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Hannibal (Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer

Goodie, Goodie!
Review by Christopher Coleman

Hannibal (Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer

Hannibal
by Hans Zimmer
7/10

Buy Hannibal (Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer Now at Amazon.com

 

Category

Score

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

 

Hans Zimmer
Composer 
Hans Zimmer

 

Quick Quotes

"Casual film score fans, and especially those who first recognized and became fans of Hans Zimmer's music last year, will surprised to hear Hannibal, which is an effort that reaches back to some of the most poignant classical work that Zimmer has ever done. It does not sound like a typical, electronic Media Ventures collaboration."  ****

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks
Review of Hannibal

 

Composed by Hans Zimmer; Produced by Hans Zimmer, Pietro Scalia
Conducted by Gavin Greenway; Orchestrated by Bruce Fowler
Performed by The Lyndhurst Orchestra; Libera (Boys Choir) Cond. Rupert Gregson-Williams;
Martin Tillman (Cello), Bruce Fowler (Trombone), Danielle De Niese (Soprano), Bruno Lazzeretti (Tenor), Anthony Pleeth (Lyndhurst Orch. Cello soloist), Olive Simpson (Additional Vocals) 
Released by Decca Records February 6, 2001

Little did I realize back in May of 2000, while peacefully typing away my review of Hans Zimmer's Gladiator, of just who lurked nearby.  I sat there in the Piazza Della Signoria of Florence, Italy, occasionally looking up to see a bunch of folks making a fuss with booms, mics, and lights at one of the cafes in the square.   Had I been curious enough, I would have found (ex-Sir) Anthony Hopkins, director Ridley Scott and possibly composer Hans Zimmer (who was rumored to have been in Florence around that time as well) on location shooting a scene from the Silence of the Lambs sequel, Hannibal.  A chance meeting with Hannibal Lecter missed?...not really a bad thing.  We know just how successful Zimmer and Scott's last collaboration was, but what about the return of Dr. Lecter?

Today, several months after the near-miss, I find myself reviewing the score for Hannibal from the slightly less exotic confines of Orlando, Florida. The haunting score for Hannibal plays loudly in my headphones and I am further assured that I would not want to meet Mr. Lecter under any circumstances.  The musical representation by Hans Zimmer, while beautiful, induces a variety of phobias and paranoia.  Add to this, the voice of Hannibal, himself, and one can't help but carefully look over their shoulder once in a while to make sure no one is sneaking up from behind.

I am quite sure it was this dark, frightening sort of experience that Decca Records was after in the production of this soundtrack release.  The fan base created by Silence of the Lambs was substantial and even if the movie fails to live up to expectations, Hannibal devotees will be looking to recreate their film-going experience.  This release does that through Hans Zimmer's tantalizing score, several classical inclusions, and lastly, with monologue from Hannibal.

Departing from the non-descript work of Howard Shore for Silence of the Lambs, Hans Zimmer and company bring a more "apprehendable" style of music this time.  The music simply has more "meat" to it than its prequel.  This characteristic in itself, sets Hannibal a part from most scores of the suspense/horror genre.  Reflecting the intelligent, calculating, devious, and diabolical  workings of Hannibal's mind, not too mention his actions, the majority of Zimmer's music, while showing off a more classical construction than usual,  tails off from the darker moments of Gladiator (Am I Not Merciful) or even from Thin Red Line.  For Hannibal; however, Zimmer takes it down to foreboding level I have not heard in his repertoire before.  Through the use of a few trademark elements: heavy strings and digital samples, as well as, thorough use of the Lyndhurst Orchestra and Boys Choir, Zimmer truly crafts a score worthy of most fans' full attention. 

One of the stand out tracks is Virtue (8), which sports a beautiful lead violin and mesmerizing boys choir.   While it brings one to unexpected heights for a thriller's score, it still ends, quite ominously, with solo cello.   Once again, in track 9, Let My Home Be My Gallows, Zimmer brings back the boys choir under the wonderful direction of Ruper Gregson-Williams, but constructs some incredible music around it including a heart-pounding bass rhythm, tubular bells, and even sleigh bells.  Like, Dr. Lecter, it is sinister yet tantalizing and represents some of Zimmer's most ingenious stuff in quite some time.

Intermingled with Hans Zimmer's gothic score are a number of classical pieces- among them:  J.S. Bach's Aria da Capo (2) and Gourmet Valse Tartare by Klaus Badelt (4).  Hannibal concludes with the melodious, Vida Cor Meum (12) by Patrick Cassidy and offers the soundtrack-equivalent of a "surprise ending!"  Each classical piece fits together well, with Zimmer's work and provides another layer of beauty to the experience.  They also are eerily transformed in the context of this album.  

The last element might be the most controversial, as any dialogue inclusion usually is.  There are a handful of tracks which do contain segments of monologue from the film's central character.  It is no surprise that Hannibal's voice is found on this soundtrack.  Hopkins' portrayal of the doctor, including his off-kilter voice, is one of the most memorable elements of the first film.  Savvy marketers know this and have made the most of it - namely, in the trailers for the film and now the release of this soundtrack.

While music fans might find the sound clips distracting, if not downright intrusive, Hannibal fans will...ahem...eat it up...and buy it up.  The experience of the music, might be curbed by some of the monologue, but this very same speech heightens the intensity of the experience by bringing more of the film to the CD.  One can't hear "that" voice and not be a little unsettled.  The producers of the disc have hit that target - dead center.

This soundtrack does begin somewhat slowly, but with each successive track it picks up in energy and intrigue.  By the end of the twelfth track, one has been thoroughly "worked over" by heights and depths of the music and Hopkins' voice.  Zimmer's score, the classical elements, and, yes, even the monologue combine to make this an intense listening experience.  The excellent score and fitting classical pieces make the inclusion of monologue from the film at least tolerable.  More people than not; however, will find this album darkly pleasing as is.


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track Title Time

Rating

1 Dear Clarice * 6:02  ***
2 Aria da Capo (J.S. Bach) 1:48  ***
3 The Capponi Library 1:14  ***
4 Gourmet Valse Tartare (K. Badelt) 6:50  ****
5 Avarice 3:54  ****
6 For a Small Stipend 0:55  ***
7 Firenze Di Notte (Tillman/Wesson) 3:09  ***
8 Virtue 4:37  ****
9 Let My Home Be My Gallows * 10:00  ****
10 The Burning Heart * 4:24  ***
11 To Every Captive Soul 6:55  ****
12 Vida Cor Meum (P. Cassidy) 4:20  ****
 

Total Running Time

56:22  

  * = Dialogue

Referenced Reviews
Gladiator

 

 

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