For the next few posts we will once again look at film composers whose music has been arranged for brass ensemble, most commonly brass quintet or brass band. The work we will be looking at in this post of course breaks that mold, as it is of a large horn ensemble. But first, more about the composer.
Alan Silvestri (b. 1950), is a composer of film and television who is perhaps best known for his scores to Band to the Future and Forrest Gump. He is an Academy Award nominee, but not winner, and has contributed to the musical scores of over 100 films. The particular piece of music we are looking at today is Back to the Future, arranged by Alexander Wagendristel and performed by the Vienna Horns.
So, how does this stand up to the original? Does it work? I think it mostly does, with the sole reason that the original score heavily features the horns as carriers of the melodic lines. Silvestri’s use of the horn is easily transferable to an arrangement, and does not drastically effect the overall timbre. However, from a practical standpoint, this particular arrangement is exceedingly difficult and would take a cast of all professional players to perform.