There are occasionally Star Trek items under the radar, released with little fanfare or promotion, and this is certainly true of the new CD "The Music of Star Trek" performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra from Silva America. TrekMovie brings all the details in this review of what is an excellent addition to Trek music aficionado collections.
A good year for Trek music
After years of no new Star Trek music CDs, 2009 has been a banner time for Trek soundtracks. May’s score for "Star Trek by Michael Giachhino" from Varese Sarabande was joined in August by an "expanded soundtrack for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" from Film Score Monthly. Now, the world famous City of Prague Philharmonic (utilized often by Hollywood companies such as Lucasfilm and Paramount, and by directors such as David Lynch) brings a new compilation of Star Trek music from all versions of the franchise to fans in a brand new CD.
The Music of Star Trek, Performed by the Prague Philharmonic
There is much to like about this CD. It should be noted that I am a "Franchise Fan" who enjoys all versions of Star Trek, so what is essentially a "greatest hits" music collection from Star Trek 1966 to 2009 is enthusiastically welcomed indeed. Each film and live action show is represented by one selection, organized first by feature film (beginning with 1979’s The Motion Picture) then by television shows.
Listening to the music historically provides various insights into the Star Trek musical scores. For example, the influence of James Horner’s nautical stylizations for TWOK and TSFS on the newest Star Trek 2009 score is evident in this collection. Giachinno’s "Hella Bar Talk/Enterprising Young Men" and its flavor, while distinct and original, certainly feels at home with Horner’s music.
The CD is replete with "End Titles" mostly because many of the films’ major themes are restated during end credits. While this means fans get to hear a nice variety of the major motifs and themes, it also means that fans hear the "TMP" fanfare often, especially on the Next Generation selections, before segueing to each film’s new music.
The composers from the City of Prague Philharmonic (plus composers for a few selections from different orchestras such as The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) tweak the musical arrangements on a few selections slightly. This is most noticeable with some additional drum work on "Bird of Prey Decloaks" from Star Trek III and the radically restylized theme to the TV show "Enterprise." In both instances, these arrangements are enjoyable.
The CD is especially nice for a variety of kind of fans. "Franchise fans" will certainly enjoy all the selections, yet so will new fans or those who are partial to a particular kind of Trek as all are represented. Indeed, while a fan may not like a particular film, the music is usually excellent. For example, I don’t really like Star Trek First Contact (mostly because every character, especially Picard, acts out of character). Yet Jerry Goldsmith’s music from First Contact is beautiful and enjoyable. This is why this CD is a suitable gift for nearly any fan because The Music of Star Trek introduces new fans and reintroduces previous fans to what is arguably some of the most exciting film music.
You can listen to samples and purchase
"The Music of Star Trek" at Amazon.com. The Music of Star Trek is available on CD and as a MP3 download:
Previous Trek Release from Prague Philharmonic
The City of Prague Philharmonic previously released a 2 CD The Star Trek Album in 2003. It includes many previously unreleased Star Trek music from the various television shows and even the video games, although neither Enterprise nor ST09 are included. This is also a recommended title and is available for $16.98 from Amazon, where you can also hear samples of the music.