(written from a Production point of view)
Arguably the strongest and most ambitious of the TOS-era film scores, Cliff Eidelman's score has become one of the most popular Trek contributions despite its rejection of many of the franchise's staples.
Initially intending to use Gustav Holst's The Planets suite, director Nicholas Meyer sought a "fresh" approach to scoring the sixth and final Original Series motion picture when licensing fees negated his original choice. Taking the bold step of hiring an unknown (rumors of both James Horner's and Jerry Goldsmith's refusal to return unconfirmed), Meyer indeed succeeded in injecting new life into the franchise with the addition of Eidelman... if only for one outing.
Most notable is the film's opening suite, a stark departure from the previously triumphant marches of Horner and Goldsmith. The Undiscovered Country opens with brooding foreshadowing of the darker tones within the film, beginning with low, forbearing strings and culminating in a massive orchestral fanfare.
Another departure is Eidelman's use of non-western instruments, favoring more exotic sounds and percussive elements in representing the Klingons and other aliens. Evoking Goldsmith's Klingon themes from The Motion Picture and The Final Frontier, Eidelman focuses less on brass and more on drums and the infusion of voices chanting in Klingonese. It is the use of choir by Eidelman that the score is also set apart from earlier contributions, a first for the franchise and scarce thereafter.
Taking from Eidelman's work, though, future Star Trek composers would expand on the darkness within The Undiscovered Country; even in the hands of veteran Goldsmith.
The commercial soundtrack release of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country contained a sampling of the music used in the film. Below is a list of the tracks made widely available.
|2||An Incident (0:53)|
|3||Clear All Moorings (1:39)|
|5||Surrender for Peace (2:46)|
|6||Death of Gorkon (1:10)|
|7||Rura Penthe (4:22)|
|9||Escape from Rura Penthe (4:22)|
|10||Dining on Ashes (1:00)|
|11||The Battle for Peace (8:03)|
|12||Sign Off † (3:13)|
|13||Star Trek VI Suite / End Credits (6:18)|
- † Contains TOS theme composed by Alexander Courage
| Previous soundtrack release:|
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
| Star Trek Movie Soundtrack|
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
| Next soundtrack release:|
Star Trek Generations