The Music of Battlestar Galactica for Solo Piano
Composed by: Bear McCreary
Performed By: Joohyun Park
Distributed by: BuySoundtrax Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The musical score of the hit series Battlestar Galactica was so captivating and unique it garnered an amazing following, catapulting the composing talents of Bear McCreary into the spotlight. Since the completion of the series, McCreary has worked on many other musical scores, but he will always be known for those scores he created for Battlestar Galactica, much the same way John Williams will always be known for the groundbreaking musical score of Star Wars.
The music is so well-known and enjoyed that all six soundtracks sold extremely well and were praised by critics. Several live concerts have also taken place, with the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra often performing to sold-out crowds. A ballet has been created from the score and a symphonic performance was conducted by McCreary himself. So it was only fitting that McCreary would chose to take his music in a brand new direction, reconfiguring it for solo piano. On September 13, 2011, BuySoundtrax Records released The Music of Battlestar Galactica for Piano Solo, featuring Joohyun Park.
Born in Kwang-Ju, South Korea, Joohyun Park began studying music at the age of six. She received both Bachelorís and Masterís Degrees of Piano from Yon Sei Univerisity in Seoul, Korea, and a Bachelorís Degree of Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music in the United States. Since then, she has worked as a score coordinator, pianist, orchestrator and assistant composer for a number of projects including the movies Priest, The Informers, Drag Me to Hell, Creation and Love Happens. She is also prominently featured in the BuySoundtrax Records exclusive, I Wanna Do Bad Things With You And Other Music from the HBO TV Series True Blood.
The album also features a musical performance by Bear McCreary himself, performing Kara Remembers with Park. Soprano Melanie Henley Heyn also makes an appearance, providing vocals for the track Battlestar Operatica.
While I applaud Bear McCreary for being innovative and always attempting to take his music into new directions, The Music of Battlestar Galactica for Solo Piano was, to me, a bit of a disappointment. Donít get me wrong, I love a well-played piano and Joohyun Park is an amazing pianist. And much of the reconfigured pieces are quite beautiful to behold. But the music is too soothing. Gone are the Celtic-influenced performances and the excitement of the taiko drums that made the music so unique and captivating. And often times, there are pieces that just seem to lose something in the reconfiguration, like Apocalypse and Prelude to War.
Those who have never heard the musical scores created for the series will be able to take this two-CD album at face value as a beautifully, soothing musical creation. Those of us who have known and loved the scores Bear McCreary created for Battlestar Galactica can appreciate his delving into new realms, but will find something lacking in this new creation. And yet, I would like to recommend The Music of Battlestar Galactica for Solo Piano as a break from the norm. It provides a taste of something new, and as I said before, I do so love a well-played piano piece. No, itís not the Battlestar Galactica we are used to, but should we discount the beauty of the compositions simply because they are not what we expected. Absolutely not. The music is still captivating, though in quite different ways than the original version and it would be a pity to pass up on a chance to hear such well-composed works performed by such a talented pianist.
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