I remember seeing “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the first time as quite a young boy and the way that Stanley Kubrick used music in that film was hugely memorable and controversial. I didn’t realize at the time that the distinguished film composer Alex North (who had scored “Spartacus” for Kubrick) had written an entire score for the film which Kubrick then ditched at the last minute in favour of the patchwork of existing classical music that he had edited to. Incredible how “The Blue Danube” and “Also Sprach Zarathustra” are now indelibly associated with space because of that decision.
It is said that North only knew of Kubrick’s actions when he attended the premiere screening in New York and found that his music was nowhere to be heard. Ouch!
Debate still rages as to whether Kubrick made the right decision. North’s friend Jerry Goldsmith re-recorded his original score in 1993 so it is possible to compare and contrast the two experiences. From the bits I’ve seen and heard, there is no question that it would have been a very different film with the North score. If you’re curious, you can do some comparisons of extracts on Youtube and the Jerry Goldsmith recording is available on i-Tunes. Let me know what you think – did Stanley get it right?