I'm a fan of lots of different types of music, and what I listen to usually depends on how I'm feeling. Whatever mood I'm in, there is always something on the Gladiator soundtrack to match it. This is the soundtrack that suddenly bounced Orchestral music into the mainstream and made it "cool". Even though it has been out for nearly 10 years, barely a day goes by that I don't hear a snippet of one of the tracks, being widely used in TV trailers, public events and adverts. I can't help but hum along!
The soundtrack itself is varied in its style. The first track, "progeny", starts with an evocative and haunting woodwind theme, before slowly stretching out and unfurling into an eerie melody, linking it to the next track, "The wheat" which features a beautiful rich and melancholy solo female voice. We are then introduced to the main recurring theme of the gladiator soundtrack which we are most familiar with, rousing, with drumbeats like horses hooves. Each piece of music corresponds with a scene from the film, and as you listen, you can rememer excepts from the movie, which add fullness to the music.
One of the most well known and stirring of the tracks is track 9, The Might of Rome. The music starts quietly and swells to the crescendo of the main theme, incorporating more modern elements, such as the drums, and a more synthesised sound, leading into voices and what sounds like a zither, to add to the atmosphere. The music twists and turns, at one point making you think of tribes in the thick of battle, at another grief and mourning, and then peace.
This music has a wide appeal, not just because of the film, but because it is so well written and touches the deepest senses. there is something about the music that is very primal and emotional. You can't listen to it without feeling something, perhaps even crying, before being lifted up to the heights of euphoria by tracks like 12 (even if it is called Slaves to Rome). Track 13 will completely carry you away to the battlefield., and leave you breathless!
The gladiator soundtrack sits well in any music collection. And I'm glad it is in mine. The music is composed and arranged by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard. This will appeal to those who have never really listened to orchestral music before, and may spark a lifelong interest.
The film to start off with was one of a kind with Russell Crow playing the powering and mighty Maximus. However, how powerful, emotional and breathtaking he was all depended massively on they music that complimented his actions and followed him through out the film.
There are 17 great tracks on the album and they were all written solely by the genius Hans Zimmer. He has also been involved with music from the 'Last Samurai' which again he expresses an excellent feeling that compliments so perfectly the actions taking place.
The soundtrack to gladiator is so peaceful and warm. The music has been written with so much passion. Each track gives its own ambiance. When there are fighting scenes where you need to feel pumped with Adrenalin the tracks are big and powerful with deep brass that resonates unforgettably around your ear drums.
This album is beautiful but it works even better in the film. I would recommend it if you want a chilled out CD. The tracks are often quiet and still which is easy to listen to and slow which calms you down.
The film has a lot of sadness in it and the tracks compliment this mood very well.
THE BALLAD OF WIZARD HANS
There once was a wizard named Hans Zimmer,
Whose popularity exceeded all claims.
Even though some may feel a bit bitter,
Truth is he always appealed to the audiences brains.
There came a movie everybody knows,
Called Gladiator starring Russell Crowe.
Zimmer was appointed to show where the horn blows,
May it be a synthesizer often replaced the real ones glow.
What Zimmer put together appealed to a wide range,
From old and young to the cynical rocknroll teen.
There was a feel that embraced our contemporary age
While Lisa Gerrard provided the Eastern sheen.
Celebrities ensued with many calling it the best ever,
An Oscar nomination followed bolstering the fame of the score.
Zimmer was called the greatest wizard yet, many doubting anybody could do better,
And the wizard laughed, he laughed all the way to his core.
But not all is wine and roses in the hall of fame,
Accusations of plagiarism sometimes from peoples mouths fell.
Alls not always how it seems, that is the nature of the game;
That in time could even the Holst Foundation tell.
A law suit did they the wizard serve,
For using another wizards composition called Mars.
The case was laid down with quite a bit of verve,
Though we are yet to hear the results from the fella named Lars.
But the people could little less care,
To them wizard Hans still stands mighty and tall.
Thus he continues with his old game of dare,
Keeping popular even amonst the peasants at the mall.
- Berlioz: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, circa 2006.
Thus goes the legend of the wizard Hans Zimmer. Whether you want to view that history as the pinpoint of perfection in film scoring or stand in the sidelines with a sardonic smile on your face,
knowingly saying to passers-by Thats where everything that is wrong with film scoring began, there is no denying that the score for Ridley Scotts 2000 film Gladiator is an extremely enjoyable score both in the film and as a stand alone listening experience. Zimmers previous scores for films like Backdraft, The Peacemaker and Crimson Tide had solidified a new sound to film scoring that was more akin to contemporary rock music, only combining an orchestral sound with simple, yet memorable themes, loud and fast moving action replete with synthesizers, and a certain sense of less formal way to approach an orchestra that even young people could easily feel comfortable with. But it wasnt until Gladiator that the so-called Media Ventures sound became widely regarded as the blueprint for many film scores to follow. Thus Gladiator is in many ways a traditional Zimmer action score, with its unison brass blurbs, the doubling of orchestra with synths, predictable rhythms, and an almost new-agey feel. To provide softer and more etheral moments, Zimmer collaborated with Dead Can Dance founder Lisa Gerrard, whose vocal contributions can be heard in several cues such as Sorrow, Reunion and Now We Are Free. Gerrards Arabian like wailing vocals provide quite a lot of spirituality to the music, arguably presenting the best material in the score, though it has to be admitted that after they made such a splash in Gladiator, they have since become too much of a Hollywood cliché, from Troy and Revenge of the Sith, to Pirates of the Caribbean and Alexander. Further contributions to the score include the nasal duduk solos (another future Media Ventures cliché) by the instrumentalist Djivan Gasparyan in the cue To Zucchabar and additional material written by Klaus Badelt, whose career has gone up and down and mediocre for most of the time.
As such there is nothing really resembling a main theme in the entire score, apart from a noble, recurring melody, first heard in Earth that makes further appearances in Barbarian Horde and Honor Him, and a certain sombre motif usually heard in the very low ranges of the cellos and basses that appears often throughout the music. To cite the many plainly obvious influences in the music, we also get extensive, near-copied quotations of Mars, the Bringer of War from Gustav Holsts The Planets Suite (which indeed even resulted in the Holst Foundation suing Zimmer for plagiarism in 2006), along with distinctive derivations of Wagner, like the Natur-Motiv from Das Rheingold in The Might of Rome and Siegfrieds Funeral March from Götterdämmerung in Am I Not Merciful, which also features another nearly straight rip from Gorécki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. I could even hear certain similarities with the music of Vangelis, most notably 1492: Conquest of Paradise (also a Ridley Scott film), both in tone and its overall breadth (can you say temp tracking?).
So okay, the score for Gladiator is not highly original, and there seems to be more temp-track love here than usual, but I would not say it is hugely distracting. No, indeed the biggest weakness in the score doesnt come from its rather plagiaristic attitude, but from Zimmers insistent use of synthesized sampling and instruments, the kind providing a distinctly snorty sound when they attempt to imitate brass in particular. As it is, the hard, metallic edge of the electronics can be a little too overbearing and annoying at times, particularly in the first part of The Might of Rome. The main cumulative argument for the musical sound is that nobody knows how Roman music really sounded like. Now maybe Im wrong, but somehow, if they were striving for a new speculatively authentic Roman sound, I doubt the Romans had a bunch of Yamahas lined up during their Panem et Circenses! As a notable exception, the cue Patricide offers a neo-classical, string-heavy elegy with no synth-backing, and I find this to really give the music a more emotionally weighty feeling than anything else in the rest of the score (though many teeny boppers tend to say they like it the least, of course). The two great action set pieces, The Battle and Barbarian Horde (both reaching the length of 10 minutes) are of course highlights of the album (even with the Holst quotations) and the final four tracks are truly magical. A heavy adult choir is also used in a few places, most notably in the latter half of The Might of Rome and Am I Not Merciful?, that create some powerful moments, and the final Now We Are Free song (performed by Lisa Gerrard) is also nice enough, though it sounds somewhat out of place with its more poppy attitude.
Now, despite my criticisms of Gladiators score, as well as its composer, I have to say that I enjoy the score very much. It does have its fair share of problems, but there are a number of appealing melodies, rousing excitement and, as a whole, is very well balanced between the differing styles of Zimmer and Gerrard, never sounding mixed or clashing with each other. And, when compared to the more subtle and elusive The Last Samurai of 2003, the more banal King Arthur of 2004, or the abysmal Pirates of the Caribbean series, Gladiator is really a more flavoursome score, never really sitting still for long enough to bore those with short attention spans. If the hardness of the synthesizers doesnt bother you, Gladiator is a very rewarding score in the end. Most certainly I dont think it is a whooo-hoo-hoo best score like EVER, it is something I like sitting down to for some light entertainment from time to time. Following the popularity of the original album, a second CD, More Music from Gladator, was released the following year, including alternate takes, demo recordings, a bunch of dialogue and other such stuff. This second CD is really only for die-hard Gladiator and Zimmer fans and offers nothing really interesting for the average Joe (unless of course you love to hear famous dialogue bits from the film without actually bothering too see the film).
Amazon prices are as follows: both original album and the second CD retail at £11.99, while the Special Anniversary Edition combines both CDs for the pretty affordable £6,97, making it a better purchase than getting either one or the other separately!
1. Progeny (2:15)
2. The Wheat (1:03)
3. The Battle (10:02)
4. Earth (3:02)
5. Sorrow (1:26)
6. To Zucchabar (3:16)
7. Patricide (4:08)
8. The Emperor is Dead (1:21)
9. The Might of Rome (5:18)
10. Strength and Honor (2:10)
11. Reunion (1:14)
12. Slaves to Rome (1:00)
13. Barbarian Horde (10:33)
14. Am I Not Merciful? (6:33)
15. Elysium (2:41)
16. Honor Him (1:20)
17. Now We Are Free (4:14)
More Music from album
1. Duduk of the North (5:35)
2. Now We Are Free (Jubas Mix) (4:39)
3. The Protector of Rome* (1:28)
4. Homecoming* (3:38)
5. The General Who Became a Slave (3:05)
6. The Slave Who Became a Gladiator* (6:14)
7. Secrets (2:01)
8. Rome is the Light (2:46)
9. All That Remains (0:57)
10. Maximus (1:11)
11. Marikesh Marketplace (0:44)
12. The Gladiator Waltz* (8:27)
13. Figurines (1:03)
14. The Mob (2:24)
15. Busy Little Bee* (3:50)
16. Death Smiles at Us All* (2:32)
17. Not Yet* (1:33)
18. Now We Are Free (Maximus Mix) (3:49)
* Includes dialogue
Music Composed by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard
Additional music by Klaus Badelt and Djivan Gasparyan
Score Performed by The Lyndhurst Orchestra
Conducted by Gavin Greenaway
Score Vocals Performed by Lisa Gerrard
Orchestrated by Bruce Fowler, Yvonne S. Moriarty, Walt Fowler, Ladd McIntosh, Elizabeth Finch and Jack Smalley
Recorded and Mixed by Alan Meyerson
Recorded at Air Studios Lyndhurst, London
Music Editor: Adam Smalley
OST: Decca, 2000 (289 467 094-2)
MMF: Decca, 2001 (13192-2)
© berlioz, 2004/2007
Performer Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard.
The Albums Gladiator, Music From The Motion Picture.
Released 2000 on Deccal.
Gladiator, More Music From The Motion Picture.
Released 2001 on Decca.
Right, before anyone jumps in to tell me that I could review each of these separately, I dont want to. Why? Because these two should have really been issued as a double disc. So Im reviewing them together.
Save the wear and tear on your index fingers for something or some one else.
Now; heres a question for you. Who do you think was the originator of heavy metal? The Kinks? How about Black Sabbath or Deep Purple? No, none of them. It was Wagner. And his touch can be heard all over these discs. Not massively, nor is he plagiarized, but there are bits that he wouldve been proud of. I jest ye not.
But there is an ironic twist. Oh yes.
Zimmer and Gerrard have mixed the big orchestra sound with all sorts of other stuff that could quite easily have you thinking that this is one of those New Age discs. But unlike those nasty, shallow little offerings, the Gladiator soundtrack is powerful stuff. Even at its quietest.
Yep, this is music for warriors, heroes, legends and gods. The orchestration is immense, giving the impression of huge forces opposed to each other, each holding a grievance against the other. This is music to fight to. There are passages that sweep you along and others that lay you down as soft as breath from the gentlest of breezes. And that voice. Christ, Ive never heard a vocal as good as this. Lisa Gerrard evokes the sweltering heat, the dust and the unrelenting sun of the scene where the movie is set. In fact the whole lot leaves you in no doubt where it is set. Although this is a soundtrack, it could quite easily, in my opinion, be released as a record without a film. It won a golden globe, and I am in no doubt that it thoroughly deserves it.
So where does Wagner come into it then? Well, basically where the score is loud, abrasive such as The Battle or Barbarian Horde. Zimmer hasnt copied nor plagiarized Wagner, but the spirit is there. The big choirs, the martial overtones. The huge melodies that get you hooked. All mixed in with the movie scorers ability to convey action and tension. Barbarian Horde and parts of Am I Not Merciful? especially have a strong Twig light Of The Gods feel to them that struck me the instant I saw the bit of film it was in. Further still, the main theme melody within Barbarian Horde has a melody Elgar would have been proud of.
This is music for warriors, kings, gods and legends. It evokes times where men fought and died with the dream of being chosen to stand in the halls of their deities, with honour, knowing they had died with a sword in their hands.
And then it goes quiet. Almost silent in some places. The start of Am I Not Merciful (again), for example, is written and played so low and quietly that if you play it on a crappy car stereo, youll miss it completely (cheap kit just does not have the frequency response). Elysium offers a vocal that utterly enchants, backed with an understated orchestra that supports rather than swamps. Progeny and The Battle offer a deceptively peaceful beginning to the whole affair. Sorrow is as its title suggests, utterly remorseful. Almost spiritual, it is during these quieter moments within the score that the music is at its most powerful. I dont know why. But there you are.
Zimmer and Gerrard have let the orchestration take the load. There are traditional instruments used but sparingly, which is no bad thing. Just like James Horner with the Braveheart soundtrack, theyve used traditional instruments to gently draw out the atmosphere of the piece, rather than over use them and bludgeon you over the head
My only criticism of the whole thing is the sleeve notes. There arent any. It wouldve been good to have some kind of commentary from the composers. But this is where the second disc comes in.
On Gladiator, More Music From The Motion Picture, we get just that, and also demo tracks and tracks not used in the final cut. Plus, we are given copious notes describing what went on during the scoring and recording.
Better still, there are moments of dialogue taken from the film, some of which ended up not being used. I think this is not such a bad idea. And yes, they have included that speech.
As for the music, there is little I can add that I have not already said. This second disc really fills in the bits missing from the first, so any previous comments also apply here too.
As I said at the start, these two discs should have been released as one double disc. The cashing in is a bit obvious. However, as I write this there has been a new double disk released. I havent heard it yet but from the cover it seems to have all that is on these two plus more. Ill tell you when I get it.
In the meantime, get these.
Cast your minds back a couple of years in cinematic history if you will. Do you remember the sandals and toga epic that was the film Gladiator? Russell Crowe kitted up in Roman armour and wielding a rather large sword ring any bells? Yes? Good. The film divided the critics - some said it was excellent, others hated it, and others again said that Spartacus had done the job better. I personally fall into the first category, even to the point of owning video, soundtrack, making-of book and PC wallpaper, so I think it is about time that I turned my attention to one of them. I have chosen the soundtrack as it stands as a magnificent collection of classical music in its own right, and will not date as the film will no doubt do in years to come - or be changed as the wallpaper will inevitably be at some point. This CD is often my background music of choice when writing (both reviews and my real work), so I don't quite know how I have managed to get through so many opinions without getting to it before now! This is only my second ever outing into the music cat - the first being my truly pathetic opening review as a virgin dooyooer - so fingers crossed, and I'll have a good a stab at it as I can manage... The score to Gladiator is the work of Hans Zimmer with Lisa Gerrard - it is a copy of the actual music used to accompany the film, not one of those insipid "inspired by" albums. Zimmer is currently one of the most sought-after composers in Tinseltown, after producing such scores as those for The Lion King, Crimson Tide and The Thin Red Line - Gerrard is less well known, but co-composed many of the pieces featured on the soundtrack, and provided the highly distinctive and ethereal vocals that I'm sure will have stuck with anyone who has seen the film. Zimmer is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to his work, and you can really see this, not only in the beautiful music this CD contains, but also in the way it fits in with and mat
ches the mood on the film. The music is an attempt to get back to the golden days of the great Hollywood epic, but unlike other Roman masterpieces such as Quo Vadis where a great deal of scholarly research was lavished on producing authentic sounding backing music, Zimmer has instead gone for a more contemporary approach, combining synthesised and traditional classical music to produce the end result. He has even tried to capture the size and breadth of the Roman Empire by incorporating several "ethnic" instruments into it such as the Spanish guitar, the Chinese dulcimer and Armenian duduk to give a cosmopolitan feel to the soundtrack. In addition to this, Zimmer has cleverly used vocals to support the moods he is trying to produce throughout the film. Gerrard's highly distinctive voice are used by him to be both melancholy and as a signifier of freedom and release in the final tracks on the CD, used in the closing scenes of the film. A men's choir is also added, presumably in echo to the male characters we see on screen while the music is playing - it also sounds very compulsive and rhythmic in a way that almost reminds me of the music used in first of the Lord of the Rings films. The tracks are divided into short excerpts named after the part of the film where they first appear, and are then repeated at appropriate points throughout the narrative to support and enhance the action in the film. The full listing of tracks is as follows: 1) Progeny (2 min 15 secs) As the opening track of the CD, this introduces us to the theme music of the central character that is repeated over and over again in many different forms throughout the soundtrack. It starts off very quietly, then becomes a very serious piece of music in mood, as befits an army preparing for war. 2) The Wheat (1 min 3 secs) In this track - one of the shortest on the album - we hear Lisa Gerrard's incredible voice for the first time, followed
by a very militaristic orchestral piece, with brass instrument and a strong bass beat bringing up images of armies marching to war. And if you are wondering why you can't understand a word that she says when singing, then that is because it is in Hebrew, which again lends itself to the cosmopolitan feel of the album. 3) The Battle (10 min 2 secs) This is the music for the early battle scene, where we see Russell Crowe lead his soldiers to victory against the barbarians of unconquered Germany. The guitar is used to surprisingly good effect to build up the pace of the music, and the tempo slowing increases as the battle gets underway to produce a magnificent crescendo of wonderful battle music. It is possible to detect strains of Holst's "Mars, the bringer of war", but they are not quite as prominent as in track 13. 4) Earth (3 min 2 secs) A slower, reflective piece, for after the battle, featuring a trumpet solo by Maurice Murphy at its core. 5) Sorrow (1 min 26 secs) A very ethereal vocal piece by Gerrard, and most befitting of the title chosen for this track, as the vocals are very reminiscent of a lament. 6) To Zucchabar (3 min 16 secs) A more exotic piece, and I am sure it features one of the "ethnic" instruments in the opening solo, but I am damned if I can tell which one it is! Still, the blend of old traditional instrument with modern synthesised music works surprisingly well. 7) Patricide (4 min 8 secs) This one sounds more like "proper" classical music if you see what I mean, as it is all down to the orchestra to create the solemn occasion of the old Emperor being murdered by his son. Despite my love of classical music, this is my least favourite track, as it does not manage to match the rest of the music for style and novelty, although it does fit in with the film scenes well enough. 8) The Emperor is Dead (1 min 21 secs) A simple guita
r solo to lament for the passing of the Emperor. 9) The Might of Rome (5 min 18 secs) A bit of plagiarism is going on here, as Zimmer bases this track on Wagner's "Siegfried's Funeral March" - don't think we didn't notice, Hans! 10) Strength and Honour (2 min 10 secs) A quieter and quite understated orchestral piece. 11) Reunion (1 min 14 secs) A vocal piece that builds up and flows perfectly into track 12... 12) Slaves to Rome (1min 0 secs) ...so you might think they were all one movement! This and the previous track may only be short but are catchy and do incorporate the now familiar theme of the Gladiator. 13) Barbarian Horde (10 min 33 secs) The longest track on the CD. This piece borrows heavily from the insistent battle themes in Holst's "Mars, the bringer of war", making it instantly recognisable to anyone with even the faintest of interest in classical music. This actually serves the score very well, as the Mars is so good at conjuring up images of battle and war that it provides the perfect basis for the piece - why bother writing another from scratch when you have a classic as good as this to play with? 14) Am I not Merciful? (6 min 33 secs) A contrast to the "wall of sound" in the previous track, this one uses both synthesised music and the cello to create very strained, tense music, that builds up into a sombre, full orchestral piece. It was written to fit in around the scenes of the new Emperor declaring his greatness and merciful nature, whilst simultaneously plotting to dispose of the hated Gladiator who is replacing him as a symbol of affection in the hearts of his people. The climax of this movement is a wonderful choral accompaniment to the orchestral music. 15) Elysium (2 min 41 secs) One of Gerrard's vocal pieces, but a lot lighter and more positive than earlier ones, despite it being played around
the Gladiator's death scene - as this is his rise to heaven (Elysium to the Romans). 16) Honor Him (1 min 20 secs) Triumphant orchestral music, led by the brass section, which signals the victory of the Gladiator over the Emperor, despite his death. 17) Now we are Free (4 min 14 secs) This is very similar to the previous track, and when listening to it, it can be hard to detect where one stops and the other begins. Lisa Gerrard uses her amazing voice again, this time in a very uplifting, spiritual and free style that is in direct contrast to the moods she creates earlier on in the CD. Overall, I think this is a wonderful album, although a little short in total length - I would have liked more of this unusual take on classical orchestral music. Whatever you thought of the film, this album will appeal to anyone with a taste for classical music, especially for the more epic pieces. Easily the best film soundtrack I own, and I will no doubt type along to its strains for a long time to come. It is stylish, lavish, entertaining, atmospheric and diverse and easy befitting of the epic Roman saga it was written for, with the synthesised parts blending together perfectly with the vocals and the traditional instruments. Some people may like to argue that this is not Zimmer's best work, but I don't think the rating of this in comparison with his earlier scores takes anything from this being a collection of some very good musical pieces. Simply magnificent! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ----- Details: The album costs £11.99 new or £8.50 second hand from Amazon. www.gladiator-thefilm.com www.universalclassics.com
For years now, John Williams has been taking all the glory for his film scores, which admittedly are brilliant, but Hans Zimmer is, in my opinion one of the best rising talents. I say rising, he's written a lot from Sleepy Hollow to Gladiator, even the latest hit Hannibal, but he has never yet had the praise that Williams and even Horner have had. This will change. His score for Gladiator has been nominated for an Oscar, and deservedly so; it is first rate. It is very typically Hans Zimmer in a way, as he uses his very 'ethnic' techniques to create incredibly moving sections with a single female voice singing the pain of the Gladiator. However, certain sections most certainly made the film the success it was. 'For the Glory of Rome' for example is extremely stirring and really gets the blood boiling as it builds and builds with heavy use of brass and percussion; other Zimmer trademarks. The soundtrack as a whole is excellent, and it certainly does not, as one friend said "all sound the same"; it is simply based on several beautiful and rousing themes which will keep you gripped and increase your enjoyment of the film when you see both working in harmony. This is a great soundtrack, one which will propel Zimmer to the status he deserves as an equal to Williams, Horner and Goldsmith, and I am sure will win him an oscar.
I wouldn’t necessarily label myself as a fan of classical music. If anything I tend to avoid it, but not this time. After watching the multi Academy Award nominated "Gladiator" earlier this year, one of the things that stuck in my mind the most was the music, so I had to get hold of this soundtrack. Anyone who has seen the film will know what I’m talking about. It’s uplifting, rousing where it needs to be, dreamy and emotional the next. One thing this album is NOT is music “inspired by” the motion picture. This is a true and genuine collection of the film soundtrack. You don't have to have lvoed the film to appreciate this at all, but it has to be said you're likely to enjoy it a whole lot more if you, like me, really enjoyed the film itself. • Artists The soundtrack for Gladiator is composed and produced by Hans Zimmer (a previous Academy Award nominee and winner for film soundtracks), with additional vocals supplied by Lisa Gerrard (formerly a member of Dead Can Dance and a Golden Globe Nominee). It is obvious how passionately Zimmer is with his music and how much of a perfectionist he is. Watch the profile of him on the Gladiator DVD if you get the chance as it’s very informative. He has obviously poured his heart and soul into this musical score. • Style The musical style is fairly traditional orchestral music on the whole but with some more ancient instruments and styles surfacing throughout the album, fused with the haunting tones of Lisa Gerrard. This combination creates an extremely forceful and dramatic soundtrack to compliment the visual splendour of Gladiator. The musical style doesn’t hark back to any identifiable era. It is perfect for this film and can be described as having a sort of timeless and dreamy/spiritual quality to it in places, particularly in the sections featuring the vocals of Lisa Gerrard. The
sections in which she sings (in Hebrew) are truly beautiful. • Tracks This isn’t a regular album where you can pick out one or two tracks for praise. The only way to listen to this album (for me anyway) is from start to finish (with hardly any skipping even after a few months of listening now). For once, this is an album that is more than just a collection of songtracks. It really is better than the sum of its parts. Tracks can of course be listened to in isolation, but the overall experience of them played in sequence is far more enjoyable for me. All of the tracks seem to smoothly melt into one another so keeping a check on which particular track you are listening to will become unimportant. The total running time of the CD is a shade over sixty minutes. Tracklist:- ========= I’ll try and give a brief description of each of the tracks (without giving away too much of the plot of the film). This has been quite difficult to do as each track, while a stand alone piece of music in its own right, melt into one another so well that you can easily lose track (argh bad pun sorry) of the individual pieces. When listened to as one fluid piece it works far better than if you try and listen to it as you would any other CD (i.e. skipping tracks or random track selection). (1) Progeny Slow, and initially very quiet (to the point where you will wonder if it is actually playing!) but it does build up into a foreboding, if short, piece. (2) The Wheat It almost seems that the first track melts into this one. The join is barely noticable. It's also the first time we hear the distinctive and haunting vocals of Lisa Gerrard. This piece is used in the first dream sequence in the film (the hand brushing through the wheat field - hence the title). (3) The Battle This is the music set onto the build up to and the duration of the battle with the Germanic Barbar
ians. It is a whopping ten minutes long and is quite difficult to describe, and could quite easily have been broken up into two or three tracks. As in any good “war” piece it builds up steadily to a crescendo as the battle commences. The surprising thing with this piece is that technically, due to its pace, it is classed as a waltz. An extremely dramatic piece and conjures up a feeling of danger and exhilaration. Makes the hairs stand up on the back of my head! (4) Earth The first half is a rather quiet, thoughtful piece to match the brooding, sombre atmosphere after the battle is over. Mid-way through the piece it transforms into a beautiful section that lifts the gloom away. This latter type of melody typifies the feel of the soundtrack for me. (5) Sorrow As the title suggests, this is a sad piece to match an equally sad passage of time for Maximus in the film. Lisa Gerrard's vocals (sung in Hebrew) are very striking and convey his emotions extremely well indeed(even if I don't have the faintest idea what they mean!). (6) To Zucchabar A meandering tune with a strange, distant feel to it. They used some ancient and rare instruments in the making of this piece, and had difficulty in finding anyone still alive who knew how to play them. Not the best of tracks on the CD but fits nicely with the rest. (7) Patricide Another dark piece, full of woe and betrayal (well it has too be considering the event!) It’s probably my least favourite track on the CD, and only tends to stay on when I have the CD playing as background music. (8) The Emperor is Dead Another short instrumental piece. The only way I can think of describing this one is similar to the feeling of calm before the storm. (9) The Might of Rome The pace picks up here with the movement in the film to Rome. A dramatic piece meant to convey the awesome power of Rome. It trails off a touch towards the end though. <
br> (10) Strength and Honor Another short piece, which uses the same tone as the 'Earth' track. Most of the tracks that use this type of style are my favourites on the CD. This is no exception. (11) Reunion Again, similar in places to Sorrow, this track has Lisa Gerrard's vocals fading in and out in a dreamy quality. (12) Slaves to Rome I suppose this one could best be described as a march (to convey the passage of the Gladiator slaves by Proximo to the Coliseum of Rome). Not a stand out individual track, but it works well when listened in sequence. (13) Barbarian Horde Starts off as slow and as quiet as Progeny did, building up into a fast paced waltz, very reminiscent of “Mars, the god of war” from Holst’s planets suite. A rousing track that perfectly suits the section of the film it was written for, the Gladiator battles in the Coliseum of Rome (the Carpathian Horde and the chariots?). The second half of the piece moves a little away from the Holst comparison and becomes more distinctive (matching the fight-back in the arena). Parts of the Earth piece are inter-weaved in the middle of this piece too. This is another mammoth track weighing in at just over ten minutes in length, but it really does fly by. (14) Am I Not Merciful? An emotional and sometimes dark piece, used in scenes of the film to portray the paranoia and the cloak and dagger ways of Commodus. I think this track goes on a touch too long, but I am trying to be picky with this collection! The harsh cynic in me is really trying, honest! (15) Elysium A really beautiful and dreamy piece, again with the haunting vocals of Gerrard. You don’t need to comprehend what she is exactly saying in the lyrics to really understand the emotions here. Simply beautiful. (16) Honor Him This one tugs at the heart strings (particularly in the scene it is played on in the film). It is quite short (aroun
d one minute in length) and moves fluidly into the final piece. (17) Now We Are Free The last track and easily my favourite one! An extremely uplifting and hope filled piece that always gets to me. A fitting finale to a wonderful collection. Phew! I’ve really tried to keep these descriptions concise, so apologies to anyone if I’ve rambled at all. This has been a very hard opinion for me to write, as classical music is not normally my cup of tea. • Recording Quality Another feature of this CD is probably not that obvious to most people. It lies in the quality and sharpness of the sound. Why is that? Well, it’s because this CD has been recording purely in digital format, as shown by the DDD symbol on the top of rear of the case. Most CDs are produced in either AAD or ADD format, which means they have some elements of the tracks recorded in analogue. The only discs that seem to have this digital quality are classical ones. As the Gladiator soundtrack falls into this classical bracket then you get a great quality sound. An unexpected bonus! • 2001 Oscars With the nominations announced on Tuesday 13th February 2001, this movie soundtrack has been put forward for a golden statuette in the Best Music, Original Score category (up against Chocolat, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Malena and The Patriot). For once the CD soundtrack is not just a collection of music "inspired" by a great film but actually IS the music from the film. Rarely is a film soundtrack so good that it can be realised in its entirety as done here. It's also reasonably fluid with the continuity of the film (i.e the tracks follow roughly in the same order as they appear in the film). This helps to give a much better experience and relates to the film in a very strong manner. Rarely does a CD evoke a visual response as this one does by simply listening to it. ---> For more
details on the Oscar nominations then check out www.oscars.com At last, a movie soundtrack that really is what it claims to be. If it doesn’t win an Academy Award for best soundtrack then there is no justice in the world! Hans Zimmer is a genius, truly inspiring. So, if you’ve not seen the film … GO SEE IT! If you have, and like me were hooked by the music then you won’t be disappointed by this purchase. An essential one for your collection. Footnote: ======== I got my copy of the Gladiator soundtrack from www.play247.com for £9.99 (including all postage and packaging). I ordered it last Wednesday and it arrived this morning on recorded delivery (within a week). Still my favourite place for CDs and DVDs. • OSCARS UPDATE!! (Post "Oscars" 26th March 2001) Well, what can I say about the awards? Not many big surprises really, but for me this effort not getting the "Best Music, Original Score" was far and away the (very) low point of the evening. Serves me right I guess for labelling it as a certainty to win! I'm cursed I tell ya! It also serves to remind us all that the favourites do NOT always win. Right i'm off to carry on crying in my beer ....
An epic film deserves a soundtrack to match. Happily Gladiator’s is no let down. On the contrary, this is an exceptional soundtrack, with music that adds immeasurably to the emotional impact of the film. A soundtrack should be more than just a selection of music that plays in the background, while you watch what’s going on. In this case, the music sets the mood for the on-screen action, and helps to set the tempo in some of the more dramatic scenes. Composed by Hans Zimmer, a veteran of Hollywood blockbuster soundtracks (the Rock, M:I2, the Thin Red Line), the album contains a wealth of beautiful music, with the softer love themes interspersed with the more dramatic battle themes that will give your speakers a good work-out. Lisa Gerrard supplies vocals and plays a major part in the overall impact of the music. At times haunting, at others remarkably powerful, Gerrard’s beautiful and soulful vocals add much to the appeal of the album. “Wheat” in particular showcases what she brings to the album. The music matches the film perfectly, capturing the savagery and brutality of the gladiator games, while at the same time giving the impression of the nobility and relatively civilised nature of the Roman empire. The opening track “Progeny” sets the tone for the rest of the album. From here the music is just a captivating blend of highly atmospheric tracks. A number of recurring themes are recognisable, although they do tend to appear in differing contexts – the love themes easily transfer into the context of the battle music. “Barbarian Horde” conveys the chaos and sheer exhilaration of the opening battle sequence of the film. This is one of those scenes where a film is crying out for a fitting backing track, and Gladiator’s fits the bill perfectly. It is also the second longest track on the album at just over 10 minutes, as it covers the full spectrum of the ba
ttle, from the brutality of the fighting to the elation of the Roman soldiers at their victory. The music used when Marcus Aurelius is murdered by his enraged son, “Patricide” is particularly effective in hinting at the darkness that lies within Commodus, and his subsequent descent into madness. “Slaves to Rome”, although one of the shortest tracks is an extremely upbeat number which is intended to get across the sheer awe of the slaves as they are led through the streets of Rome to the Coliseum for the first time. “The Might Of Rome”, as Zimmer himself admits, borrows heavily from Wagnerian themes. The re-enactment of the battle of Carthage within the Coliseum is played against the backdrop of “The Battle”, a track which builds in excitement as the condemned gladiators get the better of the supposed victors of the battle. “Elysium” shows off Gerrard’s exceptional voice to great effect – this is used as the music on the menu screens of the extras DVD. The final track, “Now we are free” rounds off the album well. It will be familiar to owners of the Region 2 DVD as the backing track for the deleted scene montage, an absolutely stunning combination. If like me you fall in love with the music of Gladiator, as well as buying the soundtrack you should check out the Hans Zimmer documentary on the extras disc that comes with the DVD of the film. This covers in some depth Zimmer’s aims with the soundtrack, and shows the extent to which he became wrapped up in his work on the project. When I first saw Gladiator, I was conscious that the soundtrack was an exceptional piece of work, and ever since I have bought it, my liking and admiration for it has only increased. I strongly recommend you check it out – you can even get short samples of the tracks over at Amazon’s UK website. I fully expect to see this album picking
up a few nominations in the current awards season.
I'm not an expert on music , but i do know what i like and i like this. It sounds so impressive, the tracks can evoke so many emotions, i believe that orchestral music is far more impressive than any other kind of music, it is an excellent soundtrack and the fact that i know the storyline that goes with it it makes the tracks seem more epic. the CD has 17 tracks here is a description of each one: 1) Progeny (2:13) 2) The Wheat (1:02) 3) The Battle (10:01) the First three tracks are actually all part of one piece of music, they carry straight on from one another but for some reason it is split onto three tracks. The first part is a quiet and relaxing intro which has some vocals added when it reaches track two, towards the end of track two a drum beat is added and then the tune works itself up into the impressive battle music from the film, part three is the most uplifting part, it is an excellent piece of battle music with a good rhythm. 4) Earth (3:01) After the impressive piece from track three, track four comes down a bit and is a much calmer piece of music, there is a string instrument playing a very calm tune. 5) Sorrow (1:26) This piece of music has a very ominous feeling to it, it is mainly vocals with the music seemingly built up around the singing. 6) To Zucchabar (3:16) This track opens immediately with a note that seems to go straight through you and then becomes a very solemn piece of woodwind music which is gradually built up through the backing of a string instrument and a gradually increasing pace but suddenly begins to back off with a series of heavy notes until the track gradually fades away. 7) Patricide (4:08) This is a much sadder track, which continues to be evoke emotions of sadness and loss all the way through until there are about 1:30 left and thats when it builds up slightly to a crescendo of what sounds like violin music and
then it suddenly drops of again and continues to be a very powerful piece of music which towards the end becomes veangeful. 8) The Emperor is dead (1:21) 9) the Might of Rome (5:17) Both tracks eight and nine are the same piece of music, track eight is a very quiet piece of music which doesn't really have a set tune to it, it is really just an intro for track nine. Track nine begins very quietly but gradually wors itself up to a very impressive and uplifting track which is very fitting since it is supposed to show the might of the graetest empire on earth (at the time). 10) Strength and Honour (2:09) 11) Reunion (1:14) 12) Slaves to Rome (1:00) 13) Barbarian Horde (10:33) Once again there are multiple tracks which all make up one piece of music. Track ten begins as a very solemn track, which is understandable as the title shows it has a very serious meaning, it is backed by the steady rhythm of very deep drums but the main piece of music is very calm and slightly uplifting, it continues to gradually build up and then leads immediately onto track 11. Track 11 is a very solemn piece of music with vocals which builds up to track 12 which is very cheerful and uplifting, track 13 brings this down to a solemn piece of music once again which has vocals, this track then builds up to a very impressive piece of music which is very similar to track three. 14) Am I not Merciful (6:33) This piece starts with a series of deep notes which are gradually backed up by other quiet instruments until after about a minute the deep notes fade into the background and the music is dominated by another tune which is very sad and at points parts of other tracks break into the music. This piece continues to build up and up until it becomes a very emotional and very powerful piece of music, the music continues to build up and then back down again througout the track. 15) Elysium (2:41)
I particualrly enjoy this track it has vocals and music from a string instrument, it is a very peaceful piece of music and it is very relaxing. 16) Honor Him (1:19) This is a very sad piece of music especially considering which part of the film it goes with (i won't say why because it will ruin the ending for those who haven't seen the film). It is also happy in a way because it finally represents peace after all that has happenned before it. 17) Now we are free (4:14) This is the perfect track to represent a happy ending, it begins with vocals and is built up with a cheerful backing by a string instrument which builds up before gradually fading into a more relaxing piece of music which takes up the rest of the track. I really recommend buying this soundtrack if you liked the Film, you can only truly apreciate this music when you are not watching the roman army slaughtering people at the same time.
If you like the movie Gladiator, then the Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard is the perfect companion to it. From start to finish, it is an hour of breathtaking, haunting music that makes you want to watch the movie all over again. As you listen to each track you will easily remember which scene it is taken from. For your money, you get 17 tracks ranging from the Opening Battle music through to the Arrival in Rome, and on to the End Theme, and everything in-between. Everyone who has seen the movie will know most of the tracks on the CD, and it is great to hear them all again with the volume cranked up full. The accompanying inlay unfolds to give you a little montage of Characters and Scenes from the movie, as well as a full Credit list. Hans Zimmer has really done a great job here and combined with the very haunting vocals of Lisa Gerrard, this is an excellent CD of music taken from an Excellent movie and i would reccomend to anyone, whether you've seen the movie or not. This Soundtrack is dedicated to the memory of the late Oliver Reed.
Even if you haven't seen this film this soundtrack is well worth a listen. Hans Zimmer has created music which not only fits the film perfectly but also is very relaxing and uplifting to listen too. I like orchestral music that is bold and aggresive and this is, you won't find flutes and violins playing solo in here much. It runs alongside lots of action in the film and that is the sort of music you get. If you imagine Mars from Holsts Planets suite, you're in for similarly 'beefy' music, with plenty of bass and deep sounds going on. One thing I have noticed is some similarities with other pieces from other films, every now and again I catch a bar or two that sounds much like something I've heard before, but it's probably just my imagination. As a soundtrack behind a film Zimmers score was excellent, and in my opinion it's almost as good on it's own. Play it loud.
The Gladiator soundtrack is a moving piece, encapsulating the emotion, drama and action of the movie. It is composed by Hans Zimmer, who also did a very good score to "The Rock" and "Broken Arrow" The thing that gets me with this soundtrack is, as long as you have a half decent CD player, the way that the tracks never break, the whole CD sounds like one big piece of music, an hour long. The gaps between are unnoticeable and it forms a very good listen. Once you have the CD, i suggest watching the film again, as with a rememberance of this soundtrack you notice the music even more and it adds to the emotion of the film. Hans Zimmer has come up with a stunning film score, one of the best. It suits the movie perfectly, and as the movie did it finds the perfect balances between emotion and drama. As I said, each track was subtly woven together, and is told in the order of the film. We have the start, where the battle rages in Germania, and Maximus is proven as a general. Here we have a dramatic, heroic score showing the power of the roman army, the later tracks fall quieter as we see the anguish of Maximus, and his descent to slavery and sufffering, as well as the rise of evil emperor commodus, his music adds a tinge of pity to him, as we realise he is a rather sad individual. The power of rome track is outstanding, as we had in Titanic where the ship was seen for the 1st time, we need a track that adds to the awe and wonder on screen. Our first view of a stunning looking colloseum is joined by a rousing, almost fanfare like score, but never leaving the emotion of why we are here (Maximus' slavery) The finale builds as a tremendous reworking of the original battle track and captures perfectly the kind of atmosphere the colloseum would have had, it again has power to it, but gain with more emotion as the emperor makes his entrance, and as Maximus defies him. Stunning.
I love the movie, and after listening to this soundtrack I think I love everything about the movie "Gladiator" including this soundtrack. All the musics are produced by a famous musician named Hans Zimmer, who has also produced some other famous musics used in movies such as The Thin Red Line, The Peacemaker, Mission: Impossible 2 and so on. I always love the music that can touch my spirit (of course not those hard rock and heavy metal - not for me). Some of the classical musics and easy listening can really relax my soul and relief my tense I got from the work. "Gladiator - The Soundtrack" is one of them. When I closed my eyes listening to the music (though I don't understand even a word in some of the songs), I can feel myself sleep and relax deep in the music. Furthermore some of the musics in the soundtrack can move me such as "The Battle" which is really magnificant and so powerful. In short I love this soundtrack and it is certainly worth the money I paid.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
6 To Zucchabar
8 Emperor Is Dead
9 Might Of Rome
10 Strength And Honor
12 Slaves To Rome
13 Barbarian Horde
14 Am I Not Merciful
16 Honor Him
17 Now We Are Free