King Arthur [Original Score]

King Arthur [Original Score]

4.6 5
by Hans Zimmer
     
 

For this historically accurate telling of the King Arthur story set in the waning days of the Roman Empire, Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer has crafted a score with broad, dramatic strokes that brings to mind the grand-scale pieces comprising his score for Gladiator. The German-born composer -- who achieved a starling effect by…  See more details below

Overview

For this historically accurate telling of the King Arthur story set in the waning days of the Roman Empire, Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer has crafted a score with broad, dramatic strokes that brings to mind the grand-scale pieces comprising his score for Gladiator. The German-born composer -- who achieved a starling effect by employing the haunting vocals of Enya on his score for the Robin Williams vehicle Toys -- repeats the formula here by drawing on the talents of the new age chanteuse's sister, Clannad's Moya Brennan, who lends her hushed vocals to the ethereal opening cut, "Tell Me Now (What You See)." Brennan's wispy harmonies are also heard amid the swelling brass and operatic fanfare of the solemn "Hold the Ice." The seven lengthy tracks here allow Zimmer plenty of room to weave the kind of epic passages befitting a plot packed with swashbuckling and medieval skirmishes. Amid the bluster that comes with a score for a Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, Zimmer injects his hearty arrangements with hints of pathos -- the mournful violin passage towards the end of "Another Brick in Hadrian's Wall," for example, and the eerie flute stanzas peering from the shadows in "All of Them!" Hans Zimmer masterfully conjures the kind of swaggering sentiment needed for this testosterone-driven adventure, once again proving his mettle as film score royalty.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Since Alan Jay Lerner wrote the libretto for the Broadway musical Camelot in 1960, presentations of the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table have tended to focus, as that version did, on the romantic triangle between Arthur, his queen Guinevere, and the knight Lancelot. Director Antoine Fuqua's 2004 film King Arthur, however, which was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who is known for big-budget action movies, is more interested in war than love; the three principals are shown on the poster (and cover of the soundtrack CD) in battle garb with weapons in their hands -- even Guinevere, who brandishes a bow and arrow. Prolific composer Hans Zimmer, then, has little reason to ape Frederick Loewe's stately Camelot music. Instead, he comes up with some typical epic movie scoring, meant to accompany grand armies sweeping through the landscape. The strings soar with anthem-like (and occasionally portentous) melody, a choir voices alarm or anticipation, and there is plenty of work for the timpanists, augmented by drum programming, to reflect those pounding hooves and marching feet. But there is also another register. When Zimmer isn't going for overwhelmingly loud effects, he's going for extremely soft ones, to accompany the occasional moments of intimacy and the funerals that must follow the conflicts. There isn't much attempt at period accuracy, but Moya Brennan turns up here and there, notably on the leadoff song, "Tell Me Now (What You See)," to give things an Enya/Clannad-like ethereal Celtic feel. Unlike most albums of film music, which tend toward brief cues, this one deals in longer segments (with joke titles like "Another Brick in Hadrian's Wall" and "Do You Think I'm Saxon?"), the six orchestral tracks ranging in length from five and a half to 11 and a half minutes. In practice, however, that doesn't make much difference to the listening experience, since each segment is really a suite with different brief sections meant to underpin a specific scene. Zimmer, a fast worker (as all busy film composers must be), certainly isn't coming up with anything new here, but, as usual, he is competent and efficient with his effects.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/27/2004
Label:
Hollywood Records
UPC:
0720616246127
catalogNumber:
162461

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hans Zimmer   Primary Artist
Nick Glennie-Smith   Conductor,Musician
Gavyn Wright   Leader
Rupert Gregson-Williams   Conductor,Choir Conductor,Musician
Metro Voices   Choir, Chorus
Moya Brennan   Vocals
Jenny O'Grady   Choir Master

Technical Credits

Nick Glennie-Smith   Additional Music
Mel Wesson   drum programming
Gavyn Wright   Orchestra Leader
Hans Zimmer   Composer
Geoff Foster   Engineer,Engineering
Bob Badami   Producer,Audio Production
Mitchell Leib   Music Executive
Jerry Bruckheimer   Executive Soundtrack Producer
Rupert Gregson-Williams   Choir Arrangement,Additional Music
Nick Wollage   Engineer
Trevor Morris   Producer,Audio Production
Moya Brennan   Composer
Alistair King   Choir Arrangement
Nick Woollage   Engineering

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King Arthur [Original Score] 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a really good CD and worth your money if you enjoy listening to classical and inspirational music. The first song is really pretty!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hans Zimmer caters exactly for the film's requirements - i.e. let's rip off the 'Gladiator' score! It is so blatantly a clone of Zimmer's 2000 masterpiece that it makes this score quite enjoyable?! Zimmer utilises his full orchestra like a speeding locomotive out of control: mixing percussion-heavy and horn-rich action-cues with lush and engaging string-dominated arrangements. Even though Zimmer has apparently resorted to autopilot recently, at least its a damn good autopilot!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This score is truly spectacular. As a stand-alone musical work it is truly inspirational. Whether its the heavy battle sound of "Budget Meeting" or the inspirational sound at the ending of "Woad to Ruin" or "All of Them", the soundtrack has a great feel and is my personal favorite.
RedSoxFanJP More than 1 year ago
The movie is great but the soundtrack is truly mesmerizing. It starts almost religiously then carries you through an exhilarating ride to the end. I used to listen to Rocky soundtracks to exercise to now I use this. But seriously, if you want to listen to a truly intoxicating experiemce that will have you listening again and again, this CD is for you!