We like to think that this school band performance of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss in many ways exemplifies the themes of the film it is most associated with, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Or if not the themes of Stanley Kubrick, then at least of Arthur C. Clarke. For human beings must strive, must struggle to reach a highest state, to find the perfect — or at least accurate — notes. We must come together, in communion and fellowship, to make ourselves better, the human tribe in all its glorious flaws. Granted, the tutti of this particular performance is a ragged, naked attempt, the horns desperately seeking the notes as written in the score, but hear the brave tympanist still keeping the rhythm, the strings coming in. ‘Tis a courageous battle, a stark symbol of the beauty of efforts that go on despite failure after failure.
What’s that, now? It’s by a band of deliberately bad musicians who toured and put out records?
Okay, in that case, it is just funny as hell.