The Last Samurai | Suite | Hans Zimmer
In many ways, The Last Samurai could be considered a sister score to titles such as The Thin Red Line, Gladiator and Pearl Harbor, in that it continues the trend of setting sweeping themes against a backdrop of large-scale action, accompanied as usual by the familiar Zimmer wash of synthesizers to add a sense of scale and depth to the music. However, while sharing some superficial similarities with its predecessors, The Last Samurai takes a step further by incorporating a number of ethnic instrumental elements into the mix – massive Taiko drums, the 13-string koto harp, the shakuhachi bamboo flute, and various other ethnic woodwinds. The combination of these traditional instruments, with Zimmer’s ultra-modern scoring techniques, make for an intriguing, and very satisfying listening experience.
At the center of all this is Zimmer’s main theme, a rising, powerful, almost arrogant orchestral anthem that forms the core of the album… Powerful percussion work, fluttery woodwinds, slow piano and harp lines over a soft electronic string pedal, and various performances of the Japanese instrumental dart in and out of the theme, enriching it with a great deal of Oriental flavor and texture.
from MOVIEMUSIC.UK https://moviemusicuk.us/2003/12/05/the-last-samurai-hans-zimmer/
Instrumentation: 2(2.a.picc),2,2,2 – 6,3,2+1btbn,1 – timp,4perc – hp,pn,synth(shaku, koto) – strings