Finally, a post on a film score. Haven’t done too much music discussions, so I decided to do one now, on one of my favorite film scores: “To the Opera!” By Hans Zimmer from Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.
I love many different varieties and genres of music, from heavy metal instrumentals to classical, from indie pop to Celtic lullabies. Two of my main favorite genres are classical and film scores, so what’s better than a classical/Hans Zimmer mash-up, such as this particular film score?
Wait. But I thought Hans Zimmer is a film score composer, so wouldn’t that technically make his music genre classical? Well … his music is classic, but definitely not the style. Unlike John Williams (who is in my opinion, the best film score composer), whose scores are definitely traditionally orchestral and more classical than anything else, Hans Zimmer’s style is more … electronic. Sure, he uses a full orchestra, but if you’ve ever listened to his stuff such as Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Gladiator, you’ll hear what I mean. Comparing the two famous composers, it’s hard to pick a favorite, because I like both their scores so much, and yet they are so different. Hans Zimmer almost never uses a traditional/classical sound for his scores.
So it’s interesting what he did with this one.
I’ve always loved listening to the Sherlock Holmes soundtracks, particularly the ones such as “Discombobulate,” “Marital Sabotage,” and “To the Opera!,” and they are definitely very Zimmer-ish: Steady beat, intense, electronic, DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN, you’d be able to pick up a Hans Zimmer song anywhere. And it was only recently when I realized that the soundtrack “To the Opera!” was not an original of Hans Zimmer’s. In the scene when the song is playing, there is an opera being performed, so in the song there are several opera singers singing off and on. Very classical indeed.
Classical, yes! Hans Zimmer took elements from three songs of Mozart’s, “Ultima Prova”, “Ah, Signor Per Carita” and “Don Giovanni a Cenar Teco.” How cool is that? And what’s even cooler is that the first half of the Hans Zimmer’s tweak is almost identical to those of Mozart’s. There is also a waltz scene where Zimmer took elements from Johann Strauss II (“Weiner Blut” and “Accelerationen, Op. 234”) and made it in his style (“Just Follow My Lead”). Hilarious. I suggest you listen to it.
And even as I write this I am listening to the whole Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows soundtrack. It’s intense. It’s epic. It’s … *deep impressive voice* Hans Zimmer.
“I am no Mozart, I am no Schubert, I am not as good as these great composers,” Hans Zimmer insists, “But the idea of just playing in that great vocabulary a little bit was a lot of fun.”
I mentioned John Williams earlier in the post. He is one of the greatest film score composers of all time and his scores are not only great standalone songs but will go down in history as classics. I hope to do another post soon that compares John Williams and Hans Zimmer, and the differences between the two composers.
Are you a Zimmer fan? Who do you like better, John Williams or Hans Zimmer? Why? Do you have favorite scores? I’d love to hear any of your thoughts! If you haven’t yet listened to film scores alone, I suggest you try it out!