James Horner: Pas de Deux
Mari Samuelsen & Håkon Samuelsen
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For his first concert work in three decades, film-composer James Horner (Titanic, Braveheart, Avatar) has written a crowd-pleasing double concerto for Norwegian violin- and cello-playing siblings Mari and Håkon Samuelsen. Lush, romantic, virtuosic, and coupled with haunting works by Arvo Pärt, Giovanni Sollima (with cellist Alisa Weilerstein) and Ludovico Einaudi, Pas de deux makes quite an impact. This version boasts a bonus in Johan Halvorsen’s thrilling transcription for violin and cello of Handel’s Passacaglia.
Such a beautiful lush piece of music from one of the best film composers of our time. Sad to think this might have been one of his last pieces. Will deeply miss hearing what could have been.
Exactly what you’d expect from Horner…but still good!
I’ve been listening to James Horner since I was 12 and while most of his themes are pretty much a variation of his Star Trek, Glory and Braveheart scores, he almost always writes music that soars. Pas de Deux is no different. All his recognizable motifs are in this piece but it still gives me chills and causes me to pick up the pace with what I’m doing. Plenty of other “respected” composers on both the classical and film score end of the symphonic spectrum don’t even rate that. If you like James Horner’s lush, sweeping style, this music is for you.
I hope Horner writes more concert music-he's one of those composers whose concert style is the same as his film style. This will attract scorn from the classical conservatives, but for his fans it's bliss.
The concerto is a bit all over the place and the solo writing isn't very concertante. One could make the argument that his film music is of exactly the same quality as this concert effort. I think that's a good thing. In general there are bits of his other pieces to be found in this piece, but perhaps its closest relative is the wonderful score he wrote for Iris. Very happy about this release...not revolutionary, but beautiful and a promising "debut effort." I hope he writes more after the early traumatic concert experiences early in his life.
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