When you look back at movie scores, everyone talks widely about the maestro, John Williams. In the chasing pack behind him there are many names. James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith frequently feature. Danny Elfman and John Barry have notable entries. Newer composers such as Alexandre Desplat and Michael Giacchino are worthy of note. One name, however, seems to span the decades and cross eras. Hans Zimmer.
Germany’s greatest export since lager, perhaps? 150 films, Oscar wins for 1994’s The Lion King and 2021’s Dune. In between movies like Gladiator, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, Man of Steel, Sherlock Holmes, Frost/Nixon, 12 Years a Slave, Pearl Harbor, Crimson Tide, and Hannibal. He is prolific. Famously he also wrote his first ever James Bond soundtrack with No Time To Die, and still found time to cover soundtrack duties for Top Gun: Maverick.
Other credits include Christopher Nolan’s filmography in a partnership that now stretched back many years. It is one of these scores that Zimmer has now named as his favorite in all of his extensive back catalogue:
“People always ask me what’s my favorite score and I keep avoiding answering the question. And how about I don’t avoid it this time? I’m going to tell you that the first, the favorite score that I’ve ever written, I think, is Interstellar. Or, I haven’t written my favorite score yet. So, maybe that’s the better answer.”
The score, that switches from melancholy and introspective through playful and inquisitive to pulse pounding and punchy, is a great piece.
He will be working as hard as usual, with Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two and Mufasa: The Lion King next in the pipeline.
All this is a fine body of work, but let’s be honest here. He will never top his cheese-tastic theme for late 80s, early-90s pan-European quiz show Going For Gold, his greatest work and you know it!