- Various Artists
- Jocelyn Pook
Music Used in Trailers
Review: Eyes Wide Shut
4 / 5 Stars
Like most Kubrick films, Eyes Wide Shut was scored mostly with pre-existing music. Even the original score for the film served mainly to re-work pre-existing material. And what will everybody remember from this one? In all likelihood, the three-note piece by Ligeti, which sounds like the tinkering of a child who has not yet begun to discover the joys of the other dozens of keys on a piano. This piece works amazingly in the film, but on it's own, it's dull as a spoon (and twice, at that!).
As for me, I rather like the "Waltz" by Shostakovich. Again, an instance of Kubrick choosing music that fits the film like a glove, but this time, it's a piece that is actually enjoyable outside the film. Who would have thought? There's actually a fairly amusing story behind Shostakovich's calling the piece a "Jazz Suite," but I'll not go into that. As for the other jazz on the album, it passes without incident, really nothing bad at all, but nothing extraordinary. As for Liszt, I'd sooner take his symphonic poems than the solo piano piece, "Grey Clouds". (Additionally, I really don't recall where the piece on the album played in the film).
So what's left? Chris Isaak's "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" is a blast - and far and away the most accessible thing on this album (which is arguably the ultimate example of Kubrick's fickle and diverse musical tastes). After that, we have the original score by Jocelyn Pook. Who is Jocelyn Pook? As it turns out, a composer/performer whose work Kubrick had heard in a concert and it struck his fancy. How's her music? At the risk of sounding unmusical, I'll go with "creepy". "Masked Ball" (which was one of the pieces re-worked for the film at Kubrick's request) is wonderful, bringing to mind what I thought to be the strongest scene - visually and aurally - in the film. The two cues composed for the film - "Naval Officer" and "The Dream" - are haunting minimalist inventions, heavy on the strings, with solo players providing the melodic flow to accompany repeating ostinatos from the rest of the players. "Migrations" is, in my opinion, the least of Pook's contributions. While I tend to enjoy Eastern-influenced music in general, this piece really just doesn’t do it for me; I tend to hit the repeat button rather than letting the album play through this far.
All in all, a nice album to have around if you're prone to mood swings (especially in your musical interests!), and one that will certainly bring to mind images of the film for any who have experienced it. Whether that is good or bad is up to you - and that's how Kubrick would have wanted it.
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