Film Music of Hans Zimmer: Volume 2

Musical Score By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            As a composer, Hans Zimmer is one of the ground-breakers as one of the first to integrate traditional orchestral arrangements with electronic music.  His works have inspired many a composer over the years and have sparked many collaborative efforts.  In 2007, Silva Screen Records released a 2-CD set called The Essential Hans Zimmer Film Music Collection.  Now, on August 16, 2011, Silva Screen follows up this album with a new 2-CD set, Film Music of Hans Zimmer: Volume 2.

            Hans Zimmer is a German composer who found an escape in music after the death of his father.  He began his career playing keyboards and synthesizers and worked with a number of bands in the 1970s.  In the 1980s, Zimmer teamed up with film music composer Stanley Myers and film scoring became his new passion.  Zimmerís score for the movie Rain Man, earned him an Academy Award nomination and some well-deserved recognition.  It also earned him quite a few composing jobs afterwards including musical scores for Thelma & Louise, The Lion King, Crimson Tide, Gladiator, The DaVinci Code, Pearl Harbor, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the new Batman films.

            This second volume of Hans Zimmer film scores contains quite a mix of compositions performed by such artists as The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and London Music Works.  The music seems to be in a somewhat descending order with tracks from his most recent works appearing first.  The first CD opens with Mermaids from Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides, an eerie track featuring orchestral arrangements and a haunting siren song.  Funnily enough, it ends with a fun Pirates of the Carribbean: At Worldís End track entitled Drink Up, Me Hearties.  Mixed in are tracks from Inception, The Pacific, Sherlock Holmes, Angels & Demons and The Dark Knight.

            The second CD opens withÖyup, two tracks from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Manís Chest.  From there, we start moving into some of Zimmerís older stuff, with tracks from Batman Begins, Madagascar, King Arthur, The Ring, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Black Hawk Down, Mission: Impossible II, The Prince of Egypt, The Peacemaker and The Lion King

            Film Music of Hans Zimmer: Volume 2 spans over a decade of Zimmerís film music and contains quite a few strikingly memorable compositions.  Each and every composition on this track seems to fit together with the next and I must commend the arrangement - well done.  Despite the diverse genre of films represented in this album - action, adventure, mystery, suspense, animation and more - Zimmerís work always seems to have that epic feel and I canít remember the last time when one of his musical scores didnít wow me.  This CD collection contains some of the best tracks from those musical scores and I enjoyed first listening and guessing at which movie they were from, then listening a second time and seeing if my guesses were correct.

            Anyone who has ever heard enjoyed a Hans Zimmer soundtrack will enjoy Film Music of Hans Zimmer: Volume 2, an excellent follow-up to The Essential Hans Zimmer Film Music Collection.  I would recommend this album to any fan of musical scoring.  Zimmerís is a unique sound - a blend of orchestra, synthesizers, electronic music and sounds, and often choirs to add a dramatic touch to the score.  Many have mentored under him, but few will ever come close to copying his epic sound.


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