Mozart on Ice: Expedition to the End of the World

  • Heidi Hart
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


In the Danish environmental documentary Ekspeditionen til verdens ende (Expedition to the End of the World, 2013), music from Mozart’s Requiem sounds several times as Greenland’s melting ice and swelling ocean fill the screen. This recording is not mere ambience. The performance captured in a Copenhagen church sounds surprisingly provisional and fragile. Unlike the rhapsodic-atmospheric use of music in Werner Herzog’s environmental films, recent climate-science documentaries like Chasing Ice and Ice and the Sky, the Mozart fragments in Dencik’s film sound as contingent material artifacts of human presence in a rapidly dissolving visual landscape. In their brittle interruptions, they resemble the speech that makes song missed in Persephone in the Late Anthropocene. Closed-caption-style paratext throughout the film further amplifies this critical distance.


Film music Climate change Anthropocene Documentary 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA

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