The Wings of a Film by Hans Zimmer



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The Wings of a Film by Hans Zimmer

Zimmer Live!
Review by Christopher Coleman


The Wings of a Film by Hans Zimmer

The Wings of a Film

The Wings of a Film by Hans Zimmer


Category  |   Score

Originality 7
Music Selection 7
Composition 8
CD Length 8
Track Order 7
Performance 7
Final Score 7/10


Real Audio Clips



Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer


Quick Quotes

As this was a live concert, there is applause between every music cue.  But while a lot of care was done to remove the audience noises during the performances, during some of the quieter moments (especially in Gladiator), you can still hear the shuffling, coughing, and other human noises that you generally don't want to hear during a performance.  The liner notes contain insight into Zimmer's music by the directors he has worked with, and even allow Zimmer a little soapbox to give his thoughts on the concert.  Overall this is a satisfying album, but while I was thrilled with some of the performance, a few others left something to be desired." ***

Dan Goldwasser - SoundtrackNet Reviews Wings of a Film




Composed by Hans Zimmer
Additional compositions by  Lebo M, Jay Rifkin, Lisa Gerrard, Klaus Badelt
Performed by Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard, Yang Chin, Tamara Teirbrood, Pete Haycock, 
Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Heitor Pereira, Lebo M, Keswa
Released by Decca Records June 19, 2001

In October of 2000, composer Hans Zimmer gathered with a few of his most noted collaborators: Lisa Gerard, Lebo M, and Heitor Pereira.  The Flanders International Film Festival  was the venue for this unique and most rare concert for Hans Zimmer.  Attendees were treated to live performances of some of Hans Zimmer's most popular works including:  Gladiator, The Lion King, and Rain Man.

The prospect of a "live" album featuring the music of Zimmer brings some questions to mind.  The main question most will ponder before listening to this release is, "Just how will Zimmer's music, which is so often dependant upon its delicately balanced mix of live orchestra and synthesizers, translate to a live performance?"  On the other hand, maybe it would be a solely synthesized performance?  The Wings of a Film:  The Music of Hans Zimmer is an interesting experience.  The live performance holds both positive and negative traits for most of the pieces presented.  While some of Zimmer's music originally composed for and performed by much larger orchestras suffer a bit,  an interesting spin is placed on them which still makes them a reasonably enjoyable listening experience.  At the same time, those selections that were originally composed for smaller ensembles such as Driving Miss Daisy and Nine Months actually translate in this live performance. 

Lisa Gerrard helps launch the CD with a performance of Now We are Free (1) from Gladiator.  This is an example of a track that falls short of the original.  With this theme being so ingrained in so many minds, the deviation of a significantly slower tempo makes the track drag.  Gerrard's voice is as sharp as ever, but not even her mystical voice can make up for the plodding-tempo.  There are several other tracks that make substantial departures from the original performances.   Both Lion King selections: Lea Halalela (7) and Busa (12) are almost unrecognizable at first for those who are familiar with the original Lion King performances.  In actuality, these two tracks are live performances of the pieces found on Rhythm of the Pridelands.  The overall impression of each of these pieces is more akin to a jazz-fusion performance.  They are both enjoyable in that sense, but are far from the depth of the original pieces.  The same can be said about Mother Africa from The Power of One (8).  It is clean performance, but lacking the powerful, choir element of the original soundtrack, this rendition comes up a little thin.  

There are a number of pieces that equal or exceed the originals however.  Maybe more for its use in the Pearl Harbor trailers than its original release, Journey to the Line from The Thin Red Line has become a recognizable Zimmer composition.  Here, Journey to the Line is performed at close to the same quality as the original.  A big surprise lies in Heitor Pereira's performance of Nyah and Ethan from Mission: Impossible 2 (6)Listen to Nyah and Ethan from The Wings of a Film.  Pereira's enchanting guitar recital exceeds the original by a long shot and is the hidden gem of the release.  Pete Haycock's electric guitar in track 4, Thunderbird from Thelma & Louise, is nearly as stimulating.  Both the Nine Months suite (9) and theme from Rain Main (10) are presented in a subtle yet entertaining fashion as well. 

The Wings of a Film: The Music of Hans Zimmer is a hard one to rate.  At times the very things that can be a little quirky about a particular performance also serve as an attractive quality.  While The Lion King performances are comparatively thin, they offer a completely different listening experience from the original.  For those who are very familiar with Hans Zimmer's work and have the original soundtracks of the pieces performed here, this CD still might have something to offer.  The added novelties of live performances such as: applause, coughs, sneezes, and microphone-bumps, can be a little annoying at times, but help capture the ambience of this film festival concert.  That fact is one doesn't hear Hans Zimmer live very often (see notes below). Even more than the natural ambience of such a recording, it allows the listener to hear subtle nuances of the music not easily identified in the original performances due to its mix or arrangement.  If one loves Hans Zimmer's music and are a little tired of replaying the original Gladiator or Lion King, The Wings of a Film offers an intriguing diversion and fairly broad sampling of the composers work.

From the Liner Notes:

"Every once in a while I get caught off guard.  It must have been at just one of those moments that I agreed to do this concert.  Let me make this very clear.  I do not perform in front of people.  I don't play at parties, weddings, etc...I am not the guy you'd want to call to play for you.  Ever.  I don't play any instrument well enough not to make a horrible noise that frightens the children and I don't really enjoy making a fool of myself in public.  Or of the public.  Stage fright?  How about stage terror?  I chose film scoring precisely because I can sort of hide behind the images, you know - music that should be seen bunt not heard.  But I was committed, and this forced me into thinking about he scores I had written over the last few years.  I realized then how much had been written with very specific musicians in mind, who also happen to be friends of mine.  This is really a musical reunion for me with friends of immense talent and now that the music has no dialogue or image to hide behind, it should really be a tribute to their talent and musicianship."

Hans Zimmer


Track Listing and Ratings


Title Time


1 Gladiator - Now We are Free 5:13  ***
2 Gladiator - Am I Not Merciful? 6:47  ***
3 Driving Miss Daisy - Driving 5:40  ***
4 Thelma & Louise - Thunderbird 7:46  ***
5 The Thin Red Line - 
Journey to the Line
9:53  ***
6 Mission: Impossible 2 - 
Nyan and Ethan
6:47  *****
7 The Lion King - Lea Halalela 5:59  ****
8 Power of One - Mother Africa 5:46  ****
9 Nine Months - Suite 5:13  ****
10 Rain Man - Main Theme 5:05  ****
11 True Romance - Main Theme 3:31  ***
12 The Lion King - Busa 3:59  ***

Total Running Time


The Wings of a Film by Hans Zimmer

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.


Referenced Reviews
Gladiator  |  Mission: Impossible 2   



All artwork from The Wings of a Film: The Music of Hans Zimmer  is exclusive property of Decca Records (c) 2001. 
 Its appearance is for informational purposes only. Review format version 5


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