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The Music of Star Trek

The City of Prague Philharmonic

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Album Review

Reynold D'Silva, head of Silva Screen Records, must have kept the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra working 24/7 during the 1990s creating a library of new recordings of old film scores, and while he may not have been paying the kind of union rates common in his native Britain, he has been cashing in on his investment by assembling an unending string of repackages of that music, sometimes adding another track or two to give things a sense of currency. A case in point is The Music of Star Trek. Silva Screen has delved into music written for the various Star Trek films and TV series before, notably on The Star Trek Album in 2003. The Music of Star Trek is a compilation that draws upon tracks from that disc and others, but is, of course, intended to tie in with the resurrection of the film franchise in 2009 via the prequel/origins reboot called simply Star Trek, an early summer blockbuster. That picture boasts a score composed by Michael Giacchino that bears little resemblance to earlier music written for Star Trek movies and TV shows; a four-minute excerpt is one of the few newly recorded tracks here (not that any information about what is old and what is new is provided anywhere in the packaging). Otherwise, the album presents, in order, segments of the scores of the first ten Star Trek films, followed by segments of the scores of the five Star Trek TV series. That means that Alexander Courage's kitschy original theme from the 1960s series doesn't turn up, officially, anyway, until track 12, when it is performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (just as it was on The Star Trek Album).

In fact, however, the film composers have sneaked it into their music earlier on the disc; Jerry Goldsmith gets it into his end titles for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the "Life's a Dream" cue from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and the end titles of Star Trek: First Contact. In the last two, he uses it as a precursor to his own main theme for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which led off the first movie and recurs frequently. It's a galloping theme with an obvious association to John Williams' Star Wars theme. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture followed Star Wars by two years and probably owes much of its existence to its massively successful predecessor, which, in turn, owes much to the 1960s Star Trek TV series.) Goldsmith, who scored five of the films and two of the TV series, necessarily dominates the proceedings here. Competitors like the veteran Leonard Rosenman sound like interlopers when they intrude; Rosenman's Haydn-like end titles music to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home seems out of place when it turns up. Oddest of all is the other obviously new track, the theme from the most recent TV series, Star Trek: Enterprise, known as "Where My Heart Will Take Me." That title sounds exactly like something Diane Warren would write, and the theme sounds exactly like one of Warren's big power ballads minus the lyrics, which is no doubt exactly what it is.

Customer Reviews

Excellent Album

Great to hear these classic themes played in a new way... however... this is EXACTLY the same album as "The Star Trek Album" with the exception of Track 11 and Track 16.

The Prague Orchesta releases of soundtracks are marvellous.

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