It's still Christmas! Almost a quarter of a century after the film's release, Intrada announces their double CD for the music of Apollo 13 (1995) When copies of the Apollo 13 soundtrack hit shelves in the summer of 1995, listeners who came looking for the original score discovered that the music of James Horner was poorly represented, with only 7 pieces totaling about forty minutes, diluted among eight songs and many excerpts of dialogue. The producers chose a commemorative album, not a presentation of the original composition (a follow-up album, released a little later with a second CD only featured additional songs). Eventually a promotional CD of Apollo 13 was distributed to industry professionals by the studio to promote the chances of an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score. It quickly became the object of desire for Horner fans but few were able to acquire it. When the nominations fell, James Horner was twice named in the music category for Braveheart and Apollo 13. Hopes were dashed for either score as the Oscar went to… Il Postino. A critical and commercial success, Apollo 13 features James Horner reuniting with director Ron Howard after Cocoon and Willow. Horner composes one of his best scores, with the extraordinary All Systems Go – The Launch, an irrefutable demonstration of Horner's genius to build a ten-minute powerhouse of hope, achievement and suspense without ever sacrificing emotion, those of the families of the astronauts who had massed in front their televisions or in the stands of the launch pad, and those emotions of the film's audience watching the docudrama unfold.
Horner's dramatic sense is marvelous in Apollo 13, a score that speaks more of emotions than cosmic conquest. Although American, the score avoids the pitfall of patriotism while remaining anchored by solo trumpet, beautifully played by Tim Morrison, more noble than overwhelming. The other performer who contributes to the success of the score is Annie Lennox, whose distinctive voice shines in Dark Side of the Moon and accompanies the last fifteen minutes of music, the other sublime passages of the score with Re-entry and Splashdown and End Credits.
Finally, this double CD fills a gap in James Horner's discography. Not only is the score presented in full, but Intrada also reproduces on the second disc, the contents of the promotional CD – the album version that James Horner originally planned for in 1995. The first disc offers the orchestral film score and is followed by the additional electronic cues (rest assured, the booklet makes it possible to restore the chronology by programming a playlist). The sound quality is stellar, with sound engineer and producer Mike Matessino utilizing utilizing high-resolution transfers of "1/2" stereo masters of Shawn Murphy's original mixes.
Thanks to Roger Feigelson (Intrada)
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