Candlelight Concert: Hans Zimmer’s Best Works


Alexandra Pullen (she/her) reviews a wonderful night at the Hans Zimmer Candlelight Concert

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Image by Alexandra Pullen

By Alexandra Pullen

I have always been intrigued by the thought of attending a Candlelight Concert. Seeing photos of them being held in venues like Manchester Cathedral and The Monastery, they look absolutely stunning. When I heard that they were also in York I knew I had to go!

The event I went to was towards the end of last year, and consisted of a collection of music by the legendary film composer Hans Zimmer. From Inception to Dune, almost every song was recognisable, and the amazing performance by String Infusion brought new life to these scores.

Let me set the scene: it was a chilly December evening on the streets of York, just before Christmas so the streets were filled with families. I walked into the National Centre For Early Music alongside my mum and many people were warming their hands on cups filled with mulled wine. I peeked into Saint Margaret’s Church where the concert was being held, and the room was completely lit by LED candles which only accentuated its grandeur and beauty.

We went into the church and sat down, with an amazing view of the slightly elevated stage from the second row. On the stage, we saw four empty seats which were quickly filled by String Infusion, a quartet with one musician playing a cello, one playing a viola and two with violinists.

The concert began with two high energy pieces from Pirates of the Caribbean, starting with the familiar tune of ‘He’s a Pirate’, which immediately made me envision Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, glaring intensely into the distance. They then went into a suite from the score which made for a smooth transition into their touching rendition of ‘Now We Are Free’ from Gladiator. This song was my mum’s favourite as she already loved the film going into the concert, and so it was one she had looked forward to seeing live.

‘Red Warrior’ from The Last Samurai and a medley from Dune followed before they went into ‘Maverick’ from the iconic ‘80s movie Top Gun. Although I hadn’t seen all of the films that these songs feature in, they were tunes which you associate with Hans Zimmer because of his distinctive style. Zimmer is known for his use of unconventional instruments, but it was fascinating that these huge productions could be replicated by just four people.

String Infusion then played ‘Discombobulate’ from Sherlock Holmes before explaining that this particular show was a special one. One of the violinists was celebrating their birthdays that day, and they said it was a pleasure to be playing in York on that day. They went into one of the musicians’ favourites: ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ from The Lion King. Everyone seemed to love this one, and it was lovely seeing people look to their families and loved ones as the quartet were playing.

Towards the end of the performance, they played ‘A Dark Knight’ from Christopher Nolan’s Batman film The Dark Knight, songs from Wonder Woman and Dunkirk and a medley from Inception. However, my favourite was one which I was surprised to hear because it wasn’t on the programme. The concert closed with String Infusion performing ‘Cornfield Chase’ from Interstellar, a song with such amazing pacing and build ups that make you feel almost overwhelmed.

The Hans Zimmer Candlelight Concert was an incredible experience and I would highly recommend to anyone to attend one at some point in their life. Events range from Taylor Swift and ABBA to Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’.

Editor's Note: These tickets were kindly provided by Fever. You can find more information on their events in York by clicking this link.