Hans Zimmer barely needs an introduction to film fans, either general or genre specific. Since the mid-eighties, he has built up an incredible body of work, providing several of our favourite films with their music scores. From The Amazing Spider-Man to The Lion King, and from Kung Fu Panda to Interstellar, Zimmer’s genius has added to our enjoyment of some of the greatest cinematic spectacles of the past thirty odd years.
How fitting then that his work be celebrated in what is basically a “greatest hits” type of album, featuring some of his most beloved scores. This is, essentially, what Hans Zimmer: The Classics is, but with an added twist that the tracks haven’t merely been culled from the back catalogue of Zimmer soundtrack CDs and one might expect, but have been re-recorded and re-interpreted by The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra featuring performances by several of the most stunning virtuoso musicians in the world.
The result is an overwhelmingly satisfying album that offers a fresh new take on some of the composer’s best loved scores and honestly makes you fall in love with the music all over again.
Violinist Lindsey Stirling lends her talents to a new version of the memorable main theme from The Dark Knight Rises, while Maxim Vengerov uses the instrument to a more melancholy effect in “Light” from The Thin Red Line. The boisterous theme from Pirates of the Caribbean is given a fresh and surprising sound by The Piano Guys. Speaking of piano musicians, “The Gladiator Rhapsody” and Man of Steel themes are revisited by master pianist Lang Lang, but perhaps the most stunning use of the instrument is saved for Khatia Buniatishivli who plays a tour de force version of The Battle Scene theme from Gladiator as a piano solo.
Leona Lewis supplies the vocals for “Now We Are free”, again from Gladiator, backed with a new arrangement. As the album concludes its twelve tracks with the organ music from The Docking Scene from Interstellar.
This is clearly a CD that will appeal not only to fans of Zimmer’s film scores, but also to enthusiasts of classical music.
HANS ZIMMER: THE CLASSICS / COMPOSER: HANS ZIMMER / ARTISTS: VARIOUS / LABEL: SONY CLASSICAL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW