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Aliens, intergalactic travel, super heroes and more, all soundtracked by amazing pieces of classical music composed through the ages. Join us as we travel back in time, into space, and to the edge of reality to uncover the greatest pieces included in our favourite sci-fi films. By Mel Spencer
It's almost impossible to imagine Stanley Kubrick's epic drama without recalling its iconic soundtrack by Richard Strauss. The famous brass solo (you know the one) blasts out as the opening credits roll, and the sun rises over the dawn of humanity. Photo: Facebook
If aliens came to earth, which piece of classical music would you play them? Start with Bach and you can't go far wrong, as proven by this 2008 film: the alien's positive reaction to the Aria from the Goldberg Variations proves we're not so different after all.
It might not be Bach or Beethoven, but John Williams' iconic soundtrack to this 1982 film will surely go down in history. It's hardly possible to hear the main theme without picturing an alien on a flying bike silhouetted against the moon... and that's not a sentence we say very often.
If you're hoping for an uplifting dose of universal brotherhood and a cracking tune, you can't go far wrong with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Unless, that is, you're listening to it in Stanley Kubrick's dystopian future, where the main character is a sociopathic delinquent whose interests include violence... and Beethoven. It's hard to avoid the music throughout the film, where it acts as the trigger to a series of terrifying events.
The 'Adagietto' from Mahler's Symphony No. 5 packs quite the emotional punch, but it's the neglected third movement, the Scherzo, which gets a fair hearing on this soundtrack. It's an appropriately speedy choice for such a fast-paced film, where all team sports have been replaced by a state-run franchise, set in a global state in 2018. You'll also hear Bach's iconic Toccata and Fugue in D minor, which opens and closes the film.
Schubert's music forms more than just a soundtrack in this excellent scene from 2012 summer smash The Avengers. The music is ominous as supervillain Loki creeps into a museum uninvited, but with a strike of his cane, his attack begins - and Schubert's quartet explodes into action.
This Ridley Scott-directed science-fiction film stars Sigourney Weaver as Warrant Officer Ripley, a member of the crew on a deep-space mining vessel which comes across a mysterious derelict ship. The world Scott creates is claustrophobic, eerie and tense, an atmosphere that Mozart’s sprited Eine Kleine Nachtmusik strikes a particularly refreshing, if oddly jarring, chord in.
Nothing says 'heroism and adventure' quite like this classic soundtrack from the greatest film composer of our time. You'll hear the rousing main theme at the start of all the Star Wars films - with different musical ideas cropping up to represent different characters throughout the story.
Chopin's peaceful Prelude Op. 28, No. 15, known as the 'Raindrop' due to the repetitive pitter-patter of notes played by the left hand, makes quite the statement in this gruesome sci-fi film. Following the violent birth of a xenomorph, a creature that bleeds acid and only exists only to multiply its species and conquer all others, the screen goes black and cuts to Chopin's calming music in an eerie juxtaposition.
What would life be like if you lived in a constructed reality television show, broadcast around the clock to billions of people across the globe? Jim Carrey tackles this all-important question in Peter Weir's 1998 science fiction film, and while the quest to discover reality is long and frightening, the music along the way is nothing short of uplifting. Expect tunes by Philip Glass alongside the Romance-Larghetto from Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Mozart's thrilling 'Rondo Alla Turca'.
Class issues, overpopulation, exploitation: expect heavy themes in this 2013 blockbuster, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. As citizens flee a ravaged Earth to take their place on a new luxurious space station called Elysium, they are greeted by the Secretary of Defense - and the sound of Bach's sublime Cello Suite No. 1 playing in the background. Photo: Facebook/Elysium
Only director Danny Boyle could unite the spiritually uplifting world of Fauré's Requiem with a gory post-apocalyptic horror film that's chock-full of zombies. It's not entirely out of place, however: the 'In Paradisum' shares its place on the soundtrack with other religious tracks. Photo: Facebook/28 Days Later