From the very first cut here, "The Lover of Beirut", Brahem's fascinating blend of traditional Eastern-flavored tonalities and his very jazz-like sense of free rhythms mix, in an astonishingly instinctual and intimate way, with Gesing's moody clarinet, their melodic lines at times doubling before breaking free to bend and swerve off into a melodic maze before slowly returning to their intricate Byzantine dance.
Stanley Kubrick made his own musical choices for his films, many of them existing pieces that were forever redefined by their use. (Remember "Thus Spake Zarathustra" in 2001: A Space Odyssey?) For his final work, Eyes Wide Shut, he employed composer Jocelyn Pook to compose some evocative string-filled music (including one track, "Masked Ball," eerily featuring backwards vocals), but his score also included works by Liszt and Shostakovich, syrupy versions of "When I Fall in Love," "If I Had You," and "Strangers in the Night," a jazzy rendition of "Blame It on My Youth" by Brad Mehldau, Chris Isaak's cross between John Lee Hooker and Roy Orbison on his 1995 song "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing," and, opening and closing the disc, a simple but intense solo piano piece by Gyogy Ligeti, whose work also had been used in 2001 and another Kubrick film, The Shining. The result was an eclectic soundtrack album that primarily was of interest to fans of the film who were in need of an aural souvenir.
The final work of legendary director Stanley Kubrick, who died within a week of completing the edit, stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, at the time Hollywood's most bankable celebrity couple, and was shot on a open-ended schedule (finally totaling over 400 days), with closed sets in London standing in for New York City. Cruise and Kidman play William and Alice Harford, a physician and a gallery manager who are wealthy, successful, and travel in a sophisticated social circle; however, a certain amount of decadence crosses their paths on occasion, and a visit to a formal-dress party leads them into sexual temptation when William is drafted into helping a beautiful girl who has overdosed on drugs while Alice is charmed by a man bent on seduction. While neither William and Alice act on their adulterous impulses, once the issue has been brought into the open, it begins a dangerous season of erotic gamesmanship for the couple, with William in particular openly confronting his desire for new sexual experiences.