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Collage - The Last Work - composer James Horner's album premiering at CD Review on November 18

Friday, 18 November 2016 , ora 8.44

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A tribute album

It is without a doubt a tribute album, dedicated to American composer James Horner, whose premature passing shocked the music world and the film world alike. Collage -The Last Work contains the last piece of work written by James Horner, it's about the Collage concert for 4 horns and orchestra, along with a few musical fragments of soundtracks that James Horner composed for over 100 movies, mentioning: Legend of the Fall, Iris, Aliens and Wolf Totem.

For music score aficionados, the album generally awakens a unique emotion. The record was designed to place the Concert for 4 horns and orchestra as an album finale. The album is a great opportunity to enter the vastly sonorous and musically exotic universe, fraught with a colorful and radiant orchestra, a universe named after James Horner.

Regarding Collage, the composer stated: The last 20 years of my professional life as a soundtrack composer was linked to three of the four soloists of the interpretation of my concert. Jim Thatcher was the lead horn on one of my first major movies, Cocoon. David Pyatt and Richard Watkins took part, both of them as lead horn, on several soundtracks for my movies. My eternal dream was to bring together these brilliant soloists and create a sheet music they can interpret together. We've talked about it for a long time and we've agreed that the best solution would be composing a tribute concert to the aforementioned. Therefore I've written a concert for 4 horns. And now you can listen to the result of my imagination and their talent.

Collage - The Last Work

The Collage concert for 4 horns and orchestra is a work acquired by Houston Symphony and the International Horn Society. It was performed for the first time on the 27th of March, 2015 at Royal Festive Hall in London, a performance of this work that you can now listen for the first time at Radio România Muzical. One might say that Horner had a soft spot for horns, being also the instrument that he started his musical career with. The protagonists of the recording are the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Jaime Martí, soloists David Pyatt, John Ryan, James Thatcher and Richard Watkins.

Music critic Alan Sanders said: With his skills as a soundtrack composer, the famous James Horner knows how to handle the horn quartet and masterfully inscribe it into the orchestra as a whole, to which he included two pianos, a celest, a xylophone and other percussion instruments. Horner's orchestra is, as always, appealing and savory dramatic. However, after a while, the lack of rhythmic variety of this concert enscribes the work on a mild movie soundtrack, without any particular visual surprises.

The concert is indeed a 6 part collage. Unlike de Pas de Deux, the concert for violin, cello and orchestra, comprised of three distinctive parts with a diversity of emotions and colors, James Horner thought of this concert as a single motion work, which is in fact a continuous musical flow in ambience of a symphonic poem. The sheet music of the four horns is blended in the orchestral speech, in this almost continuous transition from one image to another. The music is pleasant to the ear, it aspires beyond the infinite scenery of the show, it creates emotion. It is, of course, an emotion that can also be amplified by the fact that this trully is the last work signed by James Horner.

These are only a few arguments for listening to this last work signed by James Horner, the Collage concert for 4 horns and orchestra, premiering at CD Review (12,15) on November 18.

Gabriel Marica
Translated by Ruxandra Vorotneac
MTTLC 1st year University of Bucharest