Antonio Pinera and Antonio Pardo Larrosa are two Spanish film music fans, who write well and quickly. Just eight months after James Horner’s passing, they have published a 272-page book covering the composer's work.
Please note: this publication is only available in Spanish.
The book has plenty to offer: prefaces by the talented composer and orchestrator Conrad Pope and by Varese Sarabande’s Robert Townson, a short biography, a discography listing both official and unofficial editions (!) and a description of the composer's works organized into five parts.
The articles are concise, to the point and supply richly detailed information about the scores and the movies they were made for, and the presentation of it all is neat.
However, beyond the two authors’ analyses, you will not find unpublished or exclusive information, or even excerpts from interviews.
The following is not covered by the book: the concert works Conversations (1976), A Forest Passage (2000), Flight (2010) and Collage (2015), the feature and TV scores A Few Days in Weasel Creek (1981), Douglas Trumbull's Let's Go (1985), Off Beat (1986), and the rejected Young Guns (1988), the documentary scores In Her Own Time (1985) and One Day in Auschwitz (2015), and the different studio logos Horner composed for Universal Pictures, THX … These omissions are of minor importance, except for Collage (2015) and Flight (2010), which are two important pieces.
Curiously, the two authors take ample time to write about Sorceress (1982), Space Raiders (1983), Barbarian Queen (1985), Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985) and Andy Colby's Incredible Adventure (1988), five Roger Corman productions on which James Horner never worked but which have tracked music from 1980’s Battle Beyond the Stars. In this case why not also mention Raptor (2001), which is a similar case of music tracking? And let’s not forget the roughly forty productions (films, documentaries) that used pre-existing Horner music, like the sequels to The Land Before Time, or Milk Money (1994), which stars Ed Harris and features a track from Cocoon: The Return (1988)?
Page 29, we also noticed a small mistake: The Lady in Red (1979) and Up From The Depths (1979), two Roger Corman productions, are wrongly lumped in with the films Horner did for The American Film Institute.
Finally, the authors have chosen to list The Drought as a 1975 movie – it was James Horner’s very first score. The authors must have gotten their info from the IMDb site. However, for more than twenty years now, the consensus has been that the film dates from 1978, which chronologically corresponds more closely with James Horner’s early career.
But those are all minor quibbles, because the publication is admirable and significant. If your Spanish is okay and if you want to brush up on the composer's career, this is a highly recommended purchase.
Many thanks to Antonio Pinera and Antonio Pardo Larrosa, for their generosity and for giving us the opportunity to write this article in the best possible conditions.
This post is also available in: French