26 October 2007

The Lord of the Rings Soundtracks

    I am going to blow the horn of Rohan, and give them all some music they have never heard before.

      The Return of the King
      by J.R.R. Tolkien

I've been saying for years that I wanted to get the soundtracks to the Lord of the Rings films. I finally borrowed the first two from the library. I'm not an expert on classical music or film scores, but I think Howard Shores compositions stand as great works in their own right. I haven't stopped listening to them.

The soundtrack to The Fellowship of the Ring won the Original Score Oscar. I remember a 2002 NPR segment calling Shore the "dark horse" nominee, in part because he was up against not one but two works of Oscar juggernaut John Williams (Jaws, Star Wars), including the Harry Potter score. The Two Towers was overlooked entirely, robbed if you ask me, but The Return of the King won both Original Score and Original Song.

I don't know what I like about this music. I love films, that's definitely part of it, but not all of it. It certainly has great themes stick in your head. The Rohan theme, usually played on a violin, and the Hobbit theme, often on recorder, are examples. There is also the main theme you hear during those sweeping panoramic shots of the Fellowship heading south. There are also haunting elements that capture mystery of the elves and the melancholy of Frodo's self-sacrifice so well.

I guess what I'm saying is that the music conveys the emotions of the story so well, even on its own. That is what has me hooked on them. I don't know where you stand on film scores, but you should give these a listen (if you haven't already).


Sharon GR said...

So, the other day I come downstairs just as orcs overrun the family room.

Or, at least that's what it sounded like.

Andrew said...

A friend has explained quite well why my disclaimer, "I'm not an expert on classical music...," is unnecessary.