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  • Hans is a 1-trick pony, and it is a lamentable trick at that. You can bet that when a score of his seems to transcend the customary lobotomotive spiccati over Symphobic crass brass chords, it is because he is rewriting on a very specific temp-track, or that he has happened to hire an actual musician as an assistant for the specific movie, instead of the usual DJ programmers/orchestrators. The five huge, disparate, and composers' dream-films (in that they offered the composer so much space and colour to fill in) that immediately spring to mind where he could have shown his great range (if he only had any) - Gladiator, TRON 2, Inception, Pearl Harbour, Batman - he blundered appallingly. 

    The sequels to the original Star Wars are to be filmed soon. In case John Williams won't be around to score them, can you imagine what they are going to sound like with those great, "cutting edge" composers like Hans and his imitators (Giacchino, Trevor, and the like...)? Instead of those majestic, sweeping fanfares that score the opening, escalator-like, written out narrative that unfolds into space, you'll get: chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga|1st brass chord|arpeggiator-arpeggiator-arpeggiator-arpeggiator|2nd brass chord|someone-else's-programming-a.k.a-InactionStrings-MacSessionsStrings-OrkestralLicentials-etc............................ Marvellous......... It's not that hard to imagine. Just compare Goldsmith's Star Trek fanfare to this new Main Theme from the latest installment, for the shape of things to come...

    Be afraid. Be very afraid!

    (The Fly wasn't it?)

  • I saw the Downey Sherlock Holmes pastiche and can't remember the music.  I do remember being reminded of the beautiful music by Patrick Gowers in the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes, with its great incorporation of solo violin and wonderful scoring throughout that great series which has got to be the best Sherlock Holmes ever.  

    Of the films Errikos mentions Gladiator sticks out horribly - that was a great job of directing by Ridley Scott, and obviously a huge sweeping story filled with drama, fascinating recreation of ancient Rome, unique bits like the awesome Oliver Reed burning up the screen as only he could do, but the music?  There was nothing there.  Just think what Miklos Rosza would have done with that story!  He would have gone berserk!  Rosza spent an entire year to write the score to the 3 hour 45 minute film Ben Hur.  It is an unbelievable accomplishment of such magnitude that it ranks with great symphonic compositions. And this was only one of many fabulous scores he did.  I recently got a new 2-CD recording of El Cid that features all of the music that was composed.  It is another gigantic symphonic composition that just happens to fit the film flawlessly.  That is an achievement that has been forgotten by today's "quickie" composers. 

    O.K., I'll be quiet now. [A]

  • This might be an interesting read.....

    Gaute Storaas

  • Thank you for this interesting article. I smiled all the way through it. Here is this guy that supposedly wishes to justify Hans' success against those nasty people who - as he says - go around gossiping that he doesn't do the actual composing himself but hires ghostwriters in the back room etc. Imagine... Even for the puerile stuff he churns out there are rumours that he can't even do those and others have to help him. Now why aren't there any rumours like that for other, great composers in film?... Anyway, I personally don't give credence to any of it...

    However, the fun begins when this guy proceeds to attempt to prove that Hans deserves all his success, and ends up proving exactly the opposite!

    1) He's great at spotting(!!)... Well that does it then... As opposed to? (Insert name of "another" great film composer here). Hans is an outstanding dramatist(?!?!) Yeah... That is never elaborated upon with examples of course, but then we have the first great bit: He asked us to record a set of variations on 2(!!) notes. This involved a fair amount of interpretation (i.e. no composing on his part). For those familiar with classical music, it was John Cage meets Phil Glass (how much more damage can you do to the guy's reputation that he doesn't write his own stuff?). This guy also provides a video in the article (to prove Hans' visionary greatness I presume), where 10 drummers are asked to play the same grooves in order to be slightly off and create a supposedly interesting sound... Yeah, very visionary and original... See Terry Riley, Gyorgy Ligeti, and least of all Vangelis (Mythodea).

    2) Hans works very, very hard! A lot of composters work very hard; not commensurately with the quality of their output. (In defence of the blogger, his article is about proving Hans' deserved success; not his creative prowess).

    3) Hans is the best film music producer in the business. (Well let him do that then and refrain from composting) And here we have a cascade of knives in the back: We're not talking about technical music skills(!!!) Of course, we're talking about all the other music skills...?? Hans is a so-so pianist (now we all know this means Grade 1), and his knowledge of academic theory is, by intention(!!!!!!), limited (Grade 0). He doesn't read standard notation well either (i.e. at all - Bugger me, repeatedly...). But no one reads piano roll better than he does. Which gets to the heart of the matter (How exactly?): Hans knows what he needs to know to make it sound great... Well! Why didn't he just say so? That great music skill alone covers up for all the other unnecessary, superceded, antiquated skills we have. I knew that Williams sounded like shyt for SOME reason; I just couldn't put my finger on it... He knows harmony, he knows counterpoint, he knows form, he knows voice-leading, he knows polyphony, he knows orchestration. Aaahhhh! He cannot read piano-roll.... That is how he doesn't know what he needs to know to make it sound great.......

    4) Hans works with great people. Take a look at the composers who have worked for Hans (and he proceeds to throw over a dozen composers, some recognizable names, who have worked for Hans). Oh that's great! Keep stabbing... For in what capacity exactly did those composers work for Hans? I don't remember whole rosters of composers having worked for Rota or Morricone (the two composers this blogger admires). Were they there perhaps to show Hans where middle C is on the piano, or explain what an oboe looks like?

    5) Hans' love theme for Megamind. Now I am not saying this is a bad track. But it is copy-paste from old French film music (just like Glarpeggiator is of 1492), and there is a co-composer on the track's credit. Surely that cannot constitute the flagship of Hans' defence as a competent composer...

  • This thread has clearly reached a point where it should be continued in form of private communication rather than in a public forum.

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  •  I haven't tuned into this forum for awhile.  Seems to me this Hans Zimmer thing has been going on a spell.

    No doubt the HZ movie scores have been going downhill.  I listen to many if not all of them and am rarely pulled in anymore.  But that is not to say he hasn't ability or hasn't done good work earlier in his long career.  William, check out "Wings of a Film" a live concert of Zimmer stuff selected from various scores and conducted by Hans.  It shows range and melody, I think.  Also, the brooding score of "Beyond Rangoon" held my attention for a long time.  Granted, this is early stuff.  Lone Ranger didn't grab me.  Niether did the Pirates scores, although they had their moments.

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on