I must confess I am not a fan of James Horner's work. Titanic in particular was an appalling work overall, and the theme song My Heart Will Go On is responsible for one part of my hatred for it. Along with James Newton Howard, I considered Horner to be nowhere near the league of the great film composers like Bernstein, Steiner, Herrmann, Waxman, Rozsa, or Williams.
Having said that, James Horner did do some good work. Somewhere Out There is still a beautiful song, and I still get a thrill hearing the theme to The Rocketeer. No, I wasn't a fan, but learning of his death in a plane crash yesterday still saddens me. For better or worse James Horner's music is part of film history, and many people will recognize his work.
My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
As tribute, I present one of the few authentically brilliant scores James Horner created.