I've never like playing favourites as I like all the WC soundtracks in general, but I think I would say I prefer Team Fat's WC music to Oldziey's too. Which is not to say that I dislike Oldziey's fine orchestral-style productions at all.Am I alone in my preference for the original WC1 / WC2 tracks? Compositionally, I felt they were stronger, and only afflicted by their dated instrumentation.
Perhaps it's because of the variety of music styles in WC1/2. AFAIK, Oldziey did all of the music for WC3/4, whereas Team Fat + Origin's musicians involved a number of composers. The cheesy square-wave tune in the Claw's simulator, the swingy grooves of the rec rooms (Swing Commander and those poker games), the sleepy lullaby of the Claw's barracks, the calm military marches of the briefings and the Concordia's bridge and flight deck, the intense rush of the scramble jingle, the parade fanfare of the medal award ceremonies, the imperial grandeur of the Kilrathi theme, the light-hearted and uplifting "Off Duty" track, Nenad Vugrinec's piano solos for Jazz in the Connie's observation deck scenes, the anticipation woven into the torpedo run jingle... the collaborative effort into the early WCs' soundtracks reveals itself as a beautiful blending of various musical textures which I enjoy immensely.
In contrast, the background music on the Victory was just that - pieces which lent themselves to a more ambient style rather than having a distinctive melody (the jazzy bar music is an exception to this). IIRC, WC4 didn't even have any background music for on-ship scenes. I think the creative team relied on the FMV to create the varied atmosphere rather than the music, which was necessary in the older WCs. But I don't meant to put down Oldziey's efforts at all. The FMV compositions had a grand, cinematic feel to them, especially in the introduction pieces (sensible, since they represent the games' first impressions), and the inflight music is much more lively than the calm, shipboard ambience (reflecting combat, etc, of course).
I remember the instructions to Oldziey regarding the Prophecy soundtrack, and while I understand the creative decision (Prophecy being a new chapter in the WC saga), I appreciate Oldziey's frustrations in trying to satisfy their demands. But while the dark ambience of the music in the first two CDs of Prophecy might be dismissed easily by fans, I actually liked the music of the third CD, especially the calm inflight (non-combat) music played at the start of misisons.
Regarding technological limitations, Oldziey did a good job on the re-orchestrations for the Kilrathi Saga, IMHO. I actually find the WC4 soundtrack to be the worst in this area, simply because of the monoaural recordings. I don't care much for multi-channel surround sound, but the aural landscape simply opens up with the jump from one to two channels and the WC4 inflight music (I know the FMV and credits music were stereo) suffered as a result of this shortcoming.
I could keep going about the other games' soundtracks, but I think I better stop now before something happens and I lose the contents of this post.
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