Music review: Hans Zimmer, Hydro, Glasgow

Hans Zimmer PIC: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Hans Zimmer PIC: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
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The last time Hans Zimmer’s music was showcased at the Hydro, mainstream Hollywood’s most experimental film composer was there in person to play it with his rambunctious band (which included a guest spot for Johnny Marr).

Hans Zimmer, Hydro, Glasgow Hydro ****

For this symphonic tour, he handed maestro duties over to regular conductor Gavin Greenaway, but the man himself was still very much present – and not just in his rearranged scores for movies such as The Dark Knight (which opened the show).

Popping up in a series of prerecorded video interludes from his skull-adorned LA studio, he gave us amusing insights into his creative process and brought on filmmakers such as Ron Howard to discuss their collaborations.

The idea behind the show, he explained, was to play some of the themes that rarely get a live airing because of their extensive orchestral requirements.

In practice that meant a concert weighted in favour of some of his more romantic scores for the likes of The Holiday and Pearl Harbour. But in this new context, even work on movies of such negligible artistic worth could be brought dynamically to life. Zimmer’s score for Howard’s dreary adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, for instance, became a rather marvellous extended Gothic choral wig-out. Still, nothing could compete with Time, from Christopher Nolan’s masterful Inception.

Zimmer closed the show with it, playing along on the giant video screen, the camera circling him and his piano like a spinning top as the orchestra layered in that now-famous crescendo in all its haunting, emotionally devastating glory. - Alistair Harkness