This CD was recorded in concert at the Flanders International Film Festival in October 2000, and showcases some excellent examples of the film music of Hans Zimmer. The programme has been chosen to feature the performing talents of a number of artists who have worked with Zimmer, and thus perfect for a live performance like this. In particular we have Lisa Gerrard who co-wrote and provided the vocal tracks for "Gladiator", and Lebo M who likewise assisted with the unique sound of the "Lion King" and here provides the vocals with Keswa on two tracks from that movie and "Power of One". Zimmer himself plays the piano in the "Driving Miss Daisy" track along with Pete Haycock on Electric Guitar who also performs on "Thelma and Louise".
Zimmer is an excellent craftsman able to adopt a wide variety of styles, or collaborate where appropriate, and this CD amply demonstrates this with a range of moods and emotions. There is the exhilarating guitar solo from Thelma and Louise, the Spanish sounding Mission Impossible 2 track with its acoustic guitar, the jovial contentment of Driving Miss Daisy, the unbearable tension of The Thin Red Line, the feel-good of Rain Man and the sheer joy of The Lion King. The programme puts these moods together in such a way as to carry the listener on a journey of the imagination. It would have been great to have attended the concert, but this recording allows a much wider audience to share in the experience.
The packaging of the CD has been well put together. The booklet's selection of photographs from the concert itself helps to emphasise the "live" aspect, adding to the experience while allowing you to see the artists. One of these photos shows the actor Morgan Freeman with microphone on stage with Zimmer and the singers. He starred in "Driving Miss Daisy" and is presumably there to introduce the concert. The quotations from a number of directors who have worked with Zimmer and some comment from the composer himself give tantalising glimpses into the man. Ths sound quality is excellent although the downside of a live recording is that the applause at the end of the tracks sometimes seems a little intrusive and out of place. Nevertheless, this is a great addition to any collect and highly recommended. The CD can be found at these sites: Amazon.co.uk in the UK, or Amazon.com in the US.