Tracksounds Rating = 9/10

Composed by Hans Zimmer, Stephen Schwartz et al
Conducted by Gavin Greenway, Rupert and Harry Gregson-Williams
Released by Dreamworks Record 1998

Track Title Time Rating Miraculous Music from Zimmer
by Christopher Coleman

This was one of the most anticipated animated films of the nineties.  With four years of work behind the production of it, audiences and critics have had high expectations.  The Prince of Egypt’s score composer, Hans Zimmer, had his work cut out for him. 

My original hope was that this would have some elements of The Power of One with its powerful African chorus.  Even though Zimmer did not go this route, the score remains one of the classic scores for an animated film.  It is easily one of the best scores for 1998.  It would go on to be nominated for an Academy award, but would be upset by

The Prince of Egypt has many moments of power and wonder which the animators, directors, and producers have visually depicted in stunning fashion, while Zimmer matched their brilliance with his score for the respective scenes.  The best scenes are matched with the best pieces of music.  The Burning Bush and The Red Sea are probably the two most recognizable events of Moses’ early life and Zimmer masterfully scores these occurrences with  majestic and miraculous melodies deserving of such powerful images.  These two tracks are the best of the CD release.

Of course, with most animated films there are several vocal tracks included.  These tracks are, at least, on par with Disney’s more recent efforts, if not better.  Deliver Us features the powerful vocals I was hoping for combined with the enchanting voice of the Israeli singer, Ofra Haza. This track concludes with an abruptness which is very similar to the opening track of Zimmer’s Oscar winning score for The Lion King. 

The few pop tracks included on this CD are fairly unobtrusive since most of them have been relegated to the end of the CD (I always prefer that, if they must be included).  The first track is the only exception.  This track is the academy award nominated “When You Believe” performed by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.  Their performance on the CD far outweighs their half-hearted live performance at the Oscars in March of 1999.  When You Believe is also performed later on Track 14 by Sally Dworsky and (get this) Michelle Pfeiffer.  Actually, her performance is tolerable, although I believe someone else may have been a better choice. 

Hans Zimmer is one of the best composers for the exotic setting.  Like the Power of One and Beyond Rangoon, he keenly employs authentic instruments and voices of the region.  Assisting Zimmer on this score are members of the Media Venture's family, Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell, Jeff Rona, Gavin Greenaway and Rupert Gregson-Williams.  Harry Gregson-Williams identifiable sound can be heard in All I Ever Wanted while John Powell's contributions can be heard in the original song, Playing with the Big Boys Now.

This CD release was done right.  Simple but attractive packaging is the style here...and for once decent liner notes!  The obligatory screen shots are mixed with tons of information regarding the composers, producers, conductors, musicians, and singers.  A top-notch job.

No doubt this is a must have for the score enthusiast, especially fans of Zimmer and Media Ventures.  The score matches the triumphant themes of the animated film in power, authenticity, grace, and beauty.  Finally, a true contender for Disney has arisen.  The Prince of Egypt OST makes a great addition to anyone's film score collection.  For the complete score, two more tracks can be found on The Prince of Egypt:  Collector's Edition (out of print, but circulating the internet trade market).

1

The Prince of Egypt (When You Believe) *

5:04

***
2

Deliver Us

7:15

*****
3

The Reprimand

4:05

****
4 Following Tzipporah 1:00 ***
5

All I Ever Wanted (with Queen's reprise)

2:51

****
6

Goodbye Brother

5:33

***
7

Through Heaven's Eyes

3:41

***
8 The Burning Bush

7:17

*****
9

Playing with the Big Boys

2:52

***
10

Cry

3:50

***
11

Rally

0:42 ***
12

The Plagues

2:40

****
13 Death of the First Born 1:06 ***

When You Believe

4:55 ****
Red Sea 5:14 *****
Through Heaven's Eyes* 5:05 ***
River Lullaby* 3:57 ***
Humanity* 4:32 ***
19 I Will Get There* 4:20 **
  Total PlayingTime      

Category

Score

 
Film Continuity 10  
Originality 9  
CD Length 9  
Track Order 8  
Performance 10  
Final Score 9  
         

Other reviews:

"While Zimmer's efforts on The Prince of Egypt have their fair share of highlights and moments of excellence, and although I can't exactly put my finger on what's wrong with it, it nevertheless strikes me as being a little disappointing. Schwartz, on the other hand, has done the best work of his cinema career here, and his songs alone make this album a success." ****
Jonathan Broxton  - Movie Music U.K.

Hans Zimmer
Composer Hans Zimmer

"In a nutshell, Hans Zimmer knows how to surround himself with talented musicians ( Harry Gregson-Williams, Jeff Rona, John Powell, Gavin Greenaway and many others) to build a strong musical score that varies in style but still has a sense of  uniformity. While the score does not have any huge surprises apart from the development the Middle eastern theme and motifs- a pleasant new expression of Zimmer's talent- it is a solid score throughout." **** 1/2
Martin Provost - Cinemusic

CD available through

AmazonCD Now

 

Pick up the DVD at 

DVD Express

All artwork from The Avengers is exclusive property of Dreamworks (c) 1998.  Its appearance is for imformational purposes only.  Composer photo provided by Christian Clemmenson- Filmtracks.