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Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings scores General Discussion

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4 hours ago, Stefancos said:

The film version of the FOTR opening is fine, but it's mostly feels like it was stitched together from bits and pieces of the score shortly before the release of the film because PJ had redone the opening yet again.

 

That's more or less what it is.  The full score for the revised Prologue indicates where sections are copied from elsewhere in the score.  It was the last item recorded for Fellowship.

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19 hours ago, Holko said:

OK, what I meant by that is the opening section is mostly unconnected one-off material that never returns.

It's a setpiece for the Ring's journey from it's creation to its acquisition by Gollum...

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HAv5XyCrItTdf0XOtXvU_VqxingZiORZ

Also, the bit you mention here:

19 hours ago, Holko said:

the buildup in the middle that comes back to underscore the Nazguls' entrance to the Siege of Gondor.


Is actually a variation of the same intervals, Compare: 0:21-0:37 (E E F, F E D) of The Prophecy to 1:27-1:38 (A A Bb, A A G), 

Really the whole thing is kind of based in the Mordor/Ring sound realm.

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4 hours ago, Falafel said:

It's a setpiece for the Ring's journey from it's creation to its acquisition by Gollum...

OK, then what I can say is for a score of this scale (either 3-hour beast or 10-hour opera), I prefer the very first thing the listener hears and tries to focus on to not be a motif that is abandoned after 6 minutes, but (if you count it until the middle of The Shire), an 8-minute overture that introduces most of the major themes in the score. My phone playlist version even has the Gondor, Second Age statement from the Rarities edited in between the Ringwraiths and Footsteps of Doom.

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51 minutes ago, Holko said:

 to not be a motif that is abandoned after 6 minutes.

But it's not, its developed into the Mordor/Ring music, hence the almost History of the Ring statement at 0:59

(Or hey, just imagine it as a second age theme, which is why it does not appear later ;) )


Also, what we have of the full cue introduces at least 7 of the themes from later in the scores:

Power of Mordor/Ring Journey
Gondor Second Age
Footsteps of Doom
Descending Thirds
Reclamation of the Ringwraiths
Pity of Gollum
Nameless Fear
The Shire (Pensive Setting?)

Vs. the revised version's 10:

Lothlorien (Too early IMHO)
History of the Ring
Mordor Skip-beat (It's not really a major theme though, more of a motif/accompaniment figure/whatever)
Descending Thirds
Reclamation of the Ringwraiths
Sauron/Evil of the Ring
Footsteps of Doom
Fall of Men
Weakness and Redemption (See Skip-Beat note)
Pity of Gollum
Nameless Fear
 

51 minutes ago, Holko said:

an 8-minute overture that introduces most of the major themes in the score.


Not all overture's do this, for example The Ten Commandments.

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But what version of these scores would or should they contain? The film version? But what edit? Or something closer to what Shore intended? But then what version of that? 

 

Is there even something like a definitive version of these scores?

 

Personally I would buy these again if the music was personally selected by Shore to represent his visions of these films, but with the music not strictly following either cut.

 

The CR's do this to an extent, but still....

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The CRs problems range from nitpicks to confusing intents. They're very good releases.

The SEs problems include misplaced inserts, using old mixes, messing up transitions and making the music bloody unlistenable in quality. They were OK for the time apart from Jedi, but suffer from a significant lack of proper shitgiving. They're VERY inconsistent at best. STAR WARS is the only one of the 3 that has any chance of being in the same ballpark as the CRs.

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On 8/13/2018 at 4:46 PM, Stefancos said:

The film version of the FOTR opening is fine, but it's mostly feels like it was stitched together from bits and pieces of the score shortly before the release of the film because PJ had redone the opening yet again.

While I do love the Prophecy I have a special fondness for the thematic overture that is the film version of the prologue no matter how late in the game it was composed. That title card appearing to the tune of the History of the Ring theme is just captures the myth and magic of Tolkien's whole work to perfection.

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On 8/14/2018 at 2:46 AM, Falafel said:
On 8/13/2018 at 2:29 PM, Holko said:

OK, what I meant by that is the opening section is mostly unconnected one-off material that never returns.

It's a setpiece for the Ring's journey from it's creation to its acquisition by Gollum...

 

Here's what Doug A. wrote about it for his FSM review of the OST back in late 2001:

 

Shore's score begins with "The Prophecy," utilizing an ensemble of amassed instrumental and choral forces in a confident and powerful display. The cue functions somewhat like an overture, though displaying an array of ensemble colors rather than a parade of themes -- dramatically and musically the perfect choice. The writing establishes Shore's "about the world" voice, and it is this voice that will underscore the film's two main recurring elements: the One Ring itself, and the Fellowship of the Ring. Shore scores these ideas with the full resources of his palette, although this isn't to imply that every time these themes occur they're blasted in a full orchestral garb. Rather, Shore allows himself access to his full ensemble to pick and choose colors as the moments dictate. It should also be noted here, that the vocalists are treated as part of this ensemble, and not as a featured element. Soloists, choral ensembles and instrumentalists commingle in cohesive textures that continually push new elements to the foreground.

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On 8/14/2018 at 11:23 PM, Jay said:

 

YES YES YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!!!!!!!

 

Give these wonderful scores the Matessino treatment!

No, no, no!

 

How many bloody versions do we need to buy? How long did those who missed out on the CR's have to wait for them to be re-released? 

 

Perhaps they could release 2 disc sets of the originals/alternates for each score as a companion to the CR's? 

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9 hours ago, Arpy said:

Perhaps they could release 2 disc sets of the originals/alternates for each score as a companion to the CR's? 

 

I was about to say that TRA could've satisfied this with the right approach (i.e. not with a listening experience in mind) but actually something Doug said a while back would then apply, which is that for these scores there are so many more alternates, inserts etc than for others, that choosing the ones to include would be tricky. You could never say it was a definitive release.

 

But then to read that some major alternates were left off simply because they didn't fit whatever flow they were going for, is the problem for me. On one hand, this is a mass market product, and you're trying to give them something to listen to. But on the other hand, some of these alternates are so subtle in how they differ that if you're going to include them, then the alternate BotF for example, damn well should be there too.

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If FOTR hadn't included film edits, it also would have helped with space, seeing as you would only need the theatrical version section of Out from Bree, and Fighting Uruk-Hai track would not be on there (since it is only there because it was edited out of the CR track)

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So, the Cannes presentation contained Moria and assorted bits, Moria was recorded with the NZSO and that stayed final. But which tracks exactly are NZSO? Khazad-Dúm is, with the Kiwi grunters and Mabel Faletolu, Balin's Tomb, too, and Doors of Durin is LPO, but Moria and Gollum(?) have EE material. Did the Theatrical trim the Cannes cut and the EE only restored it, or did Shore have to record LPO inserts for the Mithril ore and such in the now longer cut?

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4 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I'm waiting!

Hey, today it's exactly one year since you joined us here!

 

How do you find our little band of merry makers?  How do you reflect on your first year?

 

4 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I'm waiting!

 

Ask me again this time next year. ;)

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7 hours ago, Holko said:

Did the Theatrical trim the Cannes cut and the EE only restored it, or did Shore have to record LPO inserts for the Mithril ore and such in the now longer cut?

 

Paging @Doug Adams and @Jim Ware!

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Was the Watcher in the Water battle outside Moria NZSO or LPO?

 

I assume the first cue inside after the battle, when Gandalf lights his staff up, begins the NZSO material.

 

Did NZSO record all the way through all the choir music after Gandalf dies and they make their way outside and lament his death?  Or did LPO record that final bit?  Obviously all of Lotherien and forward is completely LPO.

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Just now, Holko said:

If only we had the Cannes presentation as a bonus feature on one of the film releases...

 

I can’t understand why it was never released! It seems like an obvious inclusion! 

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  1. Gilraen's Memorial LPO (EE Cue)
  2. Bilbo's Gifts LPO
  3. The Departure of the Fellowship LPO (EE Cue)
  4. The Ring Goes South LPO (EE Extension)
  5. Hobbit Duel LPO (EE "Extension" was just edited out of the TE)
  6. Crebain Spies LPO
  7. To Caradhras LPO
  8. A Strange Fate LPO
  9. Into the Caverns LPO
  10. The Pass of Caradhras LPO
  11. The Ring-Bearer LPO
  12. The Walls of Moria LPO (EE Extension)
  13. The Doors of Durin LPO (EE Extension)
  14. Speak Friend and Enter LPO
  15. Into The Mines LPO
  16. The Watcher LPO
  17. A Journey In The Dark NZSO (EE "extension" was just edited out of TE)
  18. Gollum NZSO (EE "extension" was just edited out of TE)
  19. Fate Of Many NZSO
  20. Dwarrowdelf NZSO
  21. Balin's Tomb NZSO
  22. Orc Attack NZSO
  23. The Cave Troll NZSO
  24. Mithril! NZSO
  25. The Second Hall NZSO
  26. The Bridge of Khazad-Dum NZSO
  27. The Balrog NZSO
  28. Gandalf's Demise NZSO or LPO?
  29. Elegy For Gandalf NZSO or LPO?
  30. Lothlorien LPO (EE Extension)

 

 

 

EDIT:  Just found this relevant conversation:

 

 

 

On 1/29/2018 at 7:58 AM, Chen G. said:

As far as I know, all of the New Zealand recording was made for the Cannes presentation, which featured the full Moria sequence (without the Extended Edition inserts) with the associated composition

 

On 1/29/2018 at 8:25 AM, Falafel said:

Recently Doug/Jim Ware seemed to insinuate that the Moria EE music were not inserts, but edits in the TE.

 

On 1/29/2018 at 8:47 AM, Chen G. said:

But as we all know, some of it wasn't even recorded at the time, and only done by the London Philharmonic after the fact and woven into the New Zealand material.

 

On 1/29/2018 at 9:37 AM, Jim Ware said:

All of the Moria composition (including the material that would later end up in the Extended Edition) was recorded by the NZSO in April 2001.  All evidence points to the Extended Edition footage being included in the Cannes preview.

 

On 1/29/2018 at 10:48 AM, Smaug the iron said:

So the NZSO recorded everything from the Doors of Durin, Moria, Gollum, Balin’s Tomb and Khazad-dûm? 

 

On 1/29/2018 at 10:55 AM, Jim Ware said:

Everything from the entry to the mines through to the end of Mabel Faletolu's solo.  Ten 'cues' if you want to call them that (Moria, Gollum, Dwarrowdelf, Balin's Tomb, Orc Attack, Cave Troll, Mithril Vest, The Second Hall, Khazad-Dûm, Balrog).

 

On the CR, The Doors of Durin and the tail end of Khazad-Dûm (where the orchestra takes up the melody of Faletolu's solu) were recorded with the LPO.

 

On 1/29/2018 at 10:58 AM, Jay said:

So you're saying the Cannes preview didn't show them outside working on the door, nor them being chased inside by the Watcher in the Water, it began with the scene of Gandalf lighting his staff?

 

On 1/29/2018 at 11:02 AM, Jim Ware said:

Yes.  Although I've not seen it, there are a number of eyewitness reports out there:

http://www.theonering.com/news/the-lord-of-the-rings-movies/spoilers-cannes-day-two-lord-of-the-rings-footage-recap-oh-man-an-in-depth-review

 

It looks like it didn't include the whole balrog sequence or the final escape from the mines.

 

On 1/29/2018 at 11:04 AM, Jay said:

What do you mean, no Balrog?  You just said the Balrog music was recorded by the NZO

 

On 1/29/2018 at 11:08 AM, Jim Ware said:

The score was all recorded in April 2001, but the footage (and the music) was not all included in the Cannes preview, which cuts off at Gandalf's line 'you shall not pass'.

 

On 1/29/2018 at 11:25 AM, Jim Ware said:

Re-reading all of the eyewitness accounts, it looks like the sequence showing Gollum (and the subsequent conversation between Gandalf and Frodo) wasn't in there either.

 

 

 

So basically "The Watcher" is definitely LPO, and both "Gandalf's Demise" and "Elegy For Gandalf" are LPO, it seems.

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The solo performer for Gandalf's fall is Mabel Faletolu, and the CR booklet says she was part of the NZ recordings. It also mentions the London Philharmonic under the Watcher, explaining aleatoric.

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