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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'James Horner - The Classics'
Artist - Various

For those not in the classical know, James Horner was an American composer, conductor and orchestrator of film scores, writing over 100. Indeed, he was known for the integration of choral and electronic elements, and for his frequent use of motifs associated with Celtic music.

Horner's first major score was in 1979 for The Lady in Red, but he did not establish himself as an eminent film composer until his work on the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

His score for James Cameron's Titanic is the best-selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time and he also wrote the score for the then-highest-grossing film of all time, Cameron's Avatar.

Horner collaborated on multiple projects with directors including Don Bluth, James Cameron, Joe Johnston, Walter Hill and Ron Howard; producers including George Lucas, David Kirschner, Jon Landau, Brian Grazer and Steven Spielberg; and songwriters including Will Jennings, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

He won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, three Satellite Awards, and three Saturn Awards, and was nominated for three British Academy Film Awards.

Sadly, Horner, who was an avid pilot, died at the age of 61 flying his Short Tucano turboprop aircraft in a single-fatality crash.

Indeed, if not for his tragic passing, the composer would have celebrated his 65th Birthday on August 14th of this year.

Ergo, this wodnrous new album is a unique tribute to one of the titans of film music. A stellar array of musicians such as 2CELLOS, Lindsey Stirling, Tina Guo, and the Piano Guys come together to offer stunning and imaginative interpretations of his greatest compositions.

1. 'My Heart Will Go On' (from "Titanic") - 2CELLOS
2. 'Rooftop Kiss' (From "The Amazing Spider-Man") - Lavinia Meijer
3. 'Willow's Theme' (From "Willow") - Amy Dickson
4. 'Theme' (From "Cocoon") - Tina Guo
5. 'Main Title' (From "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan") - David Elton
6. 'I See You' (From "Avatar") - Tina Guo
7. 'Field of Dreams' (From "Field of Dreams") - Craig Ogden
8. 'Somewhere Out There' (From "An American Tail") - Lavinia Meijer
9. 'For the Love of a Princess' (From "Braveheart") - 2CELLOS
10. 'The Ludlows' (From "Legends Of The Fall") - Lindsey Stirling
11. 'Jake's First Flight' (From "Avatar") - The Piano Guys
12. 'Boys Playing Airplanes' (From "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas") - Alexis Ffrench
13. 'Main Title' (From "Apollo 13") - David Elton
14. 'Briseis and Achilles' (From "Troy") - Lindsey Stirling

Not everyone's cup of tea re: changing up classics that are known to us, that are embedded within our very own cinematic psyche, but nonetheless a respectful acknowledgment of a great composer, The Classics is, at best, still an uneven collection of star-studded nods to the great man.

Whilst the changes in instrumentation from his original scores are all respectful of the tone and character of the original music, from the off, 2CELLOS on 'My Heart Will Go On' (theme from "Titanic") just makes you beg for Celine to chip in; anywhere and at any time along the way.

Also featuring Lindsey Stirling, Tina Guo, The Piano Guys, Alexis Ffrench, Amy Dickson, Lavinia Meijer and many others, it's Sterling's version of 'The Ludlows' (From “Legends Of The Fall”) - which was also the lead track released - that really stands out as rather amazing.

Among the titles featured on the album are classic films such as: Titanic, Avatar, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Field of Dreams, An American Tail and The Amazing Spider-Man. And therein is yet another well-developed homage to Horner re: the highly underrated 'Main Title' (From “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”) (by David Elton), and the astoundingly great 'Rooftop Kiss' (From “The Amazing Spider-Man”) by Lavinia Meijer.

And so, with that all said, the overall recording and the musicianship are superb and I would still highly recommend this album to fans of cinematic movie themes and James Horner also.

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