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The Peacemaker
1997 Dreamworks

2000 Bootleg

Co-Composed, Arranged, and Co-Produced by:
Hans Zimmer

Orchestrated by:
Bruce L. Fowler

Co-Composed and Co-Conducted by:
Gavin Greenaway

Co-Conducted by:
Harry Gregson-Williams

Co-Produced by:
Adam Smalley

Vocals by:
Mamak Khadem

Labels and Dates:
Dreamworks Records
(September 9th, 1997)


Also See:
Beyond Rangoon
Crimson Tide
The Rock
Muppet Treasure Island

Audio Clips:
1997 Album:

1. Trains (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (238K)
Real Audio (147K)

3. Sarajevo (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

4. Chase (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

5. Peacemaker (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

The 1997 Dreamworks album is a regular U.S. release. The bootlegs of the recording sessions began circulating around the secondary soundtrack market in 2000.


The Peacemaker
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Sales Rank: 130213

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Buy it... on any of its album forms if you appreciate the extremely masculine and often brutal synthetic and organic blend that defines Hans Zimmer's action sound of the era.

Avoid it... on the commercial album if you seek a coherent presentation of the score, for the 2-CD bootleg of the recording sessions paints a far more balanced and impressive picture of Zimmer's concepts for the film.

The Peacemaker: (Hans Zimmer/Gavin Greenaway) While The Peacemaker didn't involve producer Jerry Bruckheimer or directors Michael Bay or Tony Scott, most regular movie-goers could have easily been fooled. Directed actually by Mimi Leder and receiving input from Steven Spielberg from the studio level (Dreamworks), the film follows many of the same formula techniques that Bruckheimer productions had introduced very popularly to the world, but with a slightly deeper dramatic reach. A story of international diplomatic intrigue is wrapped around an old-fashioned American chase of a stolen Russian nuclear weapon. A distraught Bosnian diplomat to the U.N., in grief over the loss of his family in the warfare of Sarajevo, seeks to smuggle the weapon into New York and exact his revenge. The acting of George Clooney and Nicole Kidman elevated the film's mainstream appeal outside of military buffs in much the same way that Crimson Tide had accomplished two years later. One of the most obvious direct connections between the two films was the music by composer Hans Zimmer, who was in the process of revolutionizing the sound of the bombastic blockbuster score and influencing his numerous assistants in the same direction. For Zimmer, The Peacemaker was an opportunity to forget the contentious circumstances over the production of music in both Crimson Tide and The Rock. In Crimson Tide, Zimmer had to battle with Bruckheimer over the use of the choir, and in The Rock, Zimmer was forced into an uncomfortable position of serving as a ghostwriter for Nick Glennie-Smith when Bruckheimer refused some of Glennie-Smith's music. Interestingly, however, Spielberg was an enormous fan of the score for Crimson Tide (which is always fun to consider given how vastly different it is from the usual John Williams score), and he specifically encouraged Zimmer to carry over one of the swinging rhythms from that score into The Peacemaker.

Zimmer was much more insistent that he was confident in his approach for The Peacemaker, and Leder and Spielberg extended him far greater courtesy in allowing him space to write what he felt was correct for the film. The resulting score is a culmination of ideas that were arguably more satisfying for Zimmer than his previous work in the genre. "In Peacemaker, I managed to finish off all the ideas that I didn't quite get right in Crimson Tide. How many sunflowers scenes did Van Gogh paint before he was happy?" Zimmer stated just after the score's completion. "Sometimes it's nice to go over old ground just because you learn something. In film scoring, there's revolution and there's evolution." He was likely doing both at once, though Zimmer would joke about how the sound he created for Crimson Tide and perpetuated in The Peacemaker caught on so furiously with other composers. His music for The Peacemaker definitely draws connections to the earlier, superior score, but it also stands on its own with no less than eight distinct themes and its own strikingly powerful and often dissonant style. The ensemble would be different for this score as well. Most of the sound effects and choral employment in Crimson Tide carry over directly to The Peacemaker, but Zimmer's electronics and the choir would be aided by over 100 orchestral players this time around. With the composer's usual technique of merging the synthetic and organic, though, the live players exist at an inherent disadvantage. In fact, some casual listeners will likely interpret most of the score as entirely synthetic, a trait of recording and mixing habits that would prove bothersome to some Zimmer fans for years to come. Even when a score like The Peacemaker makes use of the full ensemble, the arrangement of that recording with synthetic percussion, among other samples and backing, causes the entire mix to take on a harsh, electronic edge. This "sound" represents both the best and worst of Zimmer's divisive appeal, depending on your taste for ultra-masculine film music.

The fact that The Peacemaker has eight themes is a bit misleading, because only three of them receive significant and/or meaningful airtime (and only four can be traced back to unique characters of other elements in the film). The most obvious thematic element exists for the tragedy of Sarajevo and the diplomat's sorrow, and it this theme that Zimmer identifies as his only personal favorite from the score. In reference to this tragic element, Zimmer stated, "I liked one theme... Because it was inspired. We all have craft, we all have technique. But the moments of inspiration, that's where it really happens for composers." The ethnicity of the instrumentation and the voice of Mamek Khadem in these portions would serve as a fascinating bridge between Beyond Rangoon and Gladiator, and the classically-inclined progressions of the theme would merge well with the performances of Frederic Chopin music that the diplomat's character performs on piano in the film. Together, this combination of melancholy music from Zimmer and Chopin would provide audiences with their most vivid musical memories of The Peacemaker. Demand for both "Nocturne Opus 55 No. 1 in F Minor" (which the young girl performs in the story) and "Nocturne No. 20 in C Sharp Minor" (which the diplomat/teacher performs in memory of his slain family) increased due to their obvious and beautiful use in the film. The more powerful of the two sequences offers Nick Glennie-Smith's performances on piano, eventually overtaken by the orchestral ensemble with remarkable class. In context, the Sarajevo theme by Zimmer and the use of Chopin are at complete odds with the remainder of the score, and these sequences beckon you to your editing software to create a suite of seven or eight minutes of this material alone. The remainder of The Peacemaker, conversely, is all brute force and little elegance, and this contrast is the simple reason why the lovely music described above is the downright highlight in the film and on album.

Of the remaining three themes, the two representing the nuclear weapons and the corrupt Russian general stealing them for a profit intertwine on several occasions. While you can clearly delineate the robust Russian march for General Kodoroff, the theme for the bombs is far more sinister and obtuse. That idea for the bombs is a suspense motif that reinvents itself throughout the score, but it receives its clearest performance in the lowest registers of the first three minutes of the film's early train-loading sequence. The march for the Russian general is a stoic, metal-clanging series of short bursts for brass that accompanies the train as it departs, as well as a few later scenes. Zimmer would record a two-minute suite-like rendition of this theme (not available on the commercial album) that would also explore the bombs' theme. A later adaptation of the theme would place it in the instrumentation of the Sarajevo material, a natural transition point in the story and a highlight of the score. The final major theme in The Peacemaker is actually the primary idea for the film, and it's most commonly associated with Clooney's agent character and the heroic actions of the American military. You first hear this theme dramatically and at a very slow pace in the scene when the agent boards one of three helicopters to pursue the stolen bombs, and the pace of the theme is heightened considerably throughout the following chase sequence in which one of the choppers is shot down by a Russian missile. After the Americans recover all but one of the bombs, the scene ends with a prototypical, muscularly harmonic announcement of the theme in heroic fashion. The film's finale offers a softer, mournful variation on this theme before the opening of the end credits lets rip with it at full force. This end title sequence was re-arranged and placed at the end of the "Chase" cue on the commercial album. It is in the rhythmic introduction to this theme that Zimmer pulls the exact same introductory phrase from the start of his title theme for Crimson Tide (with equally satisfying results).

1997 Album:
Only $9.99
The downside of The Peacemaker is that the majority of its action sequences feature stock Media Ventures material that fails to impress. In fact, much of it is so obnoxious in its pounding clumsiness that the score requires significant personal editing to collect the compelling portions into a lengthy suite. Among the more irritating cues is "Devoe's Revenge," a spectacular scene in the film that unfortunately contains an inarticulate mess of rhythmic bombast contributed by conductor Gavin Greenaway. The commercial album for The Peacemaker does its best to emphasize both sides of the score, but Jeff Rona's arrangement (which he considered among his best) still fails in that it forces the music into the suite-emphasized mold that Zimmer prefers to write for and hear himself. His disdain for short cues unfortunately translates into an album that, like Crimson Tide, diminishes the highlights by hiding them in 10+ minute suites dominated by the ear-splitting bombast. It's nearly impossible to reference the action in the film by using the commercial album, and luckily for Zimmer junkies, a 2-CD bootleg of recording sessions has floated around the Internet so long that MP3's of it are practically everywhere. The bootleg, which runs over 100 minutes with the commercial album's "Peacemaker" suite thrown in for good measure, illuminates the themes with far better presentations. This includes the Russian general's theme in "Kodoroff" and "The Frontier," the bomb's theme (or danger motif) in "The Real World," the heroic title theme for the Americans in "I Must Go" and "Peacemaker," and portions of the Sarajevo theme spread throughout. The film version of one of the Chopin pieces (in "Piano Sereno") is included as well. If you're a Zimmer fan, then the bootleg of The Peacemaker will easily be required listening. Despite the score's often obnoxious action pieces, its intelligent nuances are exposed for greater enjoyment on the chronologically-ordered bootleg. This score's all over the map in terms of quality, and the commercial album doesn't provide any coherence to the situation. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for Film: ****
    Music as Heard on Dreamworks Album: ***
    Music as Heard on Bootleg: ****
    Overall: ****

Bias Check:For Hans Zimmer reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3 (in 87 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.02 (in 262,468 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.24 Stars
Smart Average: 3.19 Stars*
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    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
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  Levente -- 3/1/09 (3:26 a.m.)
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 Track Listings (1997 Dreamworks Album): Total Time: 54:43

• 1. Trains (13:53)
• 2. Devoe's Revenge (5:15)
• 3. Sarajevo (8:42)
• 4. Chase (17:07)
• 5. Peacemaker (9:44)

 Track Listings (2000 Bootleg): Total Time: 103:22

CD1: (66:14)
• 1. Bosnia (0:46)
• 2. Train (6:01)
• 3. Chase - Film Version (7:43)
• 4. Nuclear Foult (1:38)
• 5. Kodoroff (1:49)
• 6. Is Alive (0:36)
• 7. Evidence (0:40)
• 8. Password (2:34)
• 9. Outside Line (2:04)
• 10. The Real World (0:58)
• 11. Sarajevo (0:54)
• 12. Piano Teacher (0:55)
• 13. The Frontier (0:52)
• 14. Impass (0:21)
• 15. I Need More Time (3:24)
• 16. Davoe's Revenge (5:49)
• 17. I Never... (2:24)
• 18. Your Need People Need You (1:00)
• 19. I'm Not a Monster (2:43)
• 20. Piano Sereno (1:13)
• 21. I Must Go (2:37)
• 22. Russia's Dangerous (0:45)
• 23. Peacemaker (11:27)
• 24. Encounter (1:58)
• 25. Family (1:29)
• 26. Inflection Point (3:34)
CD2: (37:08)
• 1. La Guardia (1:42)
• 2. Searching (1:10)
• 3. Where? (4:58)
• 4. The Target Missing (1:21)
• 5. You Can't Stop This (9:41)
• 6. Prelude (1:38)
• 7. 00:00:59 (3:25)
• 8. You Okay...? (1:19)
• 9. Finale/End Title (2:07)
• 10. Chase (9:47)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The Dreamworks album's insert includes a list of musicians, but no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Peacemaker are Copyright © 1997, Dreamworks Records, Bootleg. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/11/97 and last updated 2/19/08. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1997-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.