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Classical Notes: May 30, 2006 Archive

More secrets of The DaVinci Code?

Posted at 3:47 PM on May 30, 2006 by Don Lee

I hadn’t been eager to see The DaVinci Code but yesterday’s heat drove me to it. With expectations diminished by the reviews, I was primed to end up liking the film more than I thought I would…and I did, though there’s no denying the plodding plot.

As Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou slogged their way through the centuries-old mystery central to the movie, I amused myself with a little puzzle of my own: Who composed the film score? I don’t follow the genre closely, but I started wondering about the DaVinci music when I noticed some blatant borrowing.

Immediately I suspected John Williams. But only for a moment; I heard too little grandiosity. Turns out the composer is Hans Zimmer, who also scored Batman Begins, Gladiator and many others.

I thought some of Zimmer’s modernized medievalism sounded a heckuva lot like Arvo Part. And certain ominous passages seemed to have been lifted straight out of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Have you seen The DaVinci Code? I’d be curious to know if you heard what I heard.