THIS DISC HAS BEEN REDONE.
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
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