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Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 (Original Soundtrack from the TV Series)

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Album Review

The second television series to be called Battlestar Galactica ran on the Sci Fi (later renamed Syfy) Channel between 2004 and 2009, meaning that it was on the air significantly longer than the first series, which ran from 1978 to 1980. Throughout its tenure, composer Bear McCreary provided background music, and his efforts on behalf of the first three seasons have been captured on previous soundtrack albums by La-La Land Records. This final two-CD collection is drawn from the fourth season and the concluding mini-season (referred to in a press release as season 4.5), which was dubbed "Daybreak," with one disc devoted to each. Partly out of necessity, McCreary recast conventional notions of what constituted space music in his early work for the series. He didn't have the budget for an orchestra, so he decided that in his musical interpretation of the space-traveling future, the music would be a mixture of existing world music, much of it played on ethnic instruments. Also, he was especially fond of Japanese taiko drums, and his music proved percussion-heavy. By the third season, there seemed to be more money for the music, and McCreary began to mix in more familiar string orchestrations. That trend continues here, as the usual army of Hollywood violin, viola, and cello players makes itself felt in big orchestral cues. But McCreary has not given up on his ethnic favorites, especially on the first disc. Uilleann pipes give a Celtic sound to "Farewell Apollo," for example, with an Irish whistle producing a similar effect on "Grand Old Lady." "Cally Descends" and "Boomer Takes Hera" both draw on Indian music. For the "Daybreak" episodes, McCreary relies much more heavily on the strings, but they have to make room for his pounding drums. He does not use drums just to keep the beat or provide accents. If anything, the drums are the dominant musical element in his music. Any orchestra considering an evening of McCreary music in the future should be warned: expect to pay the timpani section extra, and have substitutes ready, just in case.

Customer Reviews

It's about time- iTunes finally gets TV's greatest modern score

After four seasons of Battlestar Galactica, it's hard to fathom the fact that its incredible soundtrack was Bear McCreary's first real job. Alternately rocking your face off and stretching your heartstrings to their breaking point, this young composer has done for TV music what John Williams did for movie scores- it made them cool. Let's face it; who knew ethnic woodwinds, strings, and drums would work so well in a sci-fi setting?

If you've ever seen the show, if you have even a passing interest in gorgeous soundtracks, or if you've just been waiting for his albums to become available in this, the world's largest online music store, you owe it to yourself to add this to your collection. Bear's Season 4 double album is the musical culmination of four years of incredible television, and while I'm sure others will be more articulate and more specific in their praise, I just wanted to express my deep, sincere admiration for this man and his work with the hope that, as it's now on iTunes, this musical masterpiece can reach as wide of an audience as is humanly possible.

Words cannot express

A fantastic show complimented by a fantastic score. Glad to see this FINALLY made it into the iTunes store. Words cannot express what an amazing score this is. The score is not only sounds fantastic, but it is extraordinarily unique as well - employing the use of many exotic instruments, and uniquely talented musicians. A++


This last season, Bear McCreary has created something particularly special. He has taken so many of the themes he developed for the first three seasons and made them more rich and actually guided the season, through added suspensions and resolutions, to it's wonderful conclusion. As amazing as this television show has been over its run, I don't think it would have been half as good had Mr. McCreary not been at the musical helm. I look forward to hearing more of his work in the future.


Born: February 17, 1979 in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Score composer Bear McCreary was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 17, 1979, the son of the writer Laura Kalpakian. He obtained degrees in Composition and Recording Arts from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and became a protégé of the film composer Elmer Bernstein, for whom he reconstructed and re-orchestrated the score for the 1963 film Kings of the Sun, resulting in the recording of a new album of the music. After scoring a number of short films...
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