It’s not often you get the opportunity to experience an evening packed with live film scores from an award-winning composer who can boast their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but if the chance should ever come along, do not miss it.
Birmingham Arena laid host to The World of Hans Zimmer and the show attracted a huge crowd; couples, families, the old and the young. A full orchestra and choir brought to life each amazing piece after it was introduced by Hans himself on a huge screen. He would talk about the creative process and how the piece came to be and for several of the pieces had an exclusive interview with a famous face from the film or soundtrack.
Hans opened the show with an explosive piece from The Dark Night and the audience were treated to a film montage with a pace that matched the score, a wonderful audio-visual accompaniment. For each piece that followed through the evening it was a feast for the eyes and the ears with scenes from the film and music produced by Zimmer and his phenomenal musicians.
An extended interview with director Ron Howard preceded the score to the film based on the life of Formula One Driver Niki Lauder, Rush. The audience were treated to an outstanding musical medley from the Da Vinci Code which wrapped up the first half of the show.
The huge breath of Zimmer’s music and genre was demonstrated as we heard soundtracks from Batman, a never-before heard score from the film King Arthur, Hannibal and Madagascar. A popular choice with all in attendance was the Madagascar score as the orchestra were so up-beat and rapturous, offering joyful clapping and smiling across the stage. This was a fantastic opening to the second half of the show.
Hearing from Zimmer on his intent for the score had real impact on the way you heard the music. With Hannibal he explained how the story is intended as a love story over a horror, and this is conveyed through the delicate cello solo.
The most poignant story of the night was that of The Lion King. In the introduction to this amazing end to the evening, the Disney film that everyone knows and loves, Zimmer interviewed the African singer from the ‘Circle of Life’ and discussed the origin of those infamous Zulu words sung as the sun rises over Pride Rock. The sad truth is that the civil war was taking place at the time of recording, so the words of the conquering Lion are in fact a political protest for freedom and peace for those facing conflict in Africa.
Music has always had the power to stir emotions and tell stories, but tonight the stories that were told will forever remain within these special songs for those that heard them. What a phenomenal craftsman Hans Zimmer is, my appreciation for the power of music in film has certainly been magnified because of this night.
Review: Ceri Osborne
Photo: Marc Osborne