Hamlette here, with very sad tidings: James Horner died in a plane crash on Monday.
Words come to my mind like "tragic" and "avoidable" and "loss." For decades now, Horner had made our movie-going experience richer, more fun, more emotionally resonant with his wonderful film scores. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Willow. The Journey of Natty Gann. Aliens. An American Tail. Willow. Field of Dreams. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The Rocketeer. Thunderheart. Patriot Games. The Man Without a Face. Braveheart. Apollo 13. Jumanji. Titanic. The Mask of Zorro. A Beautiful Mind. Troy. Avatar. Chances are, there are at least two or three movies there that you love. I love 8 of those so much that I own them on DVD. And those are just a handful of the films James Horner composed music for.
Now, there won't be any more.
Today, to honor him even as I mourn his loss, I'm going to share some of the music from The Mask of Zorro. This is one of the first soundtracks I ever bought, and my friends and I listened to it so very often when I was in college. I can hear most of it in my head, track by track, without having to put the CD on -- it's ingrained in my memory, every clash and howl and clatter of drumbeats. You can listen to the entire album here, and I recommend you do. In fact, search YouTube for lots of Horner's music and sample as many as you can -- you're going to find some amazing treasures.
If you don't have time, though, here are my two favorite tracks from The Mask of Zorro: