Posted by: Richard Kleiner <Send E-Mail> Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at 5:44 p.m. IP Address: dsl-189-234-51-219-dyn.prod-infinitum.com.mx
Now Playing: The Times they are a Changing
Well, after reading this review, I wasn't too inclined to buy the CD, but I found it on a special offer. After listening to it, I do belive Christian may be a bit prejudicial about the different style in music to Miklos Rozsa's grand roman scores.
Personally, I found this score more for New Age listeners, mostly for Lisa Gerrard's contributions , which I thought they were a little bland. While the Hans Zimmer action material sounds a bit atonal at the beginning, I enjoyed it quite a while. The use of spanish guitar was an interesting choice, something I didn't expect from Zimmer. The rest is not entirely atmospheric, but it's not as engaging as both 10 minute cues. The Ceasar's theme is rather simplistic, but makes a good opening for the CD.
Now, I'm not among those who believe Hans Zimmer is God, for I find others scores from him, like "Batman Begins" and "Dark Knight" to be overhyped and not really listenable. Still, I do find "Gladiator" among his better works.
Also, I believe that the Holst issue isn't plagiarism, as the style and instrumentation are copied but not the entire melody. I do believe that a cue in Star Wars is a far more notorious rip-off, but apparently you need to be a respected formal composer to get away with it. I think that the more blatant plagiarism is from Wagner's "Funeral" from "Twilight of the Gods", heard almost as a carbon copy in the second half of "Barbarian Horde", during the scene where Maximus reveals himself. I have heard a concert suite from Gladiator arranged by John Williams that contains the "power of Rome" theme and most of the arena battle, and it curiously skips the previously mentioned scene, as to avoid listening to the plagiarized tune.
Still, I found the score as a whole enjoyable. I have to disagree with Christian awarding this three stars. I have no real interest on the "More Music" CD, so I would give that one the three stars.