Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mr. Spock Goes All "Brahms" on Us!

How have we not talked about Star Trek here lately? I'm going to break the dry spell. Here's Spock sitting down at the piano in the third season episode "Requiem for Methuselah" and playing what he recognizes as a completely new Johannes Brahms waltz. (Viewers in the know realize that it was written by the immortal Mr. Flint, played by James Daly.) Kirk gets into the action by asking Mr. Flint's voluptuous ward Rayna (Louise Sorel) to dance. (Viewers in the know also realize that Rayna is actually not a woman after all, but...gasp! android!)

The faux Brahms waltz was written by Ivan Ditmars, longtime Hollywood musical director who might be best known as the musical director for Let's Make a Deal. His waltz is a delightful lilting composition that Star Trek fans will always remember fondly. A transcription of it was published in the long-ago Trek fanzine The Star Trek Songbook (yes, I have a copy!) and more recently was transcribed and is available on the Free-Scores sheet music website, thanks to Amanda!

So that's your Star Trek for the day! Carry on!


The Babbler said...

So is the arrangement of the Brahms fully harmonized like in the show which is quite beautiful. The one on your friends site is very simple :(. I would love to play the original version but cannot find a copy anywhere.

Lisa said...

And how amazing that you should comment on this today, since it's Ivan Ditmars birthday! I was going to write another post but almost forgot we did this one! I wish I could find a really good transcription. I will look for my copy from the songbook and scan it and post here -- keep checking! Thanks for the comment!

The Babbler said...

looking forward to possibly getting a copy of the score Lisa...thanks!

Lisa said...

The Babbler -- I have found an even better transcription -- here is the URL:

It's completely accurate, at least to my ear, and the score is there, too. Better than the old one from the Trek music book.

I think you will really like this! Hope you check back here!!

The Babbler said...

Hey Lisa...I got it, yes it is better. The melody is more harmonized. I have to read it with the pianist playing it in the episode to see if it is right. IT is rather difficult and tricky but so lovely. I really appreciate it. My name is Marco. I love that episode as well.

Lisa said...

Hi Marco! So glad you got it! I was amazed to find it today, just from surfing around and finding a link in a film music forum. You never know when web research yields something else!

I think it would be thrilling to play that waltz for oneself, even if it's not authentic Brahms but at least it's authentic Star Trek!

I'm a Trek fan from waaaaaay back, obviously!! Keep in touch!!

Dizzyfingers2 said...

Yes, but why has no one put two-and-two together and realized that the manuscript that is shown on screen is actually Johannes Brahms' Waltz no. 1 in B Opus 39? Why go to the trouble of writing out a known Brahms waltz that any classical pianist could recognize on sight; rather than simply transcribing into manuscript the waltz by Ditmars? As Spock would say: "Fascinating ..."