- Composer: Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard
- Audio CD (April 25, 2000)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Soundtrack
- Label: Decca
- Run Time: 155 minutes
- ASIN: B00004STPT
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (465 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,477 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 04/25/2000
Most modern Hollywood films have musical "temp tracks" laid in as they're edited, usually classical standards or music from other soundtracks that helps shape the dramatic and emotional intentions of works in progress. Sometimes these temp tracks become the score (as in "2001"), but more often they serve as a template for the film's eventual scorer. That said, we'll boldly climb out on a limb and opine that director Ridley Scott was listening to a whole lot of Holst's The Planets as he was cobbling together his modern gladiator epic. Credit Hans Zimmer for taking "Mars, the Bringer of War" and hammering its familiar harmonic and rhythmic Sturm und Drang into something serviceably fresh; cohort Lisa Gerrard generally handles the more ethereal, atmospheric passages. As epic in scope as its thematic inspiration (and with enough occasional nods to "authenticity" to make it work), this is nonetheless a work of often surprising nuances, and one that recasts the traditional heroic orchestral score in deliciously dark and ominous tones. Warning: repeated listening may inspire the invasion of neighboring countries. --Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard work together (composed by and arranged by these two) in this soundtrack to bring a myriad of heart-pumping brass and percussion and ethereal ancient (or old-style) sounding music. The contrasting music of these two work magnificiently in the score, weaving the two types together fluidly into one another... I was most impressed with the four scores (The Wheat, Sorrow, Reunion and Elysium) written and sung by Gerrard, which sets the mood for the movie from the very beginning to the final scene. These scores deeply reflect the sorrow and loss of life and the earning for something one can't have. Her dreamy and woeful voice captures just that. Heitor Pereira on the solo Spanish guitar in "The Battle" adds to the old-style. Zimmer's orchestral and dramatic scores sincerely tell the heart of the movie, which is vastly memorable.Read more ›
As soon as the movie starts, one is surprised by the subdued tone that the musical score seems to be taking. Knowing that Hans Zimmer was the composer, I was expecting his usual rousing, booming and very pleasant music, as seen (or rather, heard) in other movies like 'Crimson Tide', 'The Peacemaker', and 'Backdraft'. However, what we get, as a friend of mine remarked, is something like a cross between Vangelis and 'The Rock' (which also includes participation by Zimmer). Which is fine.
While not as melodic as, for example, a James Horner score like Braveheart, Hans Zimmer's score, with Lisa Gerrard's participation, perfectly complements the action on screen. When battle music is required, the score returns to a classic, if somewhat more mature, Zimmer feel; totally classical in style and paying homage to Gustav Holst's Masterpiece - The Planets, particularly 'Mars - Bringer of War'. Very appropriate, given that Mars was the Roman god of War!
This, added to Zimmer's trademark rousing passages, and Lisa Gerrard's moving, lyrical contributions, makes Gladiator a memorable score. Gerrard's participation, in particular was a very pleasant addition, because it adds an ethereal element which is necessary for such concepts as Elysium (the Afterlife) and Freedom. Throughout the movie, the Hero, Maximus, constantly weaves between the 'here and now' scheming and battles, and a longing to join his family, in the afterlife. The score reflects these concepts with an excellent treatment of both dimensions.
Which leaves us listeners with a score that is not exactly easy to listen to.Read more ›
I identified the quotations from Holst's "Mars, Bringer of War," Wagner's DAS RHEINGOLD (I'd add Siegfried's funeral march), and some of the rest. Perhaps it's simply the way the film's narrative moved, but I'd add Berlioz' HAMLET, and some hints of orchestral requiem masses for solemnity.
One of the things I listen for in a score like this is sheer sweep, and Zimmer can handle not just grandeur, but a dark, martial music suitable for Rome's legions in their decline. I liked the counterpoint of Lisa Gerrard's vocals and woodwinds, playing up Maximus' longing for the fields of home, with the horns and drums of Rome never far from the listener's consciousness.
The music works as music, as part of a tradition, and as the background for a powerful and unsettling film that I plan to see again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great for a long drive when AC/DC just doesn't get it at the time.Published 8 days ago by Ignatius Malibu
This has been my favourite soundtrack since first saw Gladiator at 13 in 2000. It is the one score I return to again and again, even after hundreds of full listen-throughs, and I... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Jordan