The Firebird - Finale Igor Stravinsky
You’ll recognise this famous tune as the theme played every year to introduce TV coverage of the London Marathon. In fact, it was composed by Ron Goodwin to soundtrack the 1966 film The Trap.
The bombastic brass, cymbals and soaring strings of The Trap's theme tune hardly seem appropriate as a soundtrack to a film about a fur trapper who buys a mute girl from her foster parents to take as his unwilling wife. However, the action is set in the Canadian wilderness, and you can definitely hear those wide open spaces and lofty mountains in this grand theme tune. As for its use to soundtrack the London Marathon, Goodwin reportedly approved, saying: “I never intended it to accompany running, but it was supposed to depict a certain amount of energy being expended.”
Indeed, there's a palpable sense of the outdoors about the soundtrack. Shrinking violet Oliver Reed plays the brutish fur trapper, nimbly traversing the wild waters of British Columbia and trying to win the trust of his mute partner, and Goodwin's score has just the right amount of gruffness interspersed with the homespun quality of that glorious main theme.