OST: Da Vinci Code / 2006 Decca / 14 Tracks / http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thedavincicode / http://www.decca.com / Reviewed 10 July 2006
The twinkling of pianos during the opening strains of “Da Vinci Code” paint a picture of mystique and intrigue. The sorrowful tempo taken by “Dies Mercurii I Martius”shows the scenery as being in the church, while the increasing strings during the track show the increased action present in the second half of the movie. Overall, Zimmer in a mere six minutes is able to tell the story of the Da Vinci Code, compared to a movie that took well over an hour. The slide into near-nothingness toward the end of the track and the force exerted by the orchestra soon after will shock listeners.
“L’Esprit Des Gabriel” starts out strong and heavy from the start; the menacing power of the orchestra is supplemented by a choral sound; whether it is actually a set of vocals on the track or not, the sudden change in sound punctuates the early part of the disc. What Zimmer does with a number of tracks on this disc, including “The Paschal Spiral” and “Fructus Gravis” is play at the edges of perception. The quiet modes of these tracks quickly shift into something that is almost too full-bodied to keep down; the use of chiaroscuro during this disc, a dichotomy for sure, is something that listeners should take heed. In keeping with the theme, the use of choir people in a number of these tracks never makes listeners forget that the main backdrop of the movie is the Catholic church.
Using time-tested methods to show machinations by the “evil” forces in the movie (increased tempo and darker tones), Zimmer creates scenery that are familiar to even the most novice listener. To hear the disc on a set of computer speakers is amazing enough, but when one slips the disc into a god sound system or sees the movie at a movie theatre, there is little change but to be floored by Zimmer’s compositions. The only vocal pieces on this album come during the heavenly, choral interludes that Zimmer places into tracks; a composition like “Salvate Virgines” is odd due to the fact that it is SO vocal when these tracks only use vocals as a garnish. To pick up an album that seamlessly blends the current movements in neo-classical movements with compositions that sound hundreds, if not thousands of years old – Zimmer’s score to “Da Vinci Code” is a must-have. This missive even goes out to the fans of more “popular” music; Zimmer smartly plays to all audiences here.
Top Tracks: Salvate Virgines, The Paschal Spiral