Star Trek The Ultimate Voyage – Concert Review

Royal Albert Hall  –  November 1st 2015

London Philharmonic Orchestra  –   Conductor Justin Freer

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There are not many concerts where you can hear Jerry Goldsmith, Leonard Rosenman, Michael Giacchino, James Horner, George Duning, Sol Kaplan plus a few other composers pieces all in one [magnificent] concert hall but that’s what one of the most successful tv franchise can give. Star Trek has garnered some best of the best composers for not only the tv series but also the many film spin off’s. This was as billed, the ultimate voyage with full orchestra and the most meticulous editing of clips shown on a 70 foot screen. This fast spreading entertainment format is giving a new platform to film music as we know it and it’s exciting!
The first thing I noticed as I took my seat is that I was way underdressed. There was a sea of red, black and yellow varying Star Trek uniforms, and to top that someone [in costume] walked toward his seat shouting the most perfect Klingon though I couldn’t actually tell you what he said. The hall was packed, the lights dimmed and without intro or fanfare we were off with Jerry Goldsmiths Main Title from Star Trek:The Motion Picture.

“Star Trek was difficult for me; I really sweated that one out for ten days, just getting the basic theme’   –    Jerry Goldsmith                  

DSCN5049As the screen fills with images of space the voice of William Shatner booms out telling us about the importance of ‘steering the ship’ brilliantly setting the theme of exploration. One of my favourite cues from the first Trek film is Klingons, being played live it sounded more threatening than ever. 2 B Human is a sweet piece from S.T Insurrection  and was played against Spock and Data taking about the choices they made. We meet surely the biggest threat to the intrepid crew ever – the Borg, in ‘Captain Borg’ from S.T. First Contact  dark and fiendish cue.

One of two real treats came as Ron Jones took over the baton and conducted the orchestra with his compositions for tv series 3/episode 26 called The Best of Both World Part and received glorious applause from the die hard fans. James Horner’s Epilogue and and End Title from S.T.2:The Wrath of Khan had a comic turn as one of the ‘effects’ within the music was a percussionists spinning round one of those hollow, plastic tubes which children play with – magic! For me the only piece which didn’t sit right with the rest of the programme was ‘Defiant Ending’ from Deep Space Nine. It sounded really out of place.

The second treat was in the form of composer Jay Chattaway this time taking the baton to conduct his composition Close Bonds:The Inner Light Suite from S.T. The Next Generation, a very poignant cue set against clips of crew mates from various S.T. tv shows and films. And it neatly ended with ‘Main Theme from Star Trek: The Original Series’ with a montage of clips and photo’s including Gene Roddenbury, the models & costume makers, make up artists and off set pictures. With bongo drums being played to the hilt this was a thrilling end to the journey and the audience went wild! The precision of such a concert is mind blowing, the editing of each segment having to match the timing of the orchestral piece. It’s a marvel and certainly opens up a new and exciting way to listen to film music.

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Here is the full playlist taken from the excellent Programme Guide crammed full of photo’s and essays to keep all Trekkies happy.

STAR Wars act 1

STAR Wars act 2

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