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Soundtrack review: The da Vinci code (Hans Zimmer – 2006)

Composer of the month Hans Zimmer Hans Zimmer month

Soundtrack review: The da Vinci code (Hans Zimmer – 2006)


….The score would have been great even without it….The entire atmosphere is deep, eerie, affecting and all around beautiful. There are echoes everywhere, the strings and the brass play hide and seek and the choirs bring sensitivity and emotion to a very piercing composition. “Dies Mercurii I Martius” is a poignant start to the score…”Poisoned chalice” or “The Citrine cross” make you kneel and look around for the stained glass…The entire score is a cathedral and yes, it would have been a landmark in Hans Zimmer’s career even without it….the cues are long and beautiful…

…but the reason “The da Vinci code”, the adaptation of the Dan Brown book that created such a buzz will remain in history for many Hans Zimmer fans, and not only is just one: “Chevaliers the Sangreal”. Ask any Zimmer fan and 90% of them will mention this among their favorite cues ever. I am no different. I’ll go even further and perpetually name it among the 10 best film music cues ever written. I can hardly find my words to describe this cue….it is the epitome of one of my favorite techniques in film music: the Zimmer build up. The music rises like a wave, coming from afar, forming from nowhere and just gaining size and power the closer it gets. It comes and comes and builds up, unstoppable, until it reaches its peak right above me. I have a second to look at it before it breaks over me and I find myself twisted and turned around by the undertow. The music takes me over, moves me and changes me before finding a place and curling up eternally inside me. It’s hard to hear a perfect cue like that and I imagine it is even harder to write it. Hans Zimmer managed to do it, and to create one of the most beautiful icons in the cathedral of film music.

When I found out my grandmother had died, 20 months ago, I went out for a run to clear my head and deal with this. All I could listen to was “Chevaliers de Sangreal”, and I listened to this cue until the true weight of what had happened became clear to me and I was able to grieve and accept this…

Cue rating: 74 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 37 / 68

Album excellence: 57%


Dies Mercurii I Martius

Fructus Gravis

Malleus Maleficarum

Daniel’s 9th Cipher

Poisoned Chalice

The Citrine Cross

Chevaliers de Sangreal


Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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