All film score composers are inspired by classical artists. Especially for the traditionally orchestral film composers, of course it’s going to sound classical, they use the orchestra after all. For example, John Williams’s style is more classical than contemporary and a lot of his scores are in the classical style; he even writes sonatas and symphonies! But other times it’s so obvious you can even hear a distinct tune that you know came from a classical piece. This is what Hans Zimmer does. Not only does he take just mere elements from classical music, but the tune, the song itself, and makes it his style. One of the songs he does this with is “To the Opera” from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows to accompany an action scene involving an opera and the score fits in perfectly with the movie. You can read about that in the post “To the Opera!” – A Hans Zimmer/Mozart Mash-up Score. Another example I’m focusing on in this post is “Lone Ranger Finale” or “The Lone Ranger Theme.”
There is an earlier Lone Ranger film in black and white, and the “Theme” is actually the whole “William Tell Overture” by the classical artist Gioachino Rossini, one of his operas that premiered in 1829. The newer Lone Ranger, 2013, stars Johnny Depp as a Native American (who else even wants to wear all that make-up?) and is directed by Gore Verbinski. Unfortunately viewers say it is a flop, which is disappointing because Depp and Verbinski are two of my favorite celebrities as both were part of the production for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Anyhow, Hans Zimmer (also the composer for the last three PotC movies) composed for the recent Lone Ranger and took Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” (the original classical song) that was played in the original movie. It is officially called “The Lone Ranger Finale” and is a 10-minute long enhancement of the familiar William Tell tune.
What exactly did Zimmer do to our wonderful piece of classical music? He contemporized it, and in my way of saying it, zimmerized it. Much of Rossini’s work remains just the same, but Hans added extra layers of orchestration and, of course, more of his style’s electronic components as well as other thematic material while differing the tempo.
Hans Zimmer’s version of William Tell: “Lone Ranger Finale.”
And the original “William Tell Overture” by Rossini
Try listening to either song while writing, especially if you’re writing fast-paced scenes. You run the risk, however, of typing so fast that it looks like some toddler got on the computer and pretended to know how to type.
So, there’s a little bit of info on Hans Zimmer’s score for Lone Ranger. If you’ve ever listened to film score composers and are familiar with each one, you’ll notice that Hans Zimmer’s style is definitely one of a kind and you’ll know a score by him when you hear it. His style is very different from, let’s say, John Williams, James Horner, or Patrick Doyle. Steve Jablonsky (who composed the phenomonal track for Transformers), on the other hand, sounds very much like Zimmer and no wonder, he was Zimmer’s student at one point. Which film score composer is your favorite? Do you like the original “William Tell Overture” or Hans Zimmer’s version as heard in The Lone Ranger?
Disclaimer: I have not seen the movie The Lone Ranger