Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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"Listen, kiddo, Jim Kirk was many things, but he was never a Boy Scout!"

The new entry can be found here.

I will make no bones about the fact that my interest in Star Trek had as much to do with my fascination with film music as Star Wars did. While Williams' music was omnipresent and almost axiomatic as the voice of Star Wars to me, the fact that there were so many different composers working on Star Trek, each impressing their own personality on the subject caused me to examine not just that the music was there, but what it was doing.

I was 8 when Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan premiered. My father was an avid fan of the television series, so I grew up watching it, and was excited about the film (though I had not, at the time, seen The Motion Picture). I remember our local station, WPIX 11 offering tickets to the preview screening as a prize for their interactive games (you'd call in to play the game and say "PIX" to perform whatever action you did in the game - primitive online gaming), but having to wait until the actual premiere of the movie to see it. The first thing I asked my father exiting the theater was why after the very beginning there was no music from the television series. Of course, this was because the televisions series scores were endlessly retracked into other episodes, and I was expecting to hear a familiar Fred Steiner tune.

It wasn't until I was much older that I started analyzing the music. It was really Jerry Goldsmith's Star Trek: The Motion Picture that made me really pay attention to it from a practical point of view. That expansive palette and scope was so entrancing. Goldsmith set the standard for the feature scores, and would return to score the fifth Star Trek film as well as three of the four Next Generation features as well. Because I covered Goldsmith's contribution to Star Trek in a two disc program in my Memorial Set (which is way too long, I have since created a superior single disc version), I decided instead to concentrate on the other composers' work on the original cast films.

Of course, Wrath of Khan was scored by then up-and-coming James Horner. His score for Nicholas Meyer's striking film was bold and rousing, bursting with a young composer's desire to prove himself on his first major film project. This desire is somewhat muted in Leonard Nimoy's The Search for Spock, which came across as a softer version of Wrath of Khan, but was appropriate to story. Leonard Rosenman was asked by Nimoy to score the fourth and most financially successful entry, The Voyage Home, for which he provided a baroque-influence main theme and his own unique modernistic style. Nicholas Meyer would return to the director's chair and get another up-and-coming composer, Cliff Eidelman, to contribute a dark, intrigue-filled score for what would be the last film to feature the (entire) original film cast.

That's the basics. But I'm making this mix and it is therefore my tastes that I am relying on. I consider Wrath of Khan not only to be a personal favorite, but one of Horner's best scores, featuring the busy quality of his earlier work that I find sadly lacking in his current music. I might even go so far as to say that the enthusiasm he seems to be showing in this score is unparalleled in his ouevre. I also have to admit that I like the roughness Jack Hayes' more aggressive orchestrations than Grieg McRitchie's admittedly more polished ones. I find his score from Search for Spock to be mostly a retread - his theme for the Klingons is basically a watered-down version of that for Khan - but with some real good moments in it.

I've never been much of Rosenman fan; I respect his work much more than I like it. I have to admit that I find his music annoying. However, his title theme was very pleasing and the chase sequences are cute, but little else interests me about the score. On the other hand, I think Eidelman's score is a real classy affair. He built his score around short leitmotives instead of long-form themes, and when it kicks in it is a kaleidescope of orchestral color. I think it is a shame that Eidelman wasn't able to parlay his Star Trek experience into a blockbuster career as Horner was.

I had made several Star Trek mixes throughout my youth, but this was the first time I'd really gone back to that well in many years. However, all previous takes on a mix like this had been chronological, however, and I don't do that anymore (my Alien Quartet mix a major exception, and that only after I did unsuccessfully try to mix things up). This actually gave me a lot of freedom to play around with things that I wasn't expecting when I sat down to compile it. I found the selection process relatively easy because of my intimacy with the music, although assembling the tracks was a bit tricky, but the end assembly definitely establishes a Star Trek "sound" with a refreshing variety provided by different personalities of the composers.

This is also the first project that I did on the new computer after Raz installed all of the requisite software on it. It's basically the same set-up as I had before, but on a much faster computer - on which both processors work - with a bigger screen that doesn't crash all the time. I hadn't realized how much of my mix-making process had recently become just plain wrestling with the computer until I didn't have to.

21 Tracks - 80:40

The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)

The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)

SPOCK 1:06
The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)

The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)

The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)

The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)

The Search for Spock (J. Horner)

The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)

The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)

The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)

The Search for Spock (J. Horner)

The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)

The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)

The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)

The Search for Spock (J. Horner)

The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)

The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)

The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)

The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)

The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)

The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)

  1. WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE - The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)
    The opening of this album was pretty obvious to me; the main title from Wrath of Khan. In order to firmly establish his own score by it in the Star Trek universe, Horner began what would become the trend for all Star Trek films save The Undiscovered Country and Generations; Alexander Courage's fanfare from the original Star Trek television series. It leads up to the nautical main theme of the film, which Horner has in interviews always referred to by the title of this track. In addition to being a fantastic opening, it is nice that the first track would be titled in such a way as so to tap into the mythology of Star Trek.

  2. ZERO GRAVITY ATTACK - The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)
    This track consists of material from "Assassination" and "Surrender for Peace" on the original album. Eidelman's glass harmonica theme for Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is similar to that of Horner's (track 3), emphasizing the stoic dignity of the character as he speaks with Valeris (Kim Cattrall). A six-note motif is introduced that will figure heavily in the score. Thick orchestral textures are met with percussion and wordless male choir as two mysterious figures beam aboard the Kronos One and start a weightless killing spree, including Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner). The cue contines with similar material as the Enterprise somehow fires on the Kronos One, forcing Kirk (William Shatner) to surrender to avoid interstellar conflict.

  3. SPOCK - The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)
    This is the first appearance on the album of Horner's introspective theme for Spock, heard in the film as Kirk visits the half-Vulcan in his quarters. The modest palette is a glass harmonica and piano with Pan flute.

  4. CHEKOV'S RUN - The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)
    Rosenman goes Russian in this brief Tchaikovsky-meets-Prokofiev romp that scores the attempt of Chekov (Walter Keonig) to escape from military custody.

  5. ENTERPRISE CLEARS MOORINGS - The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)
    This rousing cue is heard as Kirk observes the Enterprise embark on its training cruise. A bold opening leads to mounting variations on "Where No Man Has Gone Before," with a brief appearance of Spock's theme as, in a move characteristic of his wry sense of humor, asks his protégé Saavik (Kirstie Alley) to command the ship as it gets underway to the consternation of Kirk and McCoy (DeForest Kelley). A grand presentation of the main theme is heard again but with an explosive fanfare as the ship leaves dock and flies away (in shots borrowed, albeit with a slight optical retint, from The Motion Picture).

  6. DINING ON ASHES - The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)
    Eidelman's main theme for the Enterprise appears sparingly in The Undiscovered Country. This is its most intimate incarnation, led by solo oboe, scoring a moment of reflection between Kirk and Spock as they ponder their pasts and their place in the shape of things to come.

  7. THE MIND MELD - The Search for Spock (J. Horner)
    Eerie rustlings and distant percussion (similar to that employed by Goldsmith throughout The Motion Picture) presage a forbidding statement of Horner's theme for Spock's father, Sarek (Mark Lenard), which is closely related to Spock's theme, which then heard as Sarek melds with Kirk in search of Spock's katra (soul). A sad variation of Sarek's theme plays as he breaks the meld, as it is not within Kirk. A moment of hope then appears in the strings as Kirk realizes who might, in fact, be the host.

  8. THE PROBE - The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)
    An unknown cyllindrical object appears, sapping the power from its surroundings. When it arrives at Earth, it begins to effect major changes in the environment. This bleak and modernistic piece is most characteristic of Rosenman's particular style. A hint of his main theme closes off this cue as the action returns to Kirk and company on board the Bounty.

  9. SURPRISE ATTACK - The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)
    In one of the major action setpieces of the film, Khan (Ricardo Montalban) approaches the Enterprise in the hijacked starship Reliant, catching the Enterprise unaware, and proceeds to disable the ship. This colorful cue opens with Khan's manic theme, a harsh piece featuring angry brass. There is a bridge movement that is heard (after an interlude of "Where No Man Has Gone Before") on pizzicato strings. Khan's strike is accompanied by an explosion of dissonance, which then leads back to his primary theme as explosions rock the engine room; the bridge movement is heard as Kirk and Spock check the damage control console, with Spock's grave observation that, "they knew exactly where to hit us," a moment that is one of my favorite bits of scoring.

  10. ESCAPE FROM RURA PENTHE - The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)
    Kirk and McCoy link up with shape-shifter Martia (Iman) in order to escape from a Klingon gulag. This track is very textural, with interesting variations on a four-note motif. As the group manages to break free of their imprisonment, they trek across the frozen wasteland. The music opens out to epic scope for this sequence. The music turns threatening once again when Kirk challenges Martia's motives.

  11. STEALING THE ENTERPRISE - The Search for Spock (J. Horner)
    A playful string passage reminiscent of Tschaikovsky opens this central moment in the score for Search for Spock as Kirk and company commandeer the Enterprise in order to gather Spock's body from Genesis. A descending motif representing the Starfleet impediments to their goal is introduced as Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) endures the ignorant smugness of a brash youth (Scott McGinnis), who is quite shocked to find a flag officer showing up in the middle of the night with no orders. This is accompanied by a reprise of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" that, on the album, leads into a dissonant passage as the group beams away. This sequence was edited from the film, and I have never felt that it really fit the vocabulary of the score as a whole, so this track mimicks the film edit, which leads directly to the opening of Courage's theme, which is heard again as the ship begins to move; a motives carried over from Wrath of Khan (from tracks 13 and 19) are heard and built upon, gradually becoming a fugue as the Enterprise nears the spacedock doors. An authoritative statement of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is heard as the ship clears the dock. The Excelsior is in pursuit, accompanied by the descending motif; which is heard briefly inverted as the Excelsior prepares to jump to warp speed, only to trail off as the ship does nothing.

  12. HOSPITAL CHASE - The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)
    This is the goofiest piece of music that you'll ever hear Rosenman do, heard as Kirk, McCoy and Gillian (Catherine Hicks) rescue Chekov from a hospital.

  13. KIRK'S EXPLOSIVE REPLY - The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)
    Kirk is at the mercy of Khan after he disables the Enterprise, but buys time by agreeing to send him some information about Project Genesis. Kirk, however, realizes that Khan is too dangerous to allow access to Genesis. Horner's music is edgy but confident as he orders the passcode to the Reliant's command console to be retrieved. An tense version of bridge movement of Khan's theme is then heard as the Reliant's shields are disabled, followed by "Where No Man Has Gone Before" as Kirk fires upon the ship. The album version of this cue closed with a pair of orchestral slams that do not appear in the film; again, the included track mimicks the film edit.

  14. THE BATTLE FOR PEACE - The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)
    Eidelman's six note motif returns, forming the basis of this lengthy sequence, supplemented at moments by Spock's theme and the main theme as the Enterprise squares off against General Chang (Christopher Plummer) in cloaked ship. Chang attacks in bursts then cloaks and attacks again, and so the music alternates between tense passages and loud movements. The entire gets a workout throughout the track, leading to a very satisfying fanfare as the Captain Sulu (George Takei) arrives in Excelsior and joins the attack. The final portion is heard as Kirk and company rescue Gorkon's daughter Azetbur (Rosanna DeSoto) and the Federation President (Kurtwood Smith) from an attempted assassination.

  15. RETURNING TO VULCAN - The Search for Spock (J. Horner)
    A plaintive version of Sarek's theme is heard as McCoy speaks to the body of Spock about what they've shared; this opens out into a gorgeous version of Spock's theme as the stolen Bird of Prey approaches and lands on Vulcan. The distant percussion then returns as Kirk speaks with Sarek before going before T'Lar (Judith Anderson), where Sarek's theme is reprised as he makes a most illogical request.

  16. HOME AGAIN - The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)
    Rosenman's Vulcan theme is very similar to Horner's Sarek theme, and here it opens this cue for the farewell Spock bids his father. This opens out into a series of variations on Courage's main title theme for the television series as the crew are led past the Excelsior and to... a new Enterprise, NCC-1701-A. The end credits then begin, with cascading bells announcing Rosenman's main theme, then the whale fugue theme (followed by a reprise of the main theme). Both of these pieces have a strong baroque flavor, although the orchestration and some of the harmonic relationships are much more modern.

  17. BATTLE IN THE MUTARA NEBULA - The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)
    Kirk and company beam back to the Enterprise after having hoodwinked Khan into thinking that the ship was still disabled and them stranded. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and Khan's theme alternate as the action shifts between the two ships, with Khan finally finding the Enterprise. As the Reliant is in better shape than the Enterprise, Spock recommends Kirk take the ship into the Mutara Nebula, where Khan's advantage would be meaningless. A rousing arrangement of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" accompanies a montage of the Enterprise crew preparing for battle. Once the action enters the nebula, however, the music becomes forbidding. Both ships are floating through darkness with no way of ascertaining the other's location. Kirk, however, is having the Enterprise circle along their route of entry, a fact with is announced in the score by blaster beam hits leading up to a blaze of brass and strings, and the fanfare from track 5; after the ships lose track of one another again, a sudden reappearance of Khan's theme scores the sudden realization that the Reliant is right in front of the Enterprise. I actually prepared an alternate version of this track that shortened some of the trail-offs and pauses in the cue. It sounded fine, but after listening to both of them side-by-side, I decided I would include the full length version of the cue, which was much more dramatic.

  18. THE EXPLOSION OF PRAXIS - The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)
    This is the suspenseful overture from The Undiscovered Country, which presents the six note motif in a very active setting, reminiscent of both Holst and Stravinsky. Many of the fragmentary motives throughout the score are arranged as part of this main title sequence.

  19. GENESIS COUNTDOWN - The Wrath of Khan (J. Horner)
    A figure heard in track track 13 returns and is heard throughout this track. Khan, realizing his defeat, activates the Genesis device, whose area-of-effect will surely encompass the damaged Enterprise. Spock realizes that if Mr. Scott (James Doohan) can not restore full power within a few moments that the ship will be destroyed, and heads down to the engine room. His theme is heard as he is forced to nerve pinch McCoy, who is preventing him from performing the repairs because of unsurvivable levels of radiation. A sequence featuring piano, agitated strings, piano and brass scores Spock, whose half-Vulcan constitution is stronger than any humans,' activating the mains, which Horner would re-use almost note-for-note in Cocoon. The ship is able to move and warps out of danger, but the Genesis device goes off. A quiet moment with the bridge movement of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is heard in the music as the the crew observes a planet forming from the nebula. The same movement is given a dramatic reading as Kirk realizes what their escape may have cost.

  20. WHALE FUGUE - The Voyage Home (L. Rosenman)
    The Bounty crash lands in the ocean under the Golden Gate bridge, where Kirk frees the humpback whales. The opening of this track features the relentless motif for the probe, but then opens out into a variation on the main theme as the probe, satisfied by the whales' communication, departs the planet and power is once again restored. The whale fugue is then heard as the crew of the Bounty rejoice at their victory, which has in turn saved Earth.

  21. SIGN OFF - The Undiscovered Country (C. Eidelman)
    The Courage fanfare leads off this cue, as Spock recommends Uhura tell Starfleet Command to "go to hell" for asking them to decommission the Enterprise. Eidelman's main theme is heard in several warm variations as Kirk decides to take her out for one last spin and makes one final log entry. Courage's theme then reappears, blossoming into a rousing passage as the actors sign their names on the screen, culminating in an arrangment of Courage's fanfare once again as Shatner's name is seen that is very similar to the finale of Horner's end credit sequences for Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock. The album segues into the end title suite, and the track mark occurs during the sustain, so I had to rip the suite as well just to get the first second so that the sustain didn't just cut off. I was originally going to conclude this album with the end credits from Wrath of Khan, but decided not to for two reasons; unless I used the Erich Kunzel recording, I wouldn't have been able to include it without the Leonard Nimoy voice-over. Furthermore, I felt that since I had already included plenty of music from Wrath of Khan. But most of all, I think that this is an iconic moment; even though cast members would reprise their roles on some of the spin-offs, never again would the entire Star Trek cast re-appear together (until that Futurama episode). I therefore felt that it was the most fitting conclusion I could make to this album.

Theme from STAR TREK



STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan


Composed and Conducted by JAMES HORNER

Orchestrated by JACK HAYES
Engineered by DAN WALLIN
Assisted by TOM STEEL

STAR TREK III: The Search for Spock


Composed and Conducted by JAMES HORNER

Orchestrated by GRIEG McRITCHIE
Engineered by DAN WALLIN
Assisted by BILL BENTON

STAR TREK IV: The Voyage Home


Composed and Conducted by LEONARD ROSENMAN

Orchestrated by RALPH FERRARO
Engineered by DAN WALLIN

STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country


Composed and Conducted by CLIFF EIDELMAN

Orchestrated by MARK McKENZIE and WILLIAM KIDD
Engineered by ARMIN STEINER
Tags: cliff eidelman, film music, james horner, jerry goldsmith, leonard rosenman, my mixes, science fiction, star trek

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