "Heavy Duty," it is one of the most pretentious, hilarious, awesome things the band could have done. Real life band Umphrey's Mcgee often ends their song "All In Time," in this way, and it is just as amazing.
- •"Also Sprach Zarathustra," Richard Strauss - 2001: A Space OdysseyThis use of music is so incredible, that this classic piece is now completely associated with the Kubrick film. It masterfully captures the majesty and grandeur of the ambitious movie. Epic is the best description here.
- •"Flight of the Bumblebee," Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Melody TimeAnother Disney music-based film, Melody Time turns this piece into "Bumble Boogie," a rocking, yet jazzy version of the classic. There are so many great examples of artists rockifying classical music that I think I'll make another list about it.
- •"La Gazza Ladra," Rossini - SherlockYes I know this is a TV show, but can it count if each episode is the length of a movie? This classical song is in the season two finale "The Reichenbach Fall," the best episode in the entire series. Moriarty listens to the song while simultaneously breaking into where the Crown Jewels are kept, opening the vaults at the Bank of England, and unlocking the cells at Pentonville Prison. The scene is incredibly choreographed and is very fitting for Moriarty's flamboyant nature.
- •Handel's Serebande in Barry LyndonSuggested by @richardrushfield
- •"In the Hall of the Mountain King," Edvard Grieg - The Social NetworkRemixed by the brilliant Fincher favs Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and used during the Winkelvii's regatta scene. It builds perfectly over images of the lush English countryside and mimics the boiling rage the twins feel upon losing the race by thismuch and subsequently finding out that Zuckerburg has expanded the Facebook.Suggested by @Kellendria
- •Rhapsody in Blue in ManhattanSuggested by @richardrushfield
- •Ravel's "pavane pour une infante defunte" in "the dark knight rises"Buzzard but surprisingly effective use of this magnificent work originally written for piano by ravel, later orchestrated for chamber orchestra.Suggested by @dave
- •Beethoven used in 'a clockwork orange'Suggested by @alibaron