Friday, 25 March 2016


Classical music to play in the dark courtesy of György Ligeti’s 1967 composition Lontano. If the music sounds strangely familiar, you’re probably thinking of The Shining, a fragment of the music can be heard in the film (around the 2:33 mark of the clip) but the entire piece is worth listening to, those growling chords I’d wager were a big influence on James Horner’s score for Aliens. I’ve been looking at Ligeti credits on the imdb and I’m surprised to see how underused his music is in Cinema. Ligeti’s work lends itself quite readily to chillers like The Shining and Shutter Island, or films of mystery like 2001 or Eyes Wide Shut, but I particularly like Micheal Mann’s use of Ligeti’s Cello Concerto in his cops n’ robbers epic Heat, heard during the botched stakeout sequence. I suspect Michael Mann designed the sequence with this particular piece of music in mind, the opening moment, a wide aerial shot of a deserted nocturnal LA street seems to mimic the opening long line of the Cello Concerto. Ligeti’s extraordinary music is well represented on CD and if you’re game, I’d highly recommend the 5CD Ligeti Project which includes the Cello Concerto and Lontano.

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