Music Webmaster Len Mullenger



Another look at a favourite James Horner score:-

James HORNER Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan OST conducted by composer   GNP Crescendo GNPD8022 [44.56]





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 confidence.

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.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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