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Topic: Hans Zimmer's strengths

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  1. #1

    Hans Zimmer's strengths

    I've been quite vocal about my disdain for much of Zimmer's orchestral works. So I figured I'd provide a different slant on this influential composer.
    What scores of his or cues really work for me.

    Well, first "A Hard Teacher" from The Last Samurai. This particular cue is an excellent set of variations on one of his primary themes from the film. In fact, it's so deflty done, I'd say it approaches Goldsmithian proportions. Also, Zimmer has a great sensitivity when using a largely electronic palette and as such does a great job of blending flutes and oboes in with the synth pads. It's a really excellent cue.

    Although the first scene in Gladiator features overly frenetic editing, and encompasses Holst's The Planets, I like the humming male chorus that symbolizes the Roman strength and the "Mars" reference works well in the context of the ensuing conflict with the Germanians (I wonder what ZImmer thought of that scene being German himself?).

    "As Good As it Gets"- the scene in which Jack is faced with returning Verdel (that cute little dog) back to his owner, Zimmer underscores it with a very quiet yet moving string/harp setting. In spite of the charges that Zimmer slaps music onto scenes with the sensitivity of a boxer, cues like this one prove them wrong. In fact, the whole score is a well written piece for smaller ensemble.

    The Thin Red Line- "Journey into the Line" Okay, for great bombast, this is one of my favorite cues. I love how it builds like a concert hall procedure piece with the ticking clock as a rhythmic guide. And I LOVE Zimmer's use of the CS80 brass doubling the French Horns for that 3 note descending line that builds in the string section first with some excellent harmonic suspensions. Of all Zimmer scores, The Thin Red Line is my favorite. I love the minimalist construction of the pieces. It flows really well. It's an exquisite score.


    So, there it is. Only a few obviously but I more or less wanted to get the ball rolling. ANy other faves or examples of Zimmer's skill?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Hans Zimmer's strengths

    In the Thin Red line, in the scene where US props are overrunning the Japanese position at the top of the hill, did you notice that Zimmer quotes Charles Ives’s The Unanswered Question? Very nice.

  3. #3

    Re: Hans Zimmer's strengths



    Well, I hear he is a heck of a nice guy.

  4. #4

    Re: Hans Zimmer's strengths

    The only score of his that I really like is a score he did before he became media ventures.

    Backdraft is actually one of my favs of his. And the funeral parade scene at the end when we cut to Rebecca Demorney's face, he cuts out the entire orchestra and leaves the flute playing solo...... Get's me every time.

    After that he became big and hired a lot of help. Lost the personal touch in my opinion.

    Cheers,


    Jose

  5. #5

    Re: Hans Zimmer's strengths

    Quote Originally Posted by josejherring
    The only score of his that I really like is a score he did before he became media ventures.

    Backdraft is actually one of my favs of his. And the funeral parade scene at the end when we cut to Rebecca Demorney's face, he cuts out the entire orchestra and leaves the flute playing solo...... Get's me every time.

    After that he became big and hired a lot of help. Lost the personal touch in my opinion.

    Cheers,


    Jose
    Jose,

    If you get a chance, look into 'Beyond Rangoon'. It's quite special I think, and well worth hearing (and definitely has a personal touch).

    Steve

  6. #6

    Re: Hans Zimmer's strengths

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rees
    Jose,

    If you get a chance, look into 'Beyond Rangoon'. It's quite special I think, and well worth hearing (and definitely has a personal touch).

    Steve
    Thanks Steve. I"ll definately check it out.

    .

  7. #7
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    Re: Hans Zimmer's strengths

    Hans Zimmer likes collaboration that's all ... and i think it works very well, and most of the time he's doing more than 90 % of the score ! It's how "Mediaventures" works, giving young composers the opportunity to write for high budget movies, even if it's only 5 minutes .

    What i also like from Zimmer is his comedy scores ( lately, SPANGLISH ) and more intimate scores like Rain Man, Black Rain, The house of the Spirit, beyond rangoon ! And of course his more epic scores ! welll i like almost all from him...

    Zimmer is sometimes underrated and qualified as "the action movie composer" but it's all wrong, look at his filmography ! He has done african music ( power of one, african the seregenti) , irish music, "classical music" (Green Card, and some tracks of Hannibal), ethnic music, japanese music ...


    Some extracts of Hans Zimmer scores that aren't very popular

    http://www.teletracks.com/audio/house_spirits2.ra
    http://www.teletracks.com/audio/house_spirits5.ra
    http://www.teletracks.com/audio/beyond_rangoon1.ra
    http://www.teletracks.com/audio/radio_flyer1.ra
    http://www.teletracks.com/audio/radio_flyer3_2.ra
    http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/disco/...nemonths-1.mp3
    http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/disco/...powerofone.mp3
    http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/disco/...ss%20daisy.mp3
    http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/disco/...ficheights.mp3
    http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/disco/...odasitgets.mp3
    http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/disco/...lastdays-1.mp3
    http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/disco/...l/hannibal.mp3
    http://www.teletracks.com/audio/hannibal10.ra

    to download the "teletracks" extract, go to www.teletracks.com and copy-paste the url of the file you want to listen

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