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The Wings of a Film: The Music of Hans Zimmer (Live)

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Album Review

This is an album of excerpts from Hans Zimmer's film scores, performed at a concert at the Flanders International Film Festival by Zimmer with the VRO Flemish Radio Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé and featuring many guest soloists. Zimmer, a German-born veteran of the 1970s and '80s British rock scene (he was a member of the Buggles of "Video Killed the Radio Star" fame), broke into film scoring in the early '80s, and by late in the decade had become a prolific A list movie composer, eventually taking home an Oscar for The Lion King. He is responsible for dragging film composing into the synthesizer and computer era, but is equally capable of writing sweeping orchestral music, as is apparent here in the orchestra's performances of portions of his scores for Gladiator, Nine Months, and True Romance. Still, his most characteristic writing may be his minimalist work on Rain Man, which brought him his first Academy Award nomination, and which he performs here. His work on The Lion King, here featuring co-composer Lebo M, seems less impressive in retrospect, a pale imitation of South African mbaqanga music, though it certainly worked well in the film and on the Broadway stage. The music from Driving Miss Daisy remains attractive and melodic, even if one is reminded that it was noticeably anachronistic in the film itself. But perhaps a real sense of Zimmer's roots is provided in "Thunderbird" from Thelma & Louise, an orchestral setting for an extended electric guitar solo played by Pete Haycock, which is drenched in British progressive rock and sounds like it could have come from a Pink Floyd album. The excerpts add up to a clear portrait of a musician with the versatility and talent to be what he is: one of the world's top film composers.

Customer Reviews

Some strong performances

Although this disc is enjoyable to listen to, it's easy to see how Zimmer's strong-suit is to create music in the studio. These pieces generally convert well to live performance. The choral pieces, especially Mother Africa, are quite strong.


While some of these aren't so great...i truely believe the song "Thunderbird" is up there as one of his greats...period

Love it, but I can't buy Thunderbird!

I loved Thelma and Louise and I really want the song Thundebird, but it's album only!


Born: September 12, 1957 in Frankfurt, Germany

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most prolific film composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Hans Zimmer was born September 12, 1957 in Frankfurt, Germany; after relocating to London as a teen, he later wrote advertising jingles for Air-Edel Associates, and in 1980 collaborated with the Buggles on their LP The Age of Plastic and its accompanying hit "Video Killed the Radio Star." A stint with Ultravox followed before Zimmer next surfaced with the Italian avant-garde group Krisma; he then formed a partnership...
Full Bio
The Wings of a Film: The Music of Hans Zimmer (Live), Hans Zimmer
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