Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard,
More Music from the
Motion Picture Gladiator
(Decca, 2001)

One of the best things about the movie Gladiator was the music. What else could you expect when the incredible talents of Hans Zimmer (Driving Miss Daisy, Crimson Tide, Hannibal and several dozen more) and Lisa Gerrard (formerly of Dead Can Dance) are joined together? For those who have been thirsting for more comes an even more exhilarating release of music composed for the film.

More Music from the Motion Picture Gladiator is more than just an obvious attempt to capitalize on the movie's incredible popularity. This CD features music composed for the film that, for one reason or another, didn't make it into the final cut. These pieces aren't to be lightly dismissed however! Each track offers a glimpse into the creative genius of Zimmer and Gerrard; the liner notes include notes on each track, the idea behind its creation and why it wasn't used in the film. This is the closest many of us will get to being a part of the process of writing a film score.

Dialogue from the movie is included on several tracks. The dialogue is well chosen and gives a glimpse of what the movie would have been like with this version of the music. (In some cases, I think the movie would have been better!) There are two different versions of "Now We Are Free" -- Juba's Mix and the Maximus Mix. I wouldn't be surprised to find both of these tracks popping up on radio stations everywhere.

"Duduk of the North" is another version of the haunting and otherworldly theme that weaves its way throughout the movie. (The duduk is an Armenian instrument, noted for its beautiful and wistful tone. Djivan Gasparyan, the great duduk virtuoso, performs.) This is an outstanding piece in an already stellar recording. The combination of Gasparyan, a Spanish guitar, and the unmistakable sound of Zimmer are simply wondrous.

While the CD is fascinating for its look at the creative process, it's also a wonderful collection of music by two of the most highly regarded composers of our time. I can only hope that Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard team up to create more music.

[ by Crystal Kocher ]

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