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JoeinAR

Why do people hate Rosenman's score for Star Trek IV The Voyage Home.

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Stefan and I are discussing this controversial score off site. I am one of the few who enjoy the score while Stefan is not a fan. I know he and others dislike it very much but I fail to understand why.

 

Perhaps some of you can explain.

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I've only seen it once but I remember I liked it a lot less because of the score than I could have. The big standout I remember really disliking is when they get Chekov out of the hospital. Perhaps it's all really at odds with the sondscape and style that we got accustomed to with everything that came before.

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2 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

They hate it because it's much nicer music than Goldsmith's utterly boring score which is supposed to be a masterpiece for reasons I don't understand in the slightest.

 

@JoeinAR, see what you did!

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This is actually one of the few Rosenman scores I like (and own). To be fair, I love the more romantic/classical stuff (like "Hospital Chase") and less keen on the atonal stuff -- I was never that into Rosenman's tone pyramids. But the highlight of the album is the Yellowjakets tracks! :)

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I think the score fits the film of the tone perfectly.  I do think it's an underrated score and it's one of my favorites.  Then again I love ALL the Star Trek scores.  But ya it's gotten too much flak over the years in my opinion. I think it's because it's a bit too campy but like I said it fits the tone of the film perfectly.  It's got that Original Series vibe to it.

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I love IV’s score.

 

It fits the film perfectly and it’s a great listen away from the film. 

 

And while unintentional, the film was released during the holiday season, the main title has a nice holiday feel to it.

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Ok, this is a tricky one. IV seems to be the Marmite score of STAR TREK, and not without good reason.

While I generally like Rosenman's "atonal" stuff (BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES; FANTASTIC VOYAGE), I really don't think that it works, here.

IV is a conventional fish-out-of-water yarn, set to a science fiction backdrop, with a firm ecological message - "learn to respect the planet, or else mankind will die".

Added to that, there's an almost-romance, some nice character moments, and, behind the camera, great (and Oscar nominated) photography and sound.

Then there's the music...

With so many elements, and mini-stories, it needed the score to pull all of it together. Taken on their own, the cues are set-pieces, rather than parts of a cohesive whole. There's no "journey" to go on, no "story" that the music tells. It's just "there".

Still that didn't stop Rosenman earning himself an Oscar nod, and the film becoming the most successful STAR TREK film ever released. Somebody did something right.

Taken on face value, I like it, but I can't help thinking that IV would be a much deeper and richer film if Nimoy had swallowed his pride, and allowed Horner to complete his TREK trilogy.

 

Ps, I'm with @Thor: MARKET STREET is the best track on the CD.

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It's kinda like TLW in that it's a radical departure from the various sounds of the last three films. (Horner certainly sounds different from Goldsmith/Steiner/Courage, but in terms of style, they're much closer to each other than either is to Rosenman's contribution.) The difference is...TLW really grew on me and became one of my favorite scores, while this score still doesn't do much for me. In fact, it gets on my nerves a bit. My initial reaction the first time I saw the film was a simple gut feeling of, "This doesn't sound like Star Trek." Especially not a Trek film, as that sound tends to be a lot less campy than the (still wonderful) scores of TOS. The main theme especially is just so...annoyingly jaunty and cheerful. I don't even know how to describe the images and emotions it conjures up, but they're definitely nothing like any Trek film I've ever seen.

 

Sooooo...in summary, nothing objectively "wrong" with the score that I can see, but it just really rubs me the wrong way. Which is unfortunate, because the film is otherwise probably tied with TWOK for my favorite Trek film.

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15 minutes ago, Datameister said:

It's kinda like TLW in that it's a radical departure from the various sounds of the last three films. (Horner certainly sounds different from Goldsmith/Steiner/Courage, but in terms of style, they're much closer to each other than either is to Rosenman's contribution.) The difference is...TLW really grew on me and became one of my favorite scores, while this score still doesn't do much for me. In fact, it gets on my nerves a bit. My initial reaction the first time I saw the film was a simple gut feeling of, "This doesn't sound like Star Trek." Especially not a Trek film, as that sound tends to be a lot less campy than the (still wonderful) scores of TOS. The main theme especially is just so...annoyingly jaunty and cheerful. I don't even know how to describe the images and emotions it conjures up, but they're definitely nothing like any Trek film I've ever seen.

 

Sooooo...in summary, nothing objectively "wrong" with the score that I can see, but it just really rubs me the wrong way. Which is unfortunate, because the film is otherwise probably tied with TWOK for my favorite Trek film.

 

The OST isn't that great of an experience...I mean ya it's okay but honestly the complete release helps flesh it out in my opinion.  Not quite as "campy".  It does have more serious toned cues ...if that makes sense.

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I think Richard hit the nail on the head.  I think Horner would have done well with it.  The music isn't awful although it has - intentionally? - campy and cringey moments.  Rosenman's language may have suited an episode of the original series but by the fourth film it feels totally inorganic to the spirit of things and functions as a strange veil that does bring the whole thing down a peg, which is a shame, because there's literally nothing else to dislike about the picture.

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4 hours ago, Horner's Dynamic Range said:

I just don't hear whatever it is people find so offensive about it.

 

Agreed. "Offensive" is a strange word to use, if anyone has indeed used it. Might be different from the other ST scores, but it's just that. Different. And heck, it ain't that different either -- several of the cues follow the classical ST idiom pretty closely. I find the recent Giacchino scores far more "offensive", to be honest.

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7 hours ago, Horner's Dynamic Range said:

I just don't hear whatever it is people find so offensive about it.

If you don't hear, then you can't post, and then the whole fabric of space-time will be torn apart.

Haven't you got any goddamn feelings about that?!

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It's not offensive.  It's just... music, set to film.  I loved the score to final scene when the new/old Enterprise is revealed, and it works in that cheesy 80s way with pictures of the cast are cut through the end credits.  It's just not a standout score.  I don't hate it, just isn't a go to when I want to listen to Star Trek music.

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This used to be the most despised CD in my collection, no lie. I only owned it because it was Star Trek and I had to have them all. But I never really cared for the music much even in the film...the main theme felt so generic, like it could be just as easily applied to a cheap 80s TV adaptation of Ben-Hur or something. It is also largely recycled from his Lord of the Rings score as noted. The action music lacks direction or engaging thematic development IMO (I get that it's very much Rosenman's style)...without my sharing my own opinion of the score beforehand, my wife disliked it so much when I was showing her all the Star Trek films that it actively reduced her opinion of the movie itself. She called it "noise".

 

Ironically, I've always enjoyed the two short silly setpiece cues (Hospital Chase and Chekov's Run). I wouldn't say they have a Star Trek feel, but they at least have melody and direction, and feel more tailored to the situation on screen. I really enjoyed the Chekov cue as fun music in particular. Interestingly, my grandfather -- who introduced me to Star Trek as a six year old, as well as the wider world of classical music -- told me he was positive that Hospital Chase was based on an existing piece of classical music. I've never been able to figure out what that was, though.

 

The one single wonderful cue in the score that felt like Star Trek to me was the finale. Rosenman's interpolation of Courage's full theme was well done, and the cue had better emotion and direction. Oh yeah...the whale fugue I always liked well enough but thought that James Horner could have written something even better and more moving for the whales. Which brings me to one of the main reasons so many people probably dislike this score: James Horner didn't write it. With Nimoy taking good care to start the film off as a continuation of Star Trek III, it would have really helped that continuity if he had continued with the same composer rather than bringing his friend Rosenman onto the project with a very different style. We all know Horner could have handled the 80s and comedy aspects of the film with aplomb, and he might have done new and interesting things with his established themes. Imagine HIS Spock theme continuing to be developed over the course of the story as Spock's character gradually got back to being his "normal" self. Imagine the extended nautical action cue HE could have written for that whole ending sequence with the whaler...for that matter imagine the new theme he could have given the whales. A major missed opportunity, IMO.

 

Now, I was skeptical that it would, but to my surprise, my opinion of the Rosenman score DID improve when I got the complete Intrada release. It really fleshed the composition out, especially with some of his music that went unused...revealing that he did indeed have some recurring themes (such as his Spock theme, which was so subtle on the original album that I missed it). I liked his unused main title treatment of Courage. So it went from a one star (one and a half at best) score to a two and a half star score for me, at least. I don't despise it any more; I just regard it as a huge missed opportunity for a far superior and more emotionally powerful James Horner capper to the trilogy.

 

I really have no idea how the music got an Oscar nomination, aside from the fact that it is noticeable at times (mostly as being different)...and the film was by far the most popular and profitable of the original Trek films, so I bet the Academy felt like patting it on the head by throwing it a few "technical" bones, so to speak.

 

Yavar

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I remember it at the premiere and felt it just didn't feel like a Star Trek score though the film was excellent.  That's in contrast to the other shows/films where the music was exceptional even if the 60's era vfx were weak.  STIV stood out as a score that might have been shoe horned in for this film as if the music was previously composed and just dropped in the film.  Then compare that to all the great Star Trek music from the OST, Sandy Courage, Goldsmith, Horner, it was a real anomaly.  It also feels like the recording wasn't very well done.  For example, it sounds somewhat small but was actually a large orchestra.  For me, to this day, that film is one of the best and the score is one of the weakest elements.

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