Recorded live at the Flanders International Film Festival, in October 2000, this concert CD includes twelve cues from ten different scores by Hans Zimmer. What makes it special - I wouldn't say unique, because I don't think it is - is the fact that this is the first time Hans Zimmer has performed his music live, before an audience. Now, this is nothing Hans Zimmer did entirely on his own, of course. So, apart from orchestra and choir, many of the musicians Hans has worked with over the years are very much part of this concert and recording. There's Lisa Gerrard (Gladiator), Lebo M (Power of One and The Lion King), Pete Haycock (Driving Miss Daisy and Thelma & Louise), Heitor Pereira (Mission: Impossible 2) among others.
The CD opens with two cues from Gladiator, one of the most succesfull scores by Zimmer ever, probably. To be honest, they are rather disappointing. There's really nothing wrong with them, but as they don't sound like the original versions - changes in the orchestrations have been made and overall they seem much thinner and more "flat" - I'm having trouble enjoying them. It's easier, then, to enjoy the suite from Nine Months, "Nyah and Ethan" from Mission: Impossible 2, and the main theme from True Romance.
And what has to be Hans Zimmer's very finest score ever, The Thin Red Line, is represented by the incredibly powerful and emotional "Journey to the Line". While the original soundtrack recording features the best version of this cue, this version is really good as well. The two cues from The Lion King, "Lea Halela" and "Busa", are rather bland and disappointing, far from what can be found on the original soundtrack release. The same goes for "Mother Africa" from Zimmer's great score for Power of One. The power and emotional ingredients seem to be missing. Unfortunately.
Even though I'm a rather big fan of Hans Zimmer's music, I really don't know what to think of this CD. Sure, it's interesting because of the fact that it's a concert recording, but I didn't attend the concert, so that doesn't mean that much to me, to be frank. And yes, it works as a compilation and a sampler of the music of Hans Zimmer, but the original versions are so much better and I already own them, so... I suppose it's easier to fully appreciate this recording if you (a) attended the concert (you lucky bastard!) or (b) have recently discovered the world of film music and Hans Zimmer (you lucky bastard!).
The liner notes include comments by Bruce Fowler, Chris Columbus, Ridley Scott. Sean Penn, John Woo, Tony Scott, and others (Hans Zimmer himself, for instance). And to quote director Chris Columbus: "The world of cinema is a better place because of Hans. And he wears damn fine shoes." Don't know about the shoes - I'm sure they're nice, but I agree with that first opinion of his. Unfortunately, The Wings of a Film: The Music of Hans Zimmer lacks those special ingredients that make his scores so enjoyable.
Read other recent reviews by Andreas Lindahl: The Rock
, The Phantom of the Opera
, Peter Pan