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Music Scores from Aerospace Movies

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Music Scores from Aerospace Movies

Old 26th May 2011, 16:50
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Music Scores from Aerospace Movies

Which are your favourite music scores from aerospace movies?

Was yours written for the movie, or picked off the shelf?
Was the movie script: largely factual, based on fact, pure fiction, or science fiction?
The music must be evocative of flight.

Being British, I love the works of Coates, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Goodwin, et al. But I'm going to start the ball rolling by nominating an American, James Horner, and his work for Apollo 13. I now discover that he did grow up here, and studied at the Royal College of Music in London.

The best film themes become synonymous with the movie, and Apollo 13 is one of them. The script, although it takes minor liberties with the facts, is worthy of Jim Lovell's account. And Horner's music is worthy of them both. Lovell, Hanks, Howard... and Horner.

Chris

Apollo 13
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Old 26th May 2011, 17:32
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I think the only bit of Walton's score that made it into the Battle of Britain is my favourite - Battle in the Air? Wonderful music accompanying a great scene, both of which seem to capture what I can only imagine it must have been like, from the various accounts I've read from those who were there. To be honest, I'm not quite so keen on Goodwin's contribution though, too martial for my taste!

Mind you, the music at the start of Catch 22 is pretty choice too - just birds singing and the sound of Wright R-2600s starting up... magic!

Still, I'll stick with Battle of Britain.
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Old 26th May 2011, 20:04
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I found George Fenton's stirring music to Memphis Belle wonderfully evocative of the era, and beautifully arranged with the flying sequences.
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Old 26th May 2011, 21:05
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"The World is Mine" the dreamy music / love theme used to accompany the aerial sequences in "Strategic Air Command", a film made way back in 1954/55 is hard to beat.


Music was composed by long established Hollywood composer Victor Young (one of his last compositions – he died in 1956, a year after the film’s release).

Another favourite is "Apocalypse Now" and one of the best-known pieces of music of all-time "The Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner which plays as a U.S Army helicopter cavalry group charges in to eliminate a Viet Cong outpost.




A clip can be seen here:


Music starts about three minutes in.

Last edited by Warmtoast; 26th May 2011 at 21:37.
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Old 26th May 2011, 21:37
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On Treadi's theme (geddit?) I'm with Battle of Britian but Goodwin's 'Aces High' march is a real winner for me. I can't say where I've picked up much knowledge of the genre before, but that march, to me, is pure German military! If he'd written it for them in 1940 they'd have won!

YouTube - ‪Battle of Britain

(Can't do the embed thingy. I've tried. Honestly, I've tried)
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Old 27th May 2011, 07:50
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Dr Strangelove is more noted for Vera Lynn and "We'll Meet Again" at the closing of the film but I think the opening sequence of a B-52 refuelling to the sound track of "Try A Little Tenderness" is both ironic and apt.
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Old 27th May 2011, 14:38
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'Aces High' - The opening scene of Goerings arrival on the airfield showing the line-up of He111's - and his Mercedes motorcade driving past the lines of bombers and aircrew to the superb bands rendering of 'Aces High' is a great credit to Goodwin in getting the German military sound so very right.

...
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Old 27th May 2011, 19:24
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The TV film 'Affair with an aeroplane' used a passage from Dvorak's (sp ?) string serenade...I am not really a classic music lover but it is a lovely piece.

The film was about Major Jack Parham and his aeronca in pre war days.
ISTR that the string serenade was one of his favourite tunes.
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Old 27th May 2011, 20:39
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Old 28th May 2011, 12:11
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'Aces High' is a great credit to Goodwin in getting the German military sound so very right.
Could it be because Goodwin's first two-bar phrase is a kind of melodic mirror-image of Das Lied der Deutsche, the German national anthem ("Deutschland, Deutschland uber ...." etc)?
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Old 28th May 2011, 13:34
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How about Jerry Goldsmith's score to The Blue Max and Roy Budd's score to Zeppelin? Good stuff.
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Old 28th May 2011, 15:03
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Could it be because Goodwin's first two-bar phrase is a kind of melodic mirror-image of Das Lied der Deutsche, the German national anthem ("Deutschland, Deutschland uber ...." etc)?
Nope, not getting that. Goodwin's theme starts on the upbeat then climbs the tonic arpeggio. Haydn's starts on the first beat and meanders in step around the first four degrees of the scale. Besides, Deutschland Lied is on a melody from a not-particularly-Teutonic-sounding classical string quartet movement.
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Old 29th May 2011, 03:42
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No-one's mentioned 'The Dam Buster's March'. I've got a version on cassette played by a Gavioli 'steam'* organ powered by a Fowler Showman's engine - awesome.
*For the uniniated, a 'steam' organ actually used compressed air from an electric pump driven by a generator on the steam engine.
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Old 29th May 2011, 20:15
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Not a film, but the TV series about the Ark Royal back in the 70s; Phantom doing Aeros to the backdrop of Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here'. Awesome!
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Old 30th May 2011, 21:42
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Aces High top of my list but I can't say there's a bad 1 of the top of my head. I really liked Bill Conti's music for The Right Stuff.
Love everything about Strategic Air Command, such a shame it'll never be released on DVD, it was apparently James Stewarts least favourite movie & never spoke about it.
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Old 31st May 2011, 06:21
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Dam Busters March

I'm with 'chevvron', its the Dam Busters March.
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Old 1st Jun 2011, 12:16
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How about....

Mark Mainwaring's Phantom Phinale 2, the Queen's Birthday Flypast 1992.
16 Wattisham F4's in a diamond, all backed by Queen's One Vision, what more could you ask for?
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Old 2nd Jun 2011, 08:40
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Thanks to all, and for reminding me of several I'd forgotten.

Re the Dam Busters March, I heard recently that Coates had actually composed it for some other purpose?

Like tradigraph, I think Walton's score for the Battle of Britain, ("Battle in the Air"?) is chilling and fantastic. Did he write "Spitfire Prelude and Fugue" for First of the Few ?

I absolutely agree that the sounds of aero engines can be even more evocative than music. Off topic, the sound of Merlins from (the Spanish) Bf 109s and He 111s slightly spoiled the Battle of Britain for me. I wonder if that could be fixed.
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Old 2nd Jun 2011, 10:20
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Opening sequence and music from Where Eagles Dare - outstanding!
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Old 2nd Jun 2011, 13:14
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633 Squadron for me, another Ron Goodwin composition.
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