Sometimes a reworking of a piece of composition feels like a genuinely new piece of work and a brilliant idea (see Howard Shores’ The Lord of the Rings Symphony) and sometimes it feels like a record company repeatedly milking a cash cow (see TWO “Star Trek” albums by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra – One and Two). And sometimes it’s somewhere in between. That’s where this release by BSX Records falls. It is genuinely interesting to hear the inspiring and recognizable pieces from the various Battlestar Galactica seasons played alone on the piano, but it also feels a bit like a stretch to record 21 tracks (100 minutes) and sell them as a two volumes (digitally, that is – they are available as one set in actual printed copies).
By now McCreary’s music has become so ubiquitous to any fan of cinematic composition, particularly for any listeners with a sci-fi slant. After selling thousands of copies of his composition work and even going on live tours to play the music, McCreary made a decision to try a new angle on his music. Originally planning to perform the music himself, McCreary decided that another musician might bring something new and interesting to the work. So he turned to classically trained pianist and recent Hollywood score enhancer Joohyun Park (Drag Me To Hell, The Rum Diary, Love Happens). The South Korean native was familiar with McCreary’s work but spent a good deal of time reading through all of his original compositions to get a feel for his intentions. She then followed McCreary’s piano arrangements to the tee: “When I perform someone’s music, I am a player not a composer.”
The result is this meditative collection of Battlestar Galactica music filtered through the lens of classical, solo piano. Some may find it boring, some may find it invigorating. I found it pleasant as background music, but not being a pianist myself I didn’t find myself seeking out impressive moments or memorable sections as I do with the original recordings. What’s most interesting about this collection is that although this is music originally written for a slightly melodramatic sci-fi television show, it translates beautifully to the piano. If you didn’t already know where it came from you might misinterpret McCreary’s work as classical composition.
Overall Rating: B+
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