by Christopher Coleman
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.
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
The Prince of
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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