The Music of Star Trek
Musical Score By: Various Artists
Performed By: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Distributed by: Silva Screen Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
There are many Star Wars fans out there who scoff at Star Trek fans, but I am not one of them. Although I am not a “Trekkie”, I can appreciate Star Trek as a groundbreaking science fiction success story. I watched the original Gene Roddenberry series in syndication on Channel 11 with my father and with my aunt (a certified Trekkie) when I was a kid. I read a couple of the books based on the series, had Star Trek Colorforms and a Star Trek coloring book , all courtesy of my Trekkie aunt. I even watched a couple of the movies, but Star Wars will always be my obsession. Star Trek was just something I dabbled in.
That being said, I must admit that I have always enjoyed the music of Star Trek. I loved the theme song of the original series and enjoyed the music composed for the original movie. So when I received The Music of Star Trek, a compilation of music from the various Star Trek films and television series, I couldn’t wait to pop it into the CD player.
With the exception of the theme of the original television show (performed by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra) and the theme of Star Trek: The Next Generation (performed by The Daniel Caine Orchestra), the music found on this album is performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. I have always found the music performed by this orchestra to be of top quality, having enjoyed their sound on many a movie compilation CD.
The songs found on this album are divided into film and television. Eleven tracks are taken from the films, beginning with the first in the series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and ending with the 2009 Star Trek movie. The final five tracks are dedicated to the themes from the five television series - the original Star Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise.
I have always enjoyed the sweeping orchestral sound of the original motion picture as composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to me that some of the more enjoyable tracks are those that were created by Goldsmith. A couple of other composers worked on the musical scores of Star Trek films, but I believe that it was Goldsmith, with his bold brass fanfare that matched the goal of the starship Enterprise (to boldly go where no man had gone before) and the mystical quality associated with discovery offered via the use of strings, that truly captured the spirit of the story. Goldsmith’s compositions appear on six tracks of the album and these are the tracks that I enjoyed the most.
My favorite track is the original theme from the original series that aired from 1966 until 1969. The mystical opening bars and the bold horns followed by sweeping, almost jazzy, band music accompanied by the female soprano vocals. This is a track I will most associate with the Star Trek saga having been one that I grew up while watching the reruns of a defunct television series that was somewhat ahead of its time.
The most surprising track of the album was the Star Trek Enterprise theme, Where My Heart Will Take Me. Not being a Trekkie, I really didn’t follow many of the films or television series after the original 70s/80s stuff. Thus, I was quite unprepared for a Star Trek theme that relied mainly on guitars and keyboards. This was a much softer approach to the Star Trek universe and I was quite impressed with the sound. Although it didn’t really feel like Star Trek music, Where My Heart Will Take Me was definitely one of the most enjoyable songs of the album.
As a person who has dabbled in the Star Trek universe, I can appreciate this compilation as a piecing together of music from the many generations of the Star Trek saga. The Music of Star Trek is definitely a Trekkie’s dream, containing music from every film and every television spin-off series performed so beautifully by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The Music of Star Trek is an album that can be enjoyed by fans of all sorts - the Trekkies, the not-so-Trekkies and those who simply enjoy commanding orchestral pieces.