Klaus Badelt,
K-19: The Widowmaker
(Hollywood, 2002)

Based upon a historical incident of the former Soviet Union concerning the maiden voyage of its first nuclear submarine in 1961, the plot of this Paramount Pictures film starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson fuels itself on urgency, danger, conflict, tension, intrigue and power. The K-19 The Widowmaker soundtrack, composed by Hans Zimmer protˇgˇ Klaus Badelt and performed by the famed Kirov Orchestra & Chorus (resident orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia), captures the raw spirit of this occurrence and portrays its deep, dark emotions.

Haunting chorals by the Kirov Orchestra & Chorus (a superior performance!) offer a unique aspect and Russian flavor to this dramatic disk. Not so unique, but hauntingly familiar, are melodies that seem to have carried over from the Gladiator soundtrack. Notably, Badelt has contributed music to several successful Zimmer scores, i.e, Gladiator, Pearl Harbor and Mission Impossible.

As Badelt's second solo score following The Time Machine, K-19 The Widowmaker rates up there with the works of Zimmer, James Horner (Braveheart, Titanic), James Newton Howard (Prince of Tides, Treasure Planet), John Williams (Star Wars, Harry Potter) and Danny Elfman (Spider-Man). Like a sorcerer, he conjures rolling waves of power and passion.

It is a rare occasion when I reorganize my soundtracks to make valuable room for a new composer, but for one that captures suspense and passion such as Badelt does (much like the masters), I'm thrilled to make an exception. I'll be looking out for The Time Machine, but in the meantime, I have a new favorite to keep me inspired.

- Rambles
written by Lynne Remick
published 15 February 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.