GREAT MOMENTS OF FILM SCORING #5: Legends of the Fall – James Horner

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June 22, 2015: On that day, several international newspages reported that film composer James Horner’s airplane crashed into the Los Padres National Forest near Ventucopa, California. The film music community was completely shocked. Could it really be true that James Horner had died at age 61? A few hours later, the tragic news was confirmed by his agent and the great sorrow began… Today would have been his 63rd birthday, so I thought it would be quite fitting to talk about my favorite score written by him – “Legends of the Fall”. Continue reading

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GREAT MOMENTS OF FILM SCORING #4: How To Train Your Dragon 1 & 2 – John Powell

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Sometimes, life can be quite difficult – at least, if you’re the guy who literally goes CRAZY about film soundtracks while everyone else (your friends!) prefers listening to pop and rock songs. 😉
But whenever people ask me if I could recommend something that would also please the ears of non-film-score-enthusiasts, I’m exactly sure what to say: “How To Train Your Dragon 1&2”, written by the amazing John Powell (seriously, I can’t get over the fact that he didn’t win his well-deserved Academy Award for this one…).
Powell is an absolute expert when it comes to animation: Numerous times, he’s proven that he’s more than capable of writing great scores for this kind of genre, including “Ice Age”, “Rio” and “Kung Fu Panda”.
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GREAT MOMENTS OF FILM SCORING #3: The Human Experience – Thomas Bergersen

Some people know that I go crazy whenever I’m talking about film music written by John Williams. There’s probably only one artist whose music I love even more, and that is Norwegian composer Thomas Bergersen, popular and well-regarded by fans all over the world for co-owning the trailer music company “Two Steps From Hell”.

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Although a lot of his music is used in trailers, he’s more like a freestyle composer – a perfectly fitting term I’ve recently discovered in a Facebook comment: He doesn’t care about what genre his music belongs to, he’s just being creative (which might also be one of the reasons why his music is that awesome, apart from him being one of the most gifted composers I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to…).
“The Human Experience”, an award-winning documentary, is the first and only film he’s scored so far. Despite being incredibly short (the score only lasts for 14 to 15 minutes), it shows Bergersen’s enormous talent for writing wonderful orchestral music, it is clearly obvious that he knows exactly how to write for an orchestra. Also evident are his skills as an orchestrator, it almost feels like he’s a painter who knows exactly which colour he should utilize.
The main theme – you can listen to it in the link below – is just heartbreaking; the string work on the whole score as well as his much-beloved choir writing (just listen to “A Surprise Meeting”..OMG, I’m in heaven!!) are just beautiful – and I haven’t even mentioned yet that he’s also incorporating an African choir (e.g. “Exaltation”) which gives the music a sense of joy and wonder. And that’s basically what the score’s all about: It is a hymn to life, celebrating everything good that exists in our world. Please give this score a listen, I’m sure you won’t regret it! And check out his solo album “Sun” – that’s why I love listening to orchestral and choral music.
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GREAT MOMENTS OF FILM SCORING #1: The Passion of the Christ – John Debney

There are a lot of well-written scores for biblical movies (the best ones undoubtedly written by Miklos Rozsa – I mean, just think of Ben-Hur!) and John Debney’s wonderfully crafted “Passion of the Christ” definitely belongs on this list as well.

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