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Sunday, May 13, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Essential Hans Zimmer Film Music Collection

The Essential Hans Zimmer Film Music Collection
Music by Hans Zimmer & others
Silva Screen SILCD1238 (UK)
Disc 1 - 11 Tracks 51:23 mins Disc 2 - 12 Tracks 55:49 mins

This latest in Silva Screen's "Essential" series presents suites and themes from 18 of Hans Zimmer's films, performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic and Crouch End Festival Chorus, with the less epic selections being performed by a select band of musicians. The result, while wholly enjoyable, with fine performances throughout, is nevertheless a bit of a disappointment in that with 40 minutes or so of disc space still available, truly essential Zimmer scores like Black Rain, Backdraft, The Power of One, The Lion King, As Good As It Gets, The Prince of Egypt, Mission: Impossible 2, Black Hawk Down, Spirit; Stallion of the Cimarron, King Arthur and The Ring, are not represented.
What remains are three selections from Gladiator (including both vocal and instrumental versions of "Now We Are Free"); The Thin Red Line; Thelma and Louise;The Da Vinci Code; Rain Man (two selections); Days of Thunder; Pearl Harbor; The Last Samurai; Crimson Tide (two selections, including a Zimmer arrangement of "Eternal Father Strong to Save"); Green Card; Regarding Henry; Batman Begins (co-composed with James Newton Howard); True Romance; Driving Miss Daisy; and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
What? I hear you exclaim, but that's only 15! What about the other 3? Well, perhaps, though credited to Klaus Badelt, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a legitimate selection in that I have read where it is suggested Zimmer in fact composed the themes. Similarly, The Rock, though largely attributed to Nick Glennie-Smith, bears the distinctive Zimmer stamp, and again I have heard tell that Glennie-Smith had assistance from Zimmer, among others, to complete the score. What does seem crazy however, especially in view of the absence of so many fine Zimmer scores, are the inclusions of Richard Harvey's "Kyrie for the Magdalene" from the Da Vinci Code' and Patrick Cassidy's "Vide Cor Meum" from Hannibal.
In conclusion, I would certainly recommend this nonetheless fine collection of music to anyone seeking a taster of what Zimmer has been up to these 20 years or so, but as for calling it "Essential," well, that's another matter.


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