Horner's full symphonic music for the second Trek film is amongst the strongest
of the six Trek (ST1) scores. In case you have forgotten, this is the film
in which the Genesis Project features, Spock dies in the Warpdrive chamber
saving everyone and Chekhov's brain is manipulated by a Ceti eel.
The score has moments of fragile beauty (enhanced here by very decent stereo
separation) and Ligeti like string rustling (track 5). The bubbling excitement
as the USS Enterprise clears her moorings is very fine indeed - like the
intoxicating emerald-green sea evocation of Sainton's Moby Dick (Marco Polo).
The main Trek theme was introduced on television by quiet violins singing
in chaste innocence. The introduction here is similarly by the violins but
here they are heavy with menacing dread and the creepy crawly strings reminded
me of Sibelius's En Saga and Pohjola's Daughter (try the Horst Stein Decca
recording). The battle scenes have lashing strings and crackling brass.
All in all the score is one of saturated romance, visceral renewal and valorous
endeavour. A great score then - even if there is a hint of indebtedness to
the John Williams Superman theme. The disc's final track (after giving us
Spock's voice-over recitation of the famous Trekkie mantra) ends in whooping
The music was orchestrated by Jack Hayes and we acknowledge the work of Mr
Hayes whose contribution is a significant part of the magic of the score.
A fine disc and score though the printing looks decidedly budget quality.