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Old December 12 2012, 11:09 PM   #700
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Re: La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

I just listened to the whole of Season 1, Disc 3 (all the Steiner stuff except "City" and library) in one sitting, and it made me very happy. There were numerous points where I was just giggling with maniacal glee after hearing one cue or another. This is the sound of Star Trek, folks.

The liner notes explain something I'd never realized before -- that the recurring 9-note motif that Steiner used in a lot of his scores (first heard in "Charlie X": "Zap the Pistol") was his Kirk theme. I just thought of it as a nonspecific motif he liked to reuse, but I guess it makes sense that it was a Kirk theme (especially since "Android Kirk" in "What Are Little Girls Made Of" is built upon it).

We were talking before about the rare instances of TOS composers using other composers' themes besides the main-title fanfare, and I noticed another one: Steiner using Courage's "Captain's Theme" as introductory or closing cues in "Charlie" and "Mudd's Women" -- and arranging it gorgeously. "Finale" from "Charlie X" is one of my all-time favorite cues.

It's also interesting how much of the stuff I thought was tracked from one scene of "Charlie X" to another was actually the same motifs performed more than once with slight variations at the beginning or end. Steiner did like to reuse his own stuff, both within and between episodes. Like taking the beginning of "Condition Alert" from "Corbomite" and following it with the Romulan theme to produce the Blackship Theme in "Mirror, Mirror," for just one example.

"Romulan Agitato" puzzles me. The last few moments of it are familiar, but the rest doesn't sound like something I've heard before. Was this cue only partially used in the episode, or were the early portions buried under sound effects or something?

And I never realized it before, but the chord structure and pacing of the low strings in "Ruk Attacks" reminds me of the middle part of the "V'Ger Speaks" cue that Steiner arranged for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That's a neat thing to notice.

The one thing that disappointed me here: I actually like the Varese Sarabande re-recording version of "Planet Rigel" (from "Mudd's Women") better than the original. The re-recording has the bass strings play more emphatically, and I like that. But getting the original version of "Charlie's Mystery" at its proper tempo makes up for it.

(By the way, if anyone wants to start a separate thread for discussing the content of the set, the moderator is welcome to move this post and my previous review comments there.)
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