• Find us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • View Our YouTube Channel
  • Listen on Spotify
  • View our scores on nkoda

Despite the lukewarm reception of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, Paramount was committed to continuing with its enormous investment in resurrecting the franchise. However, rookie director Nicholas Meyer only had a budget of $12 million for the sequel. What resulted is a perfectly crafted, perfectly executed feature, whose thematic elements touch on the human condition, the power of lifelong friendship, and finding impossible answers to impossible situations. Deeply contemplative ideas wash over the entire film. Still, they don't interfere with its otherwise straightforward narrative of two rivals locking horns ferociously and to the death. A smaller budget meant Jerry Goldsmith would not be considered to write music for the sequel. Instead, Paramount's vice president of music, Joel Sill, turned to a young composer writing top-notch scores for low-budget films: James Horner.

Horner wasted no time creating a distinct sound for Meyer's vision. The maritime spirit of adventure pervades the main theme. Touches of Kirk's ineffable charm suffuse the theme with a slightly playful character. After the initial statement, cellos and basses play the Enterprise's sprawling and lyrical B-theme. The two themes run side by side throughout the movie and score, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between the ship and its captain. Horner contrasts this material with Khan's darkly twisted and chromatic fanfare and Spock's otherworldly, pensive theme based on the tri-tone interval.

Horner amassed a 93-piece orchestra to perform his classic sci-fi score. Players of the Hollywood Orchestra gathered over six days at "The Burbank Studio" (WB) to record seventy-six minutes of music. The orchestra was augmented with pan pipes, a blaster beam, several synthesizers, and a multitude of percussion instruments including waterphones, a bull's roar, and tubophone.

Now musicians, music students, conductors – any music lover – can study Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in this durable, high-quality edition, carefully reproduced and edited from the original handwritten manuscript.

Stay updated on the latest composer news and publications