City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra / Hans Zimmer

Film Music of Hans Zimmer, Vol. 2

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The 2007 two-CD set Film Music of Hans Zimmer presented 23 re-recorded excerpts from 18 scores by the prolific composer who, in his 50th year, had already worked on over 100 movies while becoming one of the handful of top Hollywood soundtrack writers. So, it necessarily left some things out, notably any of the music from The Lion King. Four years later, this second volume, again credited to the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, presents another 23 cues from 18 visual works, although this time one of them comes from a television mini-series, The Pacific. Proceeding in reverse chronological order, the collection begins with some music from the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, subtitled "On Stranger Tides," and it also includes a healthy complement from the third and second films in the series. Zimmer remains the go-to guy for summer blockbusters like those films as well as, for example, the two Batman titles directed by Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as well as Nolan's brainy sci-fi thriller Inception. Zimmer more than justifies his association with such efforts with his stirring, anthemic music, which mixes orchestral flourishes with electronic underpinnings. He can be dark and troubling, too, when called upon, as he is in the cue from The Dark Knight called "Why So Serious?" The album's second disc is even more varied as it draws on music available for but not used on the first volume, in particular that for animated films like Madagascar and The Prince of Egypt. Zimmer is equally inspired on these efforts and maybe even a bit more zestful, which makes it notable that the album contains nothing from his recent efforts in this field, such as Kung Fu Panda, Megamind, and Rango. Maybe next time.

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