James Horner: Pas de Deux
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First concert work in over 30 years from the multi-million selling, Hollywood film composer James Horner
presented by dynamic new brother-and-sister team Mari & Hakon Samuelsen
Dynamic sibling duo Mari and Hakon Samuelsen s debut album on Mercury Classics, scheduled for release in May 2015.
This album is centered around the world premiere recording of Oscar-winning star composer James Horner s (Titanic, Avatar) new work Pas de deux, a concerto for Violin, Cello and orchestra written especially for them.
Performing together since childhood the pair have dazzled audiences around the world as soloists and duo.
The piece received its world premiere in November 2014, at the 175th anniversary concert of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
The album also features three other celebrated contemporary composers; the meditative Fratres by Arvo Pärt, the rhapsodic Violoncelles, vibrez! by Giovanni Sollima (with cellist Alisa Weilerstein) and the minimalist smash-hit Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi.
Norwegian siblings Mari (violin) and Hakon (cello) have made a name for themselves on the international concert scene, both as soloists and as a duo, for their passionate performances of classicrepertoire. Equally they have proven themselves as restless musical entrepreneurs. For many years they have produced the Christmas Concert from Norway, presented by the princess of Norway, which has been TV broadcast to millions of households across Europe and via PBS in North America.
The concerto was commissioned by Mari and Hakon themselves, with the intention to expand the repertoire for violin and cello duo. It will be recorded for the sibling s debut release in 2015.
Mari and Hakon combine highest artistic standards with entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm and drive to create projects that bring classical musical to a wide as possible an audience.
Rhapsodic... lushly scored --The Guardian
A lilting, luxuriant pastorale... slow-moving and hypnotic --The Liverpool Echo
Hypnotic, mesmerising... a standing ovation, --TheArtsDesk.com
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Maestro Horner was the last of his kind. A composer of the classical tradition who composed, orchestrated and conducted his scores.
He didn’t hum a tune to someone who turned that into a grand musical landscape. He didn’t plunk notes into a computer. He treated his job as a sacrament.
On his first big movie, “Brainstorm”, once the final bars of the score were played, the orchestra stood and applauded the young composer. The only other instance of that, of which I’m aware, was for a young Bernard Herrmann - in whose company, Maestro Horner belongs.
I asked him what his thoughts were about creating a new theme for Star Trek. He said: “I wanted to do something more sailing-shippy.”
He’ll be remembered for Titanic, of course. But I first became aware of him for a film called “Testament”. A simple, dark score for a post nuclear earth. The refrain was simply a C note, played by a chime and contra-bass. A death knell. One note. You never forget it.
If you have some time, listen to “House of Sand and Fog”. That’s all I’ll say about that.
This isn’t just a loss of a film composer; it’s a loss for music. Film scores these days are dominated by machines, in the form of people who believe repeating 4 sixteenth notes for two hours is composing. And the producers think thats, “just wonderful, Hans”.
He ‘borrowed’ liberally from Britten, Shostakovich and himself - though, according to him, you can’t actually use your own music in two films. But apparently if you change a little something it’s ok.
In the movie “Diehard”, during that moment near the end where a weapon bearing Alexander Godunov comes bursting through the door to meet his ultimate demise, the music you hear is not that of Michael Kamen, the billed composer, but of James Horner. It’s only a few bars, but check imdb, and it’s listed as “James Horner-Uncredited”.
Credit wasn’t what he sought. Only musical truth.
The Pas de Deux serves as a requiem for his life and his legacy.