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The Lord Of The Rings - Soundtrack

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    4 Reviews
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      05.09.2002 00:10
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      This has to be one of the greatest all time film scores! (and in fact it was recently voted the best on Classic FM). Initially the music accompanies the film so well, you probably don't even notice it. However after listening to the soundtrack and watching the film afterwards, you realise how well it is composed and utilised. I think it contributes significantly to the emotional impact of the Fellowship of the Ring (film). As a soundtrack it is wonderful. It contains a wide range of pieces, with different themes summing up different locations/races of Middle-earth. I find sometimes with film soundtracks, you only really end up with one or two tracks that you really enjoy and keep listening to. However this soundtrack has such a richness, I am still listening to it quite frequently almost a year on! It also contains some additional on-line content, although this is not particularly amazing, as is a bit promotional. I also like the CD inlay, which can be folded differently to give a different cover.

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        16.05.2002 21:17
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        If you read my stuff on a regular basis (god knows what you’d want to though!) you may have seen my review for the ‘About A Boy’ soundtrack CD. In this review I told you how I prefer an instrumental or orchestral score to random ‘pop’ songs chucked onto a CD. This soundtrack score to the recent movie ‘Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring’ was composed, orchestrated and conducted by Howard Shore. Now, if you’re a film buff you may recognise his name – if not then I’m sure you’ll have seen some of the films he was worked on in the past – these include: Panic Room The Score High Fidelity Dogma The Game CopLand Seven That thing you do The Client Mrs Doubtfire The list really does go on and on, but it shows the diversity of the movies he was worked on in the past (You can’t get much more opposite than Seven and Mrs Doubtfire really can you!) Now, if you’ve seen the film then you may remember the nature of the music involved in the film – it’s really similar in style to ‘Gladiator’ I felt; in other words it can be all ‘nice, calm, gentle’ one minute and ‘blood and thunder’ the next with huge kettle drums crashing and a choir giving it hell for leather. For me, these tracks really capture the essence of the movie – some of the tracks (particularly ‘Concerning Hobbits’) just makes you think of life in the Shire, sad I know but that’s what I love about movie scores – the way the conjure up images from the film in your mind and make you want to see the movie all over again! On this CD there are 18 tracks – two of which have been specially added to this compilation, as they didn’t appear in the original movie. The artist ‘Enya’ performs these tracks and for the most part they are okay – although yo
        u can see why they didn’t make the final cut of the film. The CD itself is well presented – open the CD case and behind the CD is a map of Middle Earth, along with a detailed booklet featuring contributions from both Howard Shore and the movies director Peter Jackson. Here they explain what it was like to work on such a massive project and also where they got their ideas and inspirations from – a nice read for the film fan. You also get a collectors card alternative cover for the CD too – I’ve never seen this before and thought it was a pretty cool little touch. The CD also features some CD-Rom content, which sadly doesn’t seem to work for me. Basically it brings up a web page (on the CD) with a link to an external site that’s exclusive to this disc. When you click on the button though you get an external error for that website saying it doesn’t exist – a bit of a disappointment as I was looking forward to viewing it. Aside from that though this is a cracking CD for fans of the film and it’s great to have on as background music whilst your working away on your PC. Now to explain the title (again – I seem to be doing this a lot now!) We went to see Lord of the Rings at the UCI in Edinburgh and I reserved our tickets over the phone line – to pay for them we used Susan’s’ ‘Duet’ store card (you can use it in Dolcis and places like that I think) Anyway, it turns out that we were automatically entered into a competition and won a prize – so yesterday I was surprised to find a box containing a T-Shirt, Key-ring, wristwatch, 3 massive posters and this soundtrack CD! I’ve never won anything in my life, so I was really chuffed with this little lot! If you’d like to find out a bit more about the movie and the soundtrack, why not look at these websites for a little more information: www.lordoftherings-sou
        ndtrack.com www.lordoftherings.net The first site deals specifically with this CD, whilst the second is more concerned with the films themselves - both worth looking at though.

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          29.03.2002 00:01
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          • "not enough flow between tracks"

          I don’t dabble in the music section very often, mainly because I’m not comfortable writing about new releases most of the time - I like to own a CD for a while, listen to it, let it grow on me (or not)… by that time, I’m never sure that anyone would be interested. This particular CD, however, has both been out long enough for me to have settled into it, and is entirely topical: after all, it just won an Oscar! Yup, The Fellowship of the Ring was awarded Best Original Score this year, and very well deserved in my opinion. I bought this CD right after seeing The Fellowship of the Ring, and I have to say, my opinion of it wasn’t as high as it is now. At first I found myself comparing a lot of the soundtrack to other pieces of music, rather than being reminded of the film. However, after my second viewing of the movie, I found that the CD was far more evocative of the actual film – pieces of the music would conjure up strong images of the scene in question. ¤•¤ A NOTE ABOUT THE COMPOSER ¤•¤ Howard Shore, who composed, orchestrated and conducted this soundtrack, has worked on numerous film scores. As this turned into such a long opinion, instead of listing some of his work, you can check out his credits for yourself at http://uk.imdb.com/ ¤•¤ INTERACTIVE CONTENT ¤•¤ The ‘enhanced CD’ is supposed to contain a web link, but I’m afraid I’ve never been able to get it to work. As it’s just a link, I’m not too bothered. ¤•¤ THE TRACKS ¤•¤ (1) The Prophecy This is the beginning of the film, where Galadriel tells us of the history of the One Ring, and we see the huge battle between Sauron’s evil horde and the joined forces of elves and men. Quite a dark start, both the film and CD. The string section is joined by a choir singing in elvish (adding atmosph
          ere without distracting the listener with the words), then the brass and drums come in as the quiet menace builds to a crescendo. This changes to a rather subtle ending, as the track covers several themes, and is more an amalgam of scenes. An excellent start to the score, I feel. (2) Concerning Hobbits A swift change in mood, as the film takes us to the Shire, home of the hobbits. The hobbits seem to be represented in the score by quite a jaunty violin (or it could be viola, my apologies – it’s been a while since I was up on these matters!), and that is melded here with more of a classic swelling strings backing, which I think is really good at conjuring the memory of the vast, rolling hills of the peaceful Shire. Also on this track is a Celtic-sounded flute, adding a touch of sadness, perhaps, to an otherwise peaceful track. A lot of the recurring themes of the whole score are introduced in these opening tracks. (3) The Shadow of the Past Another change in mood, this time a slowly unsettling, darker piece. Again, it’s the string section that seems to add most of the atmosphere. The darkness swells to a discordant, menacing clash of the brass section. Then the choir comes in – bit of a Phantom Menace moment, I first thought! This track doesn’t fit strongly with any memory of one scene in the film, and perhaps that’s why it seems less ‘directed’ than some of the other tracks – more of a ‘joining’ piece. The frequent changes in dynamics still work very well, though. (4) The Treason of Isengard This starts so quietly you’ll miss it if the volume is turned down too low. Thematically, although not so much in actuality, it flows on from the previous track. To begin with, there’s more of a note of sadness, of glory – played by the strongest ‘theme’ in the score – that has faded. A chill note soon strik
          es, though, and the deep drum beats start, joined by a very strident brass section and a background discord. The choir takes a moment to stop being so ‘Phantom Menace’-y again, though. This track ends a bit too suddenly, in my opinion, and feels more like a precursor to a better track with similar emotion later on. (5) The Black Rider Story update: Frodo has by now discovered that the tortured Gollum has given away his name and location to the forces of evil. The Ring must be taken to the elves at Rivendell, and so Frodo and Sam – soon met up by Merry and Pippin – head off to Bree to meet up with Gandalf again. Starts of back at the chirpy Hobbit refrain, but the strings start to speed up in the background and a hint of discord creeps in. A lull then arrives, broken gradually by much darker sounds. The choir then comes in again, a bit of a screech on the brass section, and there’s a real air of menace and danger. (6) At The Sign of The Prancing Pony The inn at Bree is quite an important event place for the hobbits. They discover than Gandalf is missing; Frodo has a slight ‘accident’ with the Ring; and the group meet Strider. The music is quietly dark, building to a crescendo. Again the choir comes in, adding, I suppose, a focal point to the orchestral score. This is another track that changes direction a few times, although never with a jarring effect. (7) A Knife In The Dark Continues readily from the previous track. This is a very tense and dark period in the film, as the hobbits find themselves faced by the Nazgul in the ruins. A brief lull in the music, then a strident percussion and brass solo that reminds me strongly of the music from ‘Total Recall’, of all things! This is intersected by a very ‘elvish’ moment, sung by a young male voice (impossible not to think Aled Jones, I’m afraid!). <
          br>(8) Flight To The Ford After so many listens, this is quite obviously an ‘elf’ moment – and indeed, we have the appearance of Arwen in the film. The music really fits the image of the elf rather well, at the same time mystical and quite stately. There is a slow sadness here, in reference to the plight of Frodo, seriously ill from the Nazgul blade; or perhaps it relates to the sadness of the elves – a species whose time is past. Little time to ponder, however, as the music echoes the fearful flight from the Black Riders. Ooh, shivers – can’t you just see Arwen’s white stallion racing away from the horde of black mounts? A trumpet fanfare picks up the entrance to elvish lands, and the triumph thanks to the river’s own horses, before sliding back to that sad refrain: is it just a moment too late for poor Frodo? (9) Many Meetings Actually puts me more in mind of a sci-fi film at points – it’s got that “just meeting the glowing aliens” feel to it: sweeping strings and wordless vocals, light and soaring. The main musical theme makes a reappearance, quite aptly, as in Rivendell the four hobbits are reunited with Gandalf and Bilbo, and for a while it looks as though their adventure is over. Perhaps it’s already knowing this, but the feelings are all there in the score. (10) The Council Of Elrond Featuring “Aníron (Theme for Aragorn and Arwen)”, composed and performed by Enya The track first picks up from the previous piece, but Enya’s sweeping Celtic tones soon appear, bringing with it a rather peaceful – not to mention romantic – moment from the film. Enya’s vocal is actually fairly restrained here, and the track works very well – the words are in Elvish, and both they and a translation are given in the sleevenotes. Quickly, the track then turns to a very hopeful note, tinged with the &
          #8216;promise of glory’ as the Fellowship is formed in Rivendell, and the nine pledge to their quest. (11) The Ring Goes South This is a great piece of music, one that will probably be quite familiar from the film. It really captures some of the best moments of sweeping scenery from the film – think of the shot swinging up around the Fellowship as the stand on the snow covered mountain. A very short track, too. (12) A Journey In The Dark A very quiet, cautious start. In the story, the group has been forced to journey through the mines of Moria – no longer the home of the dwarves, as some terrible event has obviously occurred here. By now, the atmosphere of the film is coming through strongly in the score: from the quiet creeping, hoping to pass unnoticed through the cursed mines; to the sadness of discovering the tomb of the dwarf lord, Balin, and the dwarves’ last glorious stand to defend their home; to the attack by the overwhelming number of goblins. All in one 4+ minute track! (13) The Bridge Of Khazad Dum A very triumphant beginning, drawing on that main theme again. Once more, darkness and discord creeps quickly in, bringing a sense of urgency. The dark menace of the Balrog is captured *much* more effectively in this music than with the computer generated image from the film. The flight and fight are both conjured up here; the main theme reappearing to represent Gandalf’s victory, before that last shock and a moment of heartbreaking sadness. I find the end of this track is rather sudden, though, which spoils an otherwise excellent piece. (14) Lothlorien Features “Lament For Gandalf”, performed by Elizabeth Fraser Again, this captures the scenes from the film just perfectly. Lothlorien’s alien magic, strange and marvellous and a little dangerous all sweep through this piece of music. The ‘Lament’ has quite an Eas
          tern feel to it, I think, and flows on well from the preceding piece of the track. The change at the end is a little jarring, though. (15) The Great River There is a sense of sadness as the Fellowship must continue on the quest without Gandalf, but again that main theme echoes through with a sense of purpose. There is a feeling of majesty, which I associate with the two giant stone guardians, but also a sense of loss and a hint of threat. Again, however, the ending seems very sudden. (16) Amon Hen Threat builds here, a sense of danger. The march of the Uruk Hai (that Total Recall thing again!). This track keeps building, leaving you waiting for the final clash of good against evil, each with their own driven purpose, but instead of a definite peak, it instead stops, and a very gentle, sad refrain comes in. (17) The Breaking Of The Fellowship Features “In Dreams”, performed by Edward Ross Don’t worry – almost finished! Phew – here we are, then. So much danger faced, so much sorrow resulting, but we’ve only reached the end of the first part of the trilogy – the quest must continue! This is a quiet piece, bringing a more balanced note to the end. A sense of purpose, of hope, creeps in, tinged with just a little melancholy. It does rather well at managing to be both an ending and a promise of more to come. Unfortunately (in my opinion), rather than ending where it should, the young male soloist has an over-long moment. The words are a little saccharine, and in all, I just found this spoiled much of the sense of atmosphere so carefully built up over the rest of the soundtrack. This then segues straight into… (18) May It Be Enya’s usual sweeping Celtic tones take over, and on screen the credits continue to roll. This was nominated for Best Song at this years Academy Awards, but lost out to Randy Newman’s ef
          fort from Monster’s Inc. I’m quite glad actually, as this isn’t my favourite track on the album. I’m not opposed to Enya in general, and this doesn’t fit too badly with the whole thing, but… Really, I’m just not found of finding a ‘song’ on my soundtracks – the mood is never as strong as just the raw musical score. Plus, this is more ‘Enya’ than ‘Lord of the Rings’, if you know what I mean. Oh dear: I can’t half waffle on about this stuff when I get started! Lol ;) My apologies if the above was overblown, but it’s so difficult to get the feeling of a piece of music across in words. ¤•¤ VERDICT ¤•¤ I do like this soundtrack a lot. It’s incredibly atmospheric, and very evocative of a film I liked a lot. In fact, it’s much nicer sometimes to sit and briefly immerse myself in the Fellowship of the Ring through the music, than to contemplate another buttock-numbing three-hour session! :) However, it’s not a score without some flaws. While the individual tracks are excellent, shifting between scenes and moods effortlessly, they don’t flow into each other as well as they could – rather than a smooth ride through the film, it’s very much ‘okay, that scene’s finished, here’s the next one’. Another slight complaint is more to do with the ethos of the book than the film or it’s score. As LotR fever started to grip the country, a few documentaries were shown on TV about author, JRR Tolkien. It seems that the Lord of the Rings was written as a attempted replacement for the old English myths that had been lost with the Norman invasion. It’s a little out of place then, to find the music supplied to this ‘English myth’ to be very Celtic. Still, let’s be positive: close your eyes, and there are times you can al
          most see the sweeping scenery that was such a major player in the film. Even disconnected from the film, there is a wonderful sense of emotion contained in this soundtrack. I’m very fond of film scores in general precisely because of the mood and emotion they can convey. My absolute favourite is the Gladiator soundtrack, which this doesn’t quite match. Still, The Fellowship of the Ring score is very good, and one I thoroughly enjoy listening to.

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            27.03.2002 06:54
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            Movie soundtracks come in three types.. One is a collection of well established tracks that have already made it in the charts, all put together in a collection that may as well be called 'Now 45' or 'The Best of...' (eg. The Beach), another type is one which promises much, but when you actually listen to the tracks (a collection of little known tunes, by obscure bands) you realise it was the visuals of the films that actually made them seem cool (Matrix, Blade). And then there is a third category, a totally original soundtrack, made especially for the film (OK, maybe one or two known songs), which stands alone in its own right. These are few and far between, Highlander and Flash Gordon spring to mind, but Lord of the Rings also falls WELL into this category. I prefer no single musical genre, which allows me to enjoy a vast diversification of music, however one feeling I got when listening to Lord of the rings was... Handles Messiah, or ?Knights of the round table? (A musical rendition of the Arthurian legend by produced about 20 years ago by Rick Wakeman I think).... a story in musical form, bringing out in the listener feeling appropriate to the scene. With regards to Lord of the Rings movie soundtrack, I honestly believe that if the composer Howard Shore could go back in time... no.... I will start with a review of the album and finish this particular observation later. The CD case is very attractive, and apparently comes with different artwork. Mine contains a picture of Saruman (Christopher Lee) looking particularly menacing. Track Listing (Length) - Composer (All composed by Howard Shore unless stated) 1. The Prophecy (3:56) 2. Concerning Hobbits (2:57) 3. The Shadow of the Past (3:32) 4. The Treason if Isengard (3:58) 5. The Black Rider (2:50) 6. At the sign of the Prancing Pony (3:11) 7. A knife in the Dark (3:31) 8. Flight to the Ford (4:12) 9. Many Meetings (3
            :03) 10. The Council of Elrond (3:47) - Enya 11. The Ring goes South (2:00) 12. A Journey in the Dark (4:20) 13. The Bridge of Khazad Dum (5:59) 14. Lothlorien (4:33) 15. The Great River (2:41) 16. Amon Hen (5:00) 17. The Breaking of the Fellowship (7:22) 18. May it Be (4:13) - Enya 1 - 'The Prophecy' starts us on the journey through Tolkein's great tale. Soft sounds of a gentle string composition, with some rousing choir voices. A 'mysterious' track, which eventually leads smoothly onto the next 2 - 'Concerning Hobbits' - Now I challenge anyone who has read the books, to listen to this track and NOT see Hobbits hard at work and play!! The major instruments in this piece are the flute and the violin (both played solo), and overall we have a gypsy type melody. Some of the riffs from this track are used in later pieces to show Hobbit involvment in that particular scene (e.g. The Ring goes south). 3 and 4 - 'The Shadow of the Past' and 'The Treason of Isengard' are two tracks in the same vein as 'The Prophecy' but subtly different, with enough similarities allow continuity. This effectively is the end of the introduction to the Fellowship, and now the story starts. 5 - 'The Black Rider' is the next track, and we are returned to Hobbiton, our chirpy happy hobbit tune plays again... but suddenly without warning it is soon overplayed by the sound of heavy string instruments, the music stops... and then a new menacing sequence starts. Deep baritone voices sing a menacing chorus, reminding me of Jaws we are introduced to the musical theme of the Ring-wraiths. The music picks up pace, the voice get more climatic and I get the impression of a desperate chase... 6 - 'At the sign of the Prancing Pony'. The danger of the black riders belayed for now, the quest now arrives in Bree, a town of the big folk, and this is a tune that br
            ings to mind a quiet if dismal town. Soon darkness falls and the familiar tune of the black riders overplays all other instruments as the Ring Wraiths close on the travellers. 7 - 'A Knife in the Dark'. The quest leaves Bree, and we find ourselves in a desperate battle with one of my favourite tracks. Turn the lights out, turn the volume up and be chilled by this amazing piece of music, one of the real highlights of the CD. The main instrument in this piece is the human voice. 8 - 'Flight to the Ford'. Now wounded by the black knife, another desperate chase ensues, as the black riders chase Frodo on the last stage of his journey to Rivendell, in this piece some of the Elven segments are introduced. Finally Rivendell is reached and the black riders fall. 9 and 10 - 'Many meetings' and 'The Council of Elrond' are two soothing tracks, calming us down from some of the creepy music we have just experienced. 'Many Meetings' is where the companions meet again with Bilbo and Gandalf (hear the familiar hobbit tune again), and we have the first song featuring the haunting voice of Enya.. At 'The Council of Elrond', the fate of the One Ring is decided. This track ends in a rousing brasswind chorus, which will feature in many tracks to follow. 11 - 'The Ring goes South'. A long drawn out drawn out segment ends with a musical sequence that will be familiar to fans of the film, and possibly those who have not (very few) actually seen it as it featured very heavily in one of the early film trailers shown worldwide. 12 - 'Journey in the Dark'. Dark times follow, and the next two tracks set the scene well... dark slow mysterious music as the fellowship enters Moria, deep choir voices represent the hidden orcs, voices that will be that will be encountered again.. so begins the 'Journey in the Dark' 13 - 'The Bridge of Khazad Dum'. However soon a worse
            enemy is revealed, and the companions flee from the Balrog. The chase ends at 'The Bridge of Khazad Dum', where Gandalf falls into the chasm after defeating the Balrog, and this fast moving piece ends in a GORGEOUS haunting piece as the fellowship lament the fall of the Grey Pilgrim... 14 - 'Lothlorien' - This is a haunting piece of music, with many echoing voices singing in Elven (Elvish?). The woods of Lothlorien are supposed to have the power to trap a man forever with its beauty, and the music represents this nicly. 15 - 'The Great River' - Another short piece. The heros have now left Lothlorien and are travelling down the great river closer towards Moria, and further away from home. This track begins softly and then starts to get heavier with the sound of drums as the river picks up pace. 16 - 'Amon Hen' - This is a very powerful piece full of energy. As the fellowship pass the great statues of Amon Hen on the great river, they are pursued by the Uruk-Hai. Unlike the menacing voices representing orcs, the Uruk-Hai are portrayed by loud crashes, like war drums. This is a rousing piece, which again fades softly as the danger passes for now. 17 - 'The Breaking of the Fellowship' - The longest track on the CD is a mixture of the sad and the triumphant. The fellowship is broken, the hobbits set off on their own, and Boromir is dead. The hobbit tune plays and fades as Sam and Frodo set off on their own to Moria. At this point we have a shock as we hear the first voice to sing in English, a young choirboy. He sings 'When the cold and winter comes, starless night will cover day'. The words are sad and talk of the coming of a bleak time, for this is indeed what the hobbits and companions face. War is coming. 18 - 'May it Be' - The CD ends with the wonderful voice of Enya singing in Elvish (is their no end to the talent of this lady). The fellowship may be broken, but th
            e heroes travel on accepting their fate. Whatever may be may be and cannot be changed. Now back to my previously started observation..... if Howard Shore the writer / composer could go back in time, I would advise him to write this fantastic piece of music first, so when the movie was finally released it would say on the poster 'The Lord of the Rings?, directed by Peter Jackson and featuring tracks from Lord of the Rings - THE MUSIC'. However recognition was given as this soundtrack won an Oscar. I think I have summed up my opinion. A classic album, which will no doubt be overshadowed by the movie, but I for one, am happy, because it's already in my music collection.

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          • Product Details

            Disc #1 Tracklisting
            1 Prologue ('Lasto I Lamath')
            2 The Road Goes On
            3 Saruman
            4 The Cat And The Moon
            5 Flight To The Ford
            6 The Song Of Hope
            7 Star Of Eärendil
            8 Lament For Moria
            9 The Golden Wood
            10 Lothlórien
            11 The Siege Of The City Of Kings
            12 Now And For Always
            13 Gollum/Sméagol
            14 The Song Of Hope (Duet)
            15 Wonder
            16 The Final Battle
            17 Epilogue (Farewells)
            18 Finale.

            Disc #2 Tracklisting
            1 Prologue ('Lasto I Lamath')
            2 The Road Goes On
            3 Saruman
            4 The Cat And The Moon
            5 Flight To The Ford
            6 The Song Of Hope
            7 Star Of Eärendil
            8 Lament For Moria
            9 The Golden Wood
            10 Lothlórien
            11 The Siege Of The City Of Kings
            12 Now And For Always
            13 Gollum/Sméagol
            14 The Song Of Hope (Duet)
            15 Wonder
            16 The Final Battle
            17 Epilogue (Farewells)
            18 Finale.
            19 The Song Of Hope (Duet) (Alternative version) (Bonus Track)

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