The Beatitudes composed by Vladimir Martynov

Played by Kronos Quartet

These may be the best final credits of any film. La Grande Bellezza is a grand film in its entirety, no pun intended. Yet, the final scene puts a beautiful icing on what already was a perfect cake and it makes you want to watch the film all over again.

This is Sorrentino's best film so far, a movie with all the angular caricature and cosmopolitan suavity that marked films such as Il Divo, The Family Friend and The Consequences of Love, but with a new operatic passion and clamour, a sense of love and loss, and an even sharper, more piercing sense of the forms of power and prestige. And for its intense, unbearable melancholy, the final end-title sequence has to be watched through to the very end until the screen goes dark. (from The Guardian)

Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella
Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella

Before you watch/listen to the video below, you must read the passage which precedes the final credits as the final scene of the film. Once you have gone through this process, you will find that Sorrentino has found the perfect composer for his film. What the protagonist expresses below, closely parallels the beliefs of the composer, written a bit further down.

"This is how it always ends. With death. But first there was life, hidden beneath the blah, blah, blah... It's all settled beneath the chitter chatter and the noise, silence and sentiment, emotion and fear. The haggard, inconstant flashes of beauty. And then the wretched squalor and miserable humanity. All buried under the cover of the embarrassment of being in the world, blah, blah, blah... Beyond there is what lies beyond. And I don't deal with what lies beyond. Therefore... let this novel begin. After all... it's just a trick. Yes, it's just a trick."

Read here an accurate simultaneous film critique and summary accompanied with images.

Vladimir Martynov is an interesting figure who has composed beautiful music with equally grandiose titles - "Apocalypse" and "Requiem" among others. What intrigued me about this composer - in addition to the score from "La Grande Bellezza" - are the Christian themes in his music following the fall of Communism in Russia. Secondly, it is this quote from him, describing one of his greatest works "Opus Posthumum": "A man touches the truth twice. The first time is the first cry from a new born baby's lips and the last is the death rattle. Everything between is untruth to a greater or lesser extent." I tend to agree.

Vladimir Martynov
Vladimir Martynov

This is the original [choir] version of "The Beatitudes" performed by Sirin Ensemble. Equally beautiful!Vladimir Martynov: The Beatitudes