Beethoven and films

I’m currently listening to Beethoven symphonies, and I keep on being distracted by very small melodic phrases which I’m sure are the main themes of various blockbuster films. Unless I’m very mistaken, Herr Beethoven didn’t actually work for Warner during his lifetime, which means that either people are going around blatently ripping them off, or I’m mistaken.

The latter I’d be prepared to accept – the phrases that trigger my memory flash past pretty quickly, to be replaced by more recognisable Beethovian fare.

Am I perhaps just now coming to realise a huge fraud of which everyone else is already aware? Is perhaps all film music ripped off Beethoven? Can I hear the strains of a well-known quartet in Lord Of The Rings? His late piano sonatas in Schindler’s List? Because that last riffle at the end of symphony number five is sure as bloody hell in Star Wars …

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