Leonard Rosenman, the composer for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, died today at the age of 83. Rosenman, a two-time Oscar and Emmy winner, died of a heart attack at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA. His score for Star Trek IV received an Oscar nomination; the only other Trek music to be nominated was Goldsmith’s TMP score.
Quote’s on Rosenman and his Trek score:
Leonard Rosenman was probably equal to Jerry Goldsmith in his understanding of the science fiction genre–he did seminal work in this area, in particular on Fantastic Voyage which is arguably one of the greatest science fiction scores ever written, and in taking over the Planet of the Apes series that Goldsmith started. He had an immediately recognizable style which is impressive in itself given that he favored writing very forward-thinking, often atonal music. His Star Trek IV score was unique in the Trek canon, mixing his rumbling science fiction style with a bright opening march that was both adventurous and in keeping with the movie’s comic tone–and he managed to add both classical references and jazz fusion to the mix. Rosenman was an uncompromising musician who was very at home in the concert world–he was at work on a symphony for dinosaurs late in his career and no less a figure than John Adams praised his film work and conducted some of it for album presentation. Rosenman was opinionated and therefore controversial, but he was inarguably one of the most important figures in film composition and one of the very first to introduce modernism, serial technique and atonal composition to the genre.
– Jeff Bond, author of “The Music of Star Trek“
The shortest of all Star Trek scores, Rosenman’s music for Star Trek IV still retains the bold, somewhat seafaring flavour of James Horner’s previous work while giving it a lighter, less intensive texture displayed no better than in his ‘Main Title’.
– MusicFromTheMovies.com STIV score review
Sci-fi and fantasy films proved especially receptive vehicles for Rosenman’s musical ideas: A bizarre choral “Mass for The Holy Bomb” for Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970); eerie marches and wild battle music for the Golden Globe-nominated score for Ralph Bakshi’s animated version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1978); and a delightful, Oscar-nominated score for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) that incorporated a joyous, Bach-style fugue for the endangered whales that the Enterprise crew must rescue in the time-traveling plot..
– Film Music Society Obituary
About Mr. Rosenman
Leonard Rosenman is credited with bringing a more contemporary approach to film music during the 1950s and 1960s. He began composing for film when director Elia Kazan hired him to score the 1955 classic East of Eden. He went on to score such films as Rebel Without a Cause, Pork Chop Hill, Fantastic Voyage, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. His musical cues can also be heard on TV shows like The Twilight Zone, Combat!, and Marcus Welby, MD. Rosenman won back-to-back Oscars for adapting the song scores for 1975’s Barry Lyndon and 1976’s Bound for Glory. He later received an Oscar nod for 1983’s Cross Creek before being nominated for Star Trek IV. He also won 2 Emmy Awards for scoring the TV movies Sybil and Friendly Fire and was nominated by the Golden Globes for the 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings. His more recent scores include Robocop 2 and The Color of Evening. Rosenman suffered from a degenerative brain condition called Frontotemporal dementia in his later years, but continued to write music nonetheless.
“The Enterprise” from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home