Maximilian Peter on the best in film music from 1994:
In 1994, the line ´´I´ m Forrest! Forrest Gump´´ became as prominent as a famous line written for a british secret service agent called ´´Bond, James Bond´´ years before. Robert Zemeckis´ epic romantic comedy drama about several decades in the life of Forrest Gump was a worldwide cinematic hit and the most entertaining and emotional movie of 1994. Zemeckis´ milestone won a lot of Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), Best Actor (Tom Hanks) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth), and was also nominated for several other awards of Hollywood in the following award season. Composer Alan Silvestri´s emotional score was nominated for the beloved Oscar trophy, too, but lost to Hans Zimmer´s magnificent music for Disney´s The Lion King. For Forrest Gump Silvestri got his first nomination in the category Best Original Score (neither his entertaining score for Back to the Future nor his marvellous music for Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (two other Robert Zemeckis gems) were nominated for an Academy Award in the 1980s). The composer wrote beautiful themes, which outstandingly accompany the adventures of the main character, played so wonderfully by Tom Hanks. The famous piano melody, which is also known as the main theme, is the centrepiece of the score. It´s absolutely emotional and reflects all the characteristics of the man Forrest Gump in one single cue. Now the theme is regarded as one of the most popular creations in film music history. Silvestri´s score is a great work, an emotional journey through the years of Forrest Gump.
1994 was also a strong year for other composers: Elliot Goldenthal wrote the music for Interview with the Vampire, Thomas Newman got two Oscar nominations for his scores Little Women and The Shawkshank Redemption, and Randy Newman´s music for the Western comedy Maverick was pure fun and one of his best works of the early 90s.
It was also a very important year for James Horner, because the composer wrote one of his very best and most beloved scores. For the epic drama film Legends of the Fall (directed by Edward Zwick), which based on the 1979 novella of the same title by Jim Harrison, Horner created emotionally oustanding themes. The movie is an epic drama about three brothers, who fell in love with the same woman, but also an intimate romance and a family story, so that the musician accompanied the visuals of the film as well as the plot with a strong orchestral soundtrack, but also with some solo parts for instruments like solo violin and piano. The score opens, for example, with a moving trumpet solo, before the whole orchestra performs the tuneful main theme. A great film musical moment! For the action scenes Horner created thunderous sounds: The complex cues ´To the Boys´ and ´Samuel´s Death´ belong to the very best action music in Horner´s long career. Superb stuff! For the film´s finale, the artist created a powerful musical statement, which integrates all of the soundtrack´s main thematic material and concludes musically the story in an outstanding way. It was a little surprise that Horner´s great soundtrack wasn´t nominated for an Academy Award since Legends of the Fall is one of the top scores of 1994 – in consideration of melodic creativity and dramatic power.