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  1. Like
    SUH reacted to Richard Penna in The Music Of The Hobbit Films - Doug Adams' Book confirmed by Howard Shore   
    I'd have thought the reason was simpler - Shore created albums he was happy with at the time and no one would do an expansion without his blessing.
    I'm sure we've had this discussion before when they first came out, but instead of that stupid regular/special edition thing where both were 2-CD releases, Shore should've done single disc OSTs and CR-style releases (perhaps digital-only) and just closed the book in one fell swoop.
  2. Surprised
    SUH reacted to Chen G. in New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movies in the Works at Warners, New Line   
    Also a release of whatever Shore may or may not have had cooking for The Rings of Power that wasn't used...
  3. Like
    SUH reacted to Nick1Ø66 in New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movies in the Works at Warners, New Line   
    The Hobbit isn't terrible. If it were made first, it would probably be considered the greatest fantasy film made to date. It's not in the same league as LOTR, of course, and it suffers in many ways by comparison. But I don't think it's "terrible" a film, and I've been one of its harshest critics on here.

    But speaking of comparison, if The Hobbit is made to look worse in comparison to LOTR, it's certainly improved, in my eyes at least, in comparison to Rings of Power. 
  4. Like
    SUH reacted to Barnald in New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movies in the Works at Warners, New Line   
    If nothing else, I feel like Hobbit Complete Recordings are more likely if Warner Bros see Middle-earth as an active property.
  5. Like
    SUH reacted to Chen G. in ANALYSIS: John Williams and Howard Shore: The Perfect Wagnerites   
    In the history of music, there had been three works that utilized the concept of the Leitmotive - Leading Musical Motives - to their full extent. These are: Richard Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen, John Williams Star Wars' and Howard Shore's The Lord of the Rings. Of course, talking about those scores as Wagnerian is hardly innovative, but lets peer a little bit closer and see how they really are Wagnerian, to what extent, how they vary in their understanding of the Wagnerian idiom, what do they pick up from Wagnerian works other than the Ring, and so forth. First, lets start by a quick-and-dirty comparison of the three cycles:   Number Cycle Stage Works Concert Works Performance Time (hours) Diegetic Timespan (years) Composition Time (years) 1 Der Ring Des Nibelungen 0.5 Bayreuth Fanfares
    1. Das Rheingold
    2. Die Walküre
    3. Siegfried
    4. Götterdämmerung 0. Alternates 1. Siegfried Idyll
    2. Kinder-Katechismus ~16 >60 30 2 Star Wars 1. The Phantom Menace
    2. Attack of the Clones
    3. Revenge of the Sith
    4. Star Wars
    5. The Empire Strikes Back
    6. Return of the Jedi
    6.5. The Force Awakens teaser
    7. The Force Awakens
    8. The Last Jedi
    9. The Rise of Skywalker 0. Alternates 1. Leia's Theme
    2. Adventures of Han 3. Obi Wan
    4. Galaxy's Edge ~21 68 50 3 The Lord of the Rings 0.5. The Hobbit Announcement Trailer
    1. An Unexpected Journey
    2. The Desolation of the Smaug
    3. The Battle of the Five Armies
    4. The Fellowship of the Ring
    5. The Two Towers.
    5.5. Return of the King Trailer
    6. Return of the King 0. Alternates 1. The Rings of Power Main Titles
    2. A Very Respectable Hobbit
    3. The Dwarf Lords
    4. Erebor
    5. Ironfoot ~22 66 (5065 years with flashbacks) 20   There had been other works that utilize recurring musical themes, but as we shall many of them often fall short of the mature leitmotif technique, and even those that don't are either single-standing works like Strauss' Salome or works in an episodic film series like James Bond or Gojira that don't allow to continuously develop a large body of musical material over multiple entries. Wagner's practices, particularly in The Ring but also in certain aspects of other works of his, expand upon the usual practices of using repeated themes in a work, and Howard Shore and John Williams pulled on some of his practices for their cycles of film scores.   Interestingly, the way they got to Wagner was different: Williams had known of Wagner, but didn't attend a performance of any of his works until he attended a Ring in Hamburg 1967 while scoring Heidi. Lacking a good grasp of German (and, given the times, attending what may well have been an edited version of the Ring) he found it "not very accessible." Rather, he was influenced through Wagnerian film composers of the previous generation like Steiner and Korngold. Howard Shore, an "avid opera goer", seems to have known Wagner's works more directly and his practices (not to mention an overt musical homage at the end of The Return of the King) betray a closer familiarity with the Wagnerian idiom, as well shall see.   Nevertheless, both works are deeply Wagnerian, and we will explore this aspect of them through six topics: The Use of Recurring Musical Themes Thematic Development The Use of Themes in Musical Setpieces Contrast Between Two Theme-Groups Development Across Multiple Theme-Groups Internal conflict within a Theme-Group The Use of Recurring Musical Themes
      Background A fledgeling musician and dramatist coming-off of his first commerical success with Rienzi - a pastiche of Spontini's Ferdinand Cortez - Wagner had experienced his first major artistic triumph in 1843 with Der Fliegende Holländer (revised 1846 and 1860). Building on the operas of Carl Maria von Weber, Daniel Auber and the symphonic works of Berlioz, Haydn and Beethoven (a lifelong fascination reignited in his Paris stay), Wagner replaced discrete numbers with scenes that can play almost without interruption, precisely because they're all underpinned by the same, elemental themes: The same descending three-note cell from the middle of the overture forms the melody of Senta's Ballad, the Sailor's Dance and the final redemption. This practice, which Wagner already experimented with in the then-unperformed Das Liebesverbot, was soon carried over to what would prove his most popular opera, Lohengrin, where a theme associated with "The Forbidden Question" runs throughout the work. These themes gave the work a kind of unity that composers like Weber and ETA Hoffman had aspired to, looking at the symphonic works of Beethoven and Haydn and to music of the earlier generations (Bach and prior) all of which were based in their entirety on simple, elemental motifs.   There's nothing particularly new to doing this: using "reminiscence themes", usually for characters, dates back to 18th century Opéra Comique and was not uncommon by Wagner's time and even commented upon by the likes of Weber. However, after Lohengrin, the idea of recurring themes in Wagner becomes very different. At that point, Wagner sketched multiple possible operas, including an early version of Götterdämmerung, for which he even sketched some music which ended elsewhere in The Ring. Concurrently, he wrote a series of essays on opera, culminating in Opera and Drama and A Communication to My Friends, in which he described certain idiological underpinings, as well as the union of drama, music (and, early on, dance) into the form of the "Music drama" (The Ring would ultimately be called a "Staged Festival Play") which will use "melodic moments" and "conduits of feeling": recurring musical themes that, rather than being interspersed through the score, would instead comprise the bulk of the score.   The term "leitmotif" wouldn't be coined until 1860, by one August Wilhelm Ambros. Wagner would continue to write about this technique for the rest of his career, eventually acknowleding "what are called my 'leitmotive.'" He even nicknamed a few of the individual themes in his sketches and correspondences. The idea was intended to lend unity to the work, but also to deepen the sense of the passage of time: even as a single work, Götterdämmerung had much more characters, incident and narrated backstory than any of Wagner's other works, and he wanted the music to give life to that, as well as to the complex psychologies of the characters he created and to the ambiguities he built into the narrative.   I should add too that we tend to make a dichotomy between composers in the Beethoven-Wagner tradition and composers in the Mozart-Puccini tradition as though the ones deal entirely in short motivic cells and the others in long-lined melodies. Wagner had written beautiful, italianate melodies in many of his works (Lohengrin, most notably) and even in The Ring its important to him to have a few tunes, from Valhalla's music to Siegmund's Spring Song and many others beside. Williams, especially, is a master at writing long-lined melodies and many of his major themes take that form, but so does Shore: The Shire, Thorin and Company, Galadriel, the Woodland Realm, Esgaroth and Rohan all merit long-lined melodies.   The Themes and their use As such, a way to judge the intricacy of these scores at a glance would be to "count" the motives. Since, as we shall see, leitmotives are very flexible in their use, its hard to count them in a definitive way. Robert Donington explained this situation with regards to the Ring: "At one extreme, the motives dwindle into mere fragments of figuration; at the other extreme, they pass into passages of development or even tunes; but neither dividing line can be sharply drawn." If we take too reductive an approach, the specificity of the motives is lost, whereas if we take too broad an approach where every component of a tune is its own motif and any new development is a separate variant, it makes the score seem ever more like a patchwork, and even the working-out of the themes turns into a stepwise process rather than an organic continuum. For these reasons, lists of leitmotives for The Ring range from 67 (Millington) to 261 (Mickish), but most contemporary lists (Scruton, Cooke, Dunning, Holman) list around 180 motives. Frank Lehman's breakdown of the Star Wars leitmotives lists 72 themes and many "incidental motives", while Doug Adams' analysis of Howard Shore's scores (not yet published in full) would amount to some 170 themes.   But can we find a more nuanced way to explore this topic? Certainly, Wagner himself seems to have disliked such lists, the first of which were comprised in his lifetime by his associates Gottlieb Federlein and Hans von Wolzogen (who listed about 100 themes for the Ring), and pointed out that its better to look at the dexterity with which the themes are used in the work. That's why in this article I will not speak of themes in terms of names (which even Wolzogen decried as limiting) or designations, but in terms of associations. For instance, a variation of the theme usually called "Rhine" is used when Wotan describes how he fashioned his spear from Ygdrassil, because they're both symbols of nature. The theme that Wagner's own sketches nickname "renounciation" is used when Siegmund draws the sword from the tree, not as a reminscence but so as to parallel Siegmund's actions with those of the villain Alberich, who renounced love at the spot in the previous entry.   Likewise, in Howard Shore, the themes Doug Adams calls "Erebor" and "Thorin" (Shore sketch nicknames the latter "Thorin/Erebor") are used in much more flexible ways than these names would suggest: Its "Thorin" that plays over most of the establishing montage of Erebor, and its "Erebor" that plays over many of Thorin's heroics during the quest. In Williams, too, the theme connected to Old Ben is used not just as a tag when he appears, but also to suggest Luke's call for adventure and, at the end of the film, the renewel of Ben's values.   Another limitation of theme names is that very often a narrative element will have multiple musical devices attached to it: Doug Adams doesn't give very specific names to a series of accompaniment figures that crop-up in the Shire's music, precisely because they're all different musical expression of the Hobbits' playful side. Likewise, in Siegmund and Sieglinde's love duet, there's more than one (or even three) love themes, and so one would be at a loss at what to call any of them. Curiosly, when Wagner took an 11-year hiatus from The Ring to work on other pieces - Tristan und Isolde, Le Tannhauser, Die Meistersingers von Nürnberg and perliminary work on Parsifal - that's exactly how he made the themes operate in those works: virtually all the themes in Tristan are just different shadings of love themes. I often feel some scores - including John Williams' Harry Potter scores, also fit in this mould better than in The Ring mould: most of Williams' Harry Potter themes are just different visions of this magic world: some are more mysterious, some more playful, some energetic, but they're not necessarily associated to specific narrative elements anymore.   Themes can be used as a greek chorus: rather than just following the action or even the thoughts of the characters, the orchestra can tell us things that the characters onscreen don't know. Wagner does that very famously with the motive associated with Alberich's Curse: other than in scenes with Hagen or Wotan (and Erda and her daughters the Norns), the characters don't know about the curse and yet we hear it often as a portent of the curse coming to fruition. Williams uses the Imperial March and Sidius' music in the prequel trilogy to that effect very often. Smeagol's music sometimes fulfills that role for Shore: the kinds of parallels he puts between Bilbo and Gollum are very chilling. Shore even misdirects: when Gandalf is about catch Sam eavesdropping, Shore plays one of the ostinati of Mordor so as to tease a Ringwraith which turns out to be false.   On the other end, leitmotives can also be used to humour: when Bilbo asks Dwalin who invited him to his home, the music mischeviously hints at Gandalf. Williams sometimes does this is a slightly more "meta" way: in The Last Jedi, he pulls on familiar leitmotives so as to poke fun at the situation: when Snoke tortures Rey, he plays music from the Emperor electrocuting Luke so as to say: "Boy, this sure does look familar, don't it, folks?" There is a Wagnerian precedent for this in Meistersingers, when Hans Sachs mentions the "sad story of Tristan and Isolde" and the music quotes that opera; which is also reminiscent of the nod to the theme associated with Yoda when a kid in a Yoda costume shows-up in ET.   Once the composer had set-up a large "bank" of themes and they're accrued associations over multiple appearances, it becomes a balance of working-out the themes you already presented, and presenting new themes built from the same building blocks: Williams, especially, prides himself on basing each Star Wars score (except Revenge of the Sith and The Last Jedi) primarily on new themes. Another, much more extreme example from his ouvre is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban which all but entirely does away with the thematic material and soundscape of the previous two entries.   There's some precedent to this in Wagner, although never to this extent: each of the Ring entries has its own sound, and to some extent its own themes: Die Walküre is largely constructed from new themes; and the Ring ends with a theme we've only heard once before (and a long time prior, at that) precisely as a musical "breath of fresh air", so to speak. Likewise, in Shore, much the thematic material of The Desolation of Smaug is entirely new, and both Shore and Williams also use some new themes at the close of their respective cycles: The Rise of Skywalker has a new "victory" theme and Shore introduces a new theme, associated to some extent with Valinor, which underscores much of the Grey Havens sequence.   Sometimes, of course, it does seem the motives are used strictly for their musical effect. Williams is notorious for this: its why he uses the theme associated with Leia when Ben dies, or the one connected to Yoda at the climax in Bespin, and that theme again (alongside with the theme of Luke and Leia's siblinghood) in the victory celebrations of The Rise of Skywalker. But it also happened in Shore in a much more limited capacity: when Thorin embraces Bilbo, we hear in the finished film a theme from Aragorn's coronation and a piece of Moria music is tracked into the Warg attack in The Two Towers. There is Wagnerian precedent for this too: when Waltraute tells Brunnhilde that Wotan's spear was broken, we hear the theme of magic, seemingly for no reason except that its ominous musical character fits the tone. Thematic Development
    Beyond these outliers, however, the reason Wagner critiqued lists of themes and their naming conventions was that he cared about the transformative quality of the leitmotif: whereas "reminiscence themes" in previous operas (includes Wagner's own) were generally static (there were limited cases of development, like the horncalls from Weber's Oberon), the leitmotives of The Ring were mostly in a constant state of flux, like themes in a Beethoven or Haydn symphonic movement. They could change in various ways. The most obvious one is that their associations change: the theme that in the original film Williams identified with Old Ben is nicknamed in the liner notes for the sequel as "The Force theme." The theme that Shore associates with Nature starts becoming associated with the Rohirrim once it had been used to underscore them storming out of Helm's Deep at dawn. The theme Wagner relates to the magic gold eventually becomes used as an expression of joy.   But the basic musical character of the motives also changes. This is particularly significant since the musical character of the theme is meant to evoke its subject and so, being as the theme associated with Luke evokes his heroism, when in The Empire Strikes Back we hear it in the minor mode, it makes us think of Luke differently. The exact same thing happens in Wagner to Siegfried: his horn-call introduced in the third opera Siegfried as a naive call of nature, is reintroduced in Götterdämmerung as a grand, slightly imperious brass fanfare. But this idea of development goes much further than that: it suffices to see how this theme becomes this theme which changes into this and then into this and finally into this. There's certainly some of this in Williams: again, lets follow the Imperial March from its first youthful transformations for the young Anakin, through its first quietly menacing statements, to its first major presentation, its concealment in the Cloud City music, and finally its elegiac turn as Vader expires.
    In The Lord of the Rings, its amazing to hear how much a theme like the one associated with the Ring changes across the work, from the early statements in Gollum's cave where it starts in the major, to a series of fragements, followed by a definitive statement when Bilbo brings it back to Bag End, mixing with the other Mordor themes as it gains power and finally transposed to major at the very end. The theme associated with Smeagol also changes enormously from its first, garbled statements in the Riddle game through its whispy definitive statements, then a lengthy absence from the narrative before returning as a little shadow when he's following the company on the river, and then as a series of hybrid figures that intermingle with the Ring music, and then into fragements in The Return of the King; or how the shape of the theme that relates to Thorin's royal line is first suggested in a very major-sounding melody, before appearing in a minor but very hidden form, then in its definitive statement before becoming a broad fanfare for Thorin. The Wagnerian premise is that the effect of these transformations is culminative: that, having heard the theme associated with the Fellowship in a very elegiac form for Boromir's death, even hearing it with renewed strength in The Two Towers, it will still be coloured by having heard it in that very poignant form before.
      Since the idea in The Ring is that all the music is reminiscent of something, the themes also change insofar as they are "coloured" by the music around them: the fact we hear a theme followed by another theme, changes the way we appreciate that theme. This is true in terms of associations: if we hear Shire-type music followed by Sauron music, it acts like a blemish over the idyll of the Hobbits. But its also true musically: if there's a hidden musical connection between two themes, what better way to draw it out and make listeners aware of it, then having both themes play in sequence? Much of the music of the opening act of Walküre - the storm that opens the piece, the first furitive glances between Siegmund and Sieglinde and so forth - all derives from the music of Wotan, their father. To make sure we hear it, Wagner plants as a clue the motif associated with Wotan's Spear into the middle of the scene when Hunding remarks how similar they look.   A great example in Williams is the explicit hint to the Imperial March at the end of "Anakin's Theme." One of the extraordinary Shore examples is when Thorin dies and we cut to Tauriel grieving over Kili's dead body, we hear a sequence of three themes, associated respectivelly with Thorin, Death and with Tauriel and Kili's love. By sandwiching this "Death" theme in between the two, Shore is revealing that it was in fact carried in both of those themes all along. Because of this, even the absence of a theme, or the order in which a sequence of themes is played can prove significant: in The Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore conditions us to hear the theme associated with the Shire and the theme associated with the Fellowship one after the other in that order. Only in the denoument of The Return of the King do we hear them, several times, in the opposite direction.   One last way in which themes change is in their very function. For one thing, most of the leitmotives don't become leitmotives until we hear them a second time: when we first hear them, we don't necessarily know we'll hear them again. In Williams, there's also an example of a leitmotif that eventually stops being a leitmotif: by The Last Jedi, the theme associated with the Force had really just become an abstract musical device. This doesn't happen as such in Wagner and Shore, but likewise at the later points of their respective cycles, there's a noted tendency for the themes to "give into musical gravity" and be used a little more broadly: a theme Wagner had reserved to the magic Tarnhelm gets used throughout Götterdämmerung whenever magic or deceit are alluded to. So its definitiely become more generalized. Shore used a minor chord with an added-ninth to represent the Nazgul, and while throughout the cycle they're also used for other characters (most notably, Saruman) its always done as a clear parallel to the Ringwraiths. But in The Return of the King we hear them during Frodo and Sam's last climb, with no allusion to the wraiths: its just become more generalized "evil" music.   Inasmuch as we typically need to hear the themes twice to realize they're leitmotives, Wagner does try to present all of his major themes before we could possibly infer what it "means." A good example is a theme that will become associated with the sword Nothung is first heard when Wotan comes up with the name "Valhalla." Wagner had in fact contemplated having Wotan pick-up a sword left over by the giants in that moment. In other cases, he will use hidden "embryonic" forms of his themes (first noted by Derryk Cooke) long before the theme properly emerges. For instance, the main love theme of the Ring is not properly heard until some way into the first act of Die Walküre, but its earliest embryonic form is heard in the first scene of Das Rheingold when the Rhinedaughter Flosshilde tries to lead Alberich on.   This practice is picked-up by Williams and Shore. Howard famously treats the first part of each of the films - up to the presentation of the entry's title - as his overture. This he uses to exposit the main themes and (significantly) the main colours to be used in the course of the piece. An extreme example are the opening credits of An Unexpected Journey: the figure features the shape of the theme associated with the line of Durin - which won't appear in its definitive form until well into the next film - and strings moving at half-steps that in effect present an embryo of the Ring's music, a good two-hours before it will emerge properly.   Williams also uses embryonic forms of themes, although almost exclusively within the context of a single entry rather than across several ones. Nevertheless, the rumbling sounds of the shootout in the original Star Wars is an embryo of the main theme of the Imperials for that film, and we hear abbreviated statements of the themes associated with Leia, Ben and the Death Star all in the opening sequence precisely to set-up all the themes as early as possible. As an aside, this is different to Williams' own practice in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. There, instead of striving to present as many of the themes as early as possible, he introduces (and often recapitulates) the themes one-by-one over a period of 100 minutes, giving each theme plenty of air-time before introducing the next: a completely different approach of treating recurring musical themes. The Use of Themes in Musical Setpieces
    While the leitmotives were intended to replace traditional operatic "numbers", Wagner never managed to entirely rid himself of those traditions: In Rhinegold, the Rhinedaughters sometimes sing in trio, and Loge has what amounts to an aria. In Die Walküre, Wagner's limitations became even more lax: Siegmund's Spring Song isn't just an aria, but uses a theme that doesn't sound like it belongs in the Ring. Later on, Sieglinde has a nightmare, whose music is taken from Franz Liszt's Faust! Götterdämmerung, in particular, has been criticized for its used of traditional ensemble forms, but in that case it may have been done to some extent to represent the decadence of the Gibichungs. Wagner also started using abstract musical forms in his works: the prelude to the third act of Siegfried takes the form of a canon, while the Norn scene is effectively in ternary form. Shore and Williams also use traditional forms: Beyond the Forest is a canon and Matthew Bribitzer-Stull calls the early Hobbit scenes in The Fellowship of the Ring a Rondo; while Williams explicitly wrote a scherzo using his main Star Wars theme.   Part of the appeal of such "setpieces" to Wagner was that precisely because the music of The Ring was so unified, it made those standalone pieces all the more dramatic. Nevertheless, he wanted them to have an inner coherence and certainly didn't want them to stand completely apart from the larger structure, and he realized his leitmotives were the solution to this issue. For instance, in Die Walküre, Fricka has an aria whose melody we never hear again, but which is clearly an outgrowth of the main love theme of the cycle. So it gives her aria internal unity, but also ties it to the bigger structure.   This device is used by Shore and Williams. Before it was reprised in Return of the Jedi, the music of the TIE-Fighter attack from Star Wars was, for all intents and purposes, a standalone musical setpiece. But we hear it as an outgrowth of the Rebel music we hear elsewhere in the piece: it unites the setpiece internally and keeps it connected to the larger whole. Likewise, the music of the Stone Giants in An Unexpected Journey, though never heard again, effectivelly serves as an embryo of the nature music that will come soon thereafter.   Inasmuch as the idea in The Ring was to write music that serves the action and drives it forward, Wagner does let his music reign free in a few instances. One is the orchestral interludes between scenes and acts, which also tend to use certain themes (often in ostinato form) to carry the musical thread forward. Interestingly, some of these interludes he uses to "recap" the musical progress. The end of the first scene of Das Rheingold, the orchestra "sums up" many of the melodies that had appeared in the scene. The prelude to the second act of Walküre sums up the entire first act. Williams and Shore mostly do this in the end-credits: the end credits of The Fellowship of the Ring use original compositions and edited versions of alternate tracks for scenes to more or less retrace the plot of the movie, and exactly the same situation happens in almost every Williams' end-credits suite one could pick.   While The Ring, unlike Wagner's other works, has no overture as such, Wagner did compose the Bayreuth Fanfares which call the audience to the performance at the beginning of each evening and after each of the lengthy intermissions Wagner called for (Except in Das Rheingold and Holländer) to let audiences reflect. These fanfares feature a melody from the act, and serve a similar purpose to those few compositions that Williams and Shore made for their series' trailers: a little purely-musical foretaste of the music that is to come.    Wagner also adapted some of his themes to the concert stage, where they have no specific associations and can be heard as symphonic entities: the Siegfried Idyll, composed for his wife's birthday, is based on two themes from the recently-composed third act of Siegfried. Wagner also added a postlude to his Kinder-Katechismus featuring the theme that closes the Ring, and had intended to write a piece called "Brunnhilde", alongside suites for mateiral from Tristan and Lohengrin.   Williams wrote several unique presentations of his themes specifically for the album and the concert stage. Namely, "Leia's Theme", "The Imperial March" and "Yoda's Theme." These not only allow the themes to exist as symphonic beings (a tendency somewhat undermined by cannibalizing those pieces for the underscore of later entries) but also help dril those themes into the audience's mind, isolated from other musical gestures or audiovisual stimulus. Shore is less in the habit of writing such album-only theme presentations, but he has a couple, extrapolated from his sketches: Namely, A Very Respectable Hobbit, Erebor, The Dwarf Lords and Ironfoot. In fact, the Middle Earth cycle uniquely opens as absolute music with The Rings of Power Main Titles and ends as absolute music with Bilbo's Song.   Both composers also wrote pieces for other expansions on the series: Shore wrote the title-track for The Rings of Power show, while Williams wrote theme presentations and spotted a few cues for the scores of Solo and Obi Wan (both of which, like other compositions in the expanded Star Wars "cinematic universe", feature classic Williams' themes as well), as well as for the theme park Galaxy's Edge. On the other end, other composers have contributed to these composers' scores: some of the diegetic music in both series are not by the main composers. Then again, there's some precedent to this in Wagner: not just in the homage to Liszt in Die Walkure, but also in the use of the Dresden Amen, especially in Parsifal where its the main theme of the Knights of the Grail. Actually, the famous Verwandlundmusik in that work had to extended to accomodate the stage effects, and so Wagner asked Engelbert Humperdinck to add a few measures of bells. The important thing is that the composer creates the framework within which these "foreign" compositions slot into the piece: a good example is in Shore where the clarinet recapitulates Pippin's "Edge of Night" aria, seemingly bringing it closer to the sounds of Gondor. Contrast between two theme-groups
    While the concept of the leitmotif only asserted itself in The Ring, it has (as we've seen) precedents in Der Fliegende Holländer. However, between that work and The Ring, Wagner used Tannhäuser and Lohengrin to introduce a new idea: to organize the music and the themes into two or three warring musical "factions", a little bit in the style of the contrasting theme groups in a Beethoven symphonic movement, and in some Berlioz and Weber works: compare the sonorities of the overture to Der Freischütz with the dark atmosphere of the Wolf-glen.
      In Tannhäuser, the music of the Venusberg is set-up against the music of the Wartburg and (in the third act) the Pilgrims. In Lohengrin, the music of the Holy Grail is set-up against the music of the witch Ortrud, now delineated further by having their own key centers: The world of the grail is associated with A major, Ortrud's with F#-minor and the King in C major. There is a subtle difference between these two works: in Tannhäuser, these musical factions are presented as rivals on more-or-less equal musical grounds, whereas in Lohengrin there's far more music of the Grail than of Ortrud's and so the experience of Lohengrin is one of a main musical world and a secondary musical world that attempts to usurp it. This concept returns in Tristan and Parsifal: the former being closer to the Lohengrin mould insofar as the piece is dominated by the music of "night" (sex), but threatened by the music of "day" (propeity); and the latter closer to Tannhäuser insofar as we have two musical rivals: the music of the Grail (again) as against the music of seduction.   In all of these works, the two main, warring musical worlds are mostly there to offer contrast: there are musical links between them and even a few places where they overlap: some of the themes presented in the Tannhäuser overture blur the lines between the Venusberg and the Pilgrim's Chorus, for instance. But by and large the music of the grail (for instance) in Lohengrin or its prequel Parsifal remains what it is, and the music of the "bad guys" (Ortrud and Klingsor, respectivelly) remains what it is. Much of the dramatic effect of these works is when these worlds of music are juxtaposed, and in the end there's a big apotheosis of the good guy music to signify its triumph and the piece is over.   Regardless of whether he knows the pieces, the Lohengrin/Parsifal model (works that proved immensly more popular and influential than The Ring) seems to have been attractive to Williams throughout his ouvre: the music of the first two Harry Potter entries is largely in the style of Lohengrin and Tristan: there's a main musical world (The world of magic) that's in danger of being usurped by a secondary, antagonsitic musical world (The "bad" magic of Voldemort) and the two worlds, while connected, stand in stark juxtaposition to each other.   The Star Wars cycle was written more in the Tannhäuser/Parsifal mould: juxtaposing the music of the bad guys and the good guys. You could take a cross-section of both of these musical "spheres" to delineate those themes that are more ritualistic in style - the Jedi's music on the one hand, the Sith's on the other - and that music which is more belicose: so, the republic, the rebels and the resistance as well as heroes like Luke and Poe; while on the bad guy side we have the Droid Army's music, the Separatists' music, and finally the Empire's and the First Order's. There's also a small strain of love themes. But on the whole its still a very binary juxtaposition. Development across multiple theme-groups
      The Ring (and, to a lesser extent, Meistersingers) is based on a somewhat different concept that Wagner developed out of this "binary" juxtaposition model. There are still different musical worlds and exciting juxtapositions: perhaps the most exciting entrance of the theme associated with the sword is at the end when it rises against all of the dark music of Hagen. But instead of three worlds, of which two are set against each other, the Ring (owing to its length) has upward of eight musical worlds, each of which is in conflict with all the others. Its partially why The Ring (unlike a work like Lohengrin) and its individual entries, like Shore's scores, doesn't have a "main theme" in the traditional Hollywood score sense. This concept seems to have emerged from the gradual expansion of the Ring to a tetralogy (Wagner, not unpretentiously, considered it a "trilogy with a perliminary evening").   Initially these theme groups or some subsets of them are associated with certain key centers: Wagner associates Valhalla with D-flat major and the Nibelungs with B-flat minor, while the Rhine with E-flat major. Actually, for a while the study of leitmotives was subsumed by Alfred Lorenz' attempts to present Wagner's works as big tonal structures. Though Lorenz' far-reaching studies have long-since been refuted, the tonal structures of the Ring are still being studied (cf. the writings of the late Robert Bailey) and he also laid the groundwork towards thinking of the leitmotives as family groups, an idea first presented in rigour by Derryck Cooke. Though Lorenz' own studies are no longer deemed reputable, the tonal structure of the Ring had been studied further by the likes of Robert Bailey and is certainly a topic of some importance: its certainly no accident, for example, that its overall tonal structure (B-flat to D-flat) is miniaturized in Das Rheingold.  In The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbits' music is associated with D major, Mordor with D minor, Rohan with E minor, Gollum in A minor and Rivendell in A major and so forth, and the cycle traces a harmonic movement from C through to A.   All three composers also use associative orchestrations either for themes or groups of themes: anything vaguely mechanical in Star Wars - including Grievous and the Walkers - gets riffing piccoli over rumbling pianos to evoke grinding gears. Luke gets "fanfarish horns", while the Empire gets trombones. In Wagner, too, Valhalla gets the Wagner-patented Tuben, while the sword Nothung gets trumpets, and the Tarnhelm gets muted horns. Even the mixed sound of various instruments playing in unison, which Wagner experimented with in Lohengrin and Gotterdamerung before exploiting it for Parsifal where it favoured the acoustics of his new hall in Bayreuth, has its own associations: actually, Shore's orchestrations are remarkably "mixed", as compared to Williams' more traditional "Golden Age Hollywood" orchestration, which sounds comparativelly more transparent and bright, but that's outside the scope of our discussion.   Shore benefits in this regard from using a large supply of "world instruments" so while Hobbits have some associations with the clarinet and Mordor with muted trumpets, there are also non-orchestral instruments like whistles for the Hobbits, taiko drums from Orcs, bagpipes for Dain and so forth. This brings to mind Wagner's use not only of tuben and bass trumpet but also the Anvil and the stierhorns. Even Williams occasionally calls upon some inventive percussion (mostly for Jar Jar and the Ewoks), Tuben, chorus and a few other instruments outside the normal orchestral replete. So in each case, theme groups are associated with certain sounds. Each theme group could even be said to have characteristic rhythmic, metric and dynamic characteristics.   Number
    The Ring
    Star Wars
    Lord of the Rings
    Norns (muted)   Shire (Fiddle), Hobbiton (pizzicato), Radagast (also gourds and shakers), Rohan (double fiddle, also Hardinfelle)
    Siegmund and Sieglinde's love
        Rivendell (also Theorbo and Lute)
    Mechanical beings (Walkers, Grievous)
      Hobbits (also tin whistle, low whistle and recorder) 9
    Cor Anglais
      The Jedi
    Mime, Alberich
    Boba Fett
        Ents (also bass marimba and log drums)
    Siegfried, Tarnhelm (muted)
    Luke, Young Han, Poe, Heroism, Jedi (singing register), Vader (low register)
    Mankind, Orcs (low register)
    Valhalla, Hunding (low register)
    Luke, Young Han, Poe
    Mankind, Gondor (rotary-valve), Goblins (high register), Sauron (muted)
    Wotan's Spear (low register), The Curse
    Darth Vader
    The dragon
      Mechanical beings (Walkers, Grievous)
      Rey, Ewoks (Kinderklavier)
    Hobbits (also guitars, mandolin, duclimer, celtic harp, drones, musette and concertina)
    Clappers, bell-plates (Sand People), Wood percussion (Ewoks, Gungans)
    Taiko, Dunun (Orcs), bell plates, distressed piano (Uruk Hai), Gamelan, tibetan bells (Smaug), Singing bowls, waterphone (Smaug, Mirkwood)
    The Power of the Ring
    Dead Men of Dunharrow, Mirkwood, Dead Marshes, Smaug
    Gibichungs (Men)
    Dwarves (Men), Elves (Women), Nature (Trebles)
      A way to look at each of these musical worlds is as groups of musical molecules (leitmotives), that all derive more-or-less directly from a basic musical atom (what Lorenz, lifting from Wagner's writings, called an "Ur" - or "fundemental" - motifs) that's associated with a major faction and/or underlying concept of the drama, and at the fringes of each musical world the molecules incorporate atoms from neighbooring musical worlds. Each world has one or two main or prototypical "molecules" or main themes.   In The Lord of the Rings, the "atom" or "Urmotiv" of halfstep up-and-down and associated with Sauron and the forces of evil, while the major scale is associated with the Hobbits. Likewise, in The Ring, anything scalar is connected to Wotan and the concept of law, while anything characterized by diminished chords has to do with the Ring, the "bad guys" and tyranny. Not all of the themes fit into these convenient families: a very major motif in the Ring, associated with the scene of the announciation of death and usually given the oblique name "Fate", doesn't "fit" into this scheme, for instance.   But its not just the greater number of the musical worlds and the ways in which they are delineated. Rather, the real difference is that rather than merely act as foils for each other or overlap in some rudimentary ways from the outset, the musical "sets" actually interact: in Meistersingers, Walther's music acts as a foil to the music of Beckmesser and the Guild, but it interacts with Hans Sachs' music: they may overlap from the outset to some extent, but through their interaction, Walther's music becomes gradually more Hans Sachs-like and Hans Sachs' music becomes more Walther-esque.   The same situation exists in The Ring over a much larger scope: as the individual themes that comprise each musical "sphere" develop, they will draw closer to themes from another musical world until, in Götterdämmerung, the boundaries between the worlds become very blurred. But it starts early on: the first scene of the Ring ends with the proper introduction of the main theme associated with the Ring: this is the first of a whole body of themes that have to do with corruption and tyranny, and they're all characterized by disonant, diminished chords, seemingly the exact opposite of the theme-group of nature that otherwise comprises the scene. And yet, this Ring theme grows out of a diatonic, "nature" theme and, as the scene transitions into the next, its transformed until it all but blurs into the theme associated with Valhalla, the most glorious of the nature-related themes. By the time we get to the Norns in Götterdämmerung, its impossible to tell if we hear Valhalla or the Ring. The eventual "confusion" between the theme groups has actually led some commentators like Eero Tarasti to denounces Derryck Cooke's first attempt to delineate Wagner's themes by families: "it ultimately turns out to be an impossible project. For by the time the 146th motif is sounding, one realizes that Cooke’s presentation is unfortunately a rather confused jumble of motifs which have been detached from their contexts, and which could have been selected in other ways as well. No binding logic or system can be found in his discourse on the leitmotifs the practice of theme families."   This concept is ported over to Howard Shore's scores. There are distinct "collections" of themes for Hobbits, for Dwarves, for Elves, for Sauron, for the Orcs, for Mankind, for Nature, for Sauron's corrupting influence on Middle Earth, and so forth. As Bilbo sets out with the Dwarves and gradually finds his courage, his Hobbit music will become more Dwarven. As the world of Mankind struggles against Mordor's influence, its music will become "poisoned" by Sauron's. As the Fellowship rallies around the Hobbits, their two musical worlds will become all but indistiguishable from one another. In The Return of the King we often hear not encapsulated statements of themes, but rather combinations of bits of different themes, or figures that are between two or three themes from two or three different "spheres" of music. For example, for the scene of the confrontation between Faramir and Denethor, we hear a phrase that reminds us of at least three themes, including music from Gondor and Mordor, simultaneously.   Number The Ring Star Wars The Lord of the Rings 1 Diatonic Chords = Nature A. Upward reaching = Rebels Major Scale = Hobbits (D Major) 2 Diminished Chords = Ring/Tyranny A1. Chromatic melody featuring a leap of a sixth = Romance Augmented Scales/Chromatic music = Elves (A Major) 3 Scale = Wotan/Law B. Downward reaching = Jedi Falling-and-rising Fullstep = Fellowship (C Major) 4 Mediant Chord Progressions = Magic (G#) A. Minor and March-like = Separatists/Empire Rising-and-falling halfstep = Sauron (D Minor) 5 Four-note chromatic cell = Love (B♭ major) B. Distant Minor Chords, "Dies Irae" cell = Sith Hybrid family (4+3/2/1) = Sauron's influence on Middle Earth 6 Dotted Rhythm = Action Miscellaneous Modal Melody featuring a leap = Mankind (D minor, A minor) 7  Minor Second = Woe   Parallel Fifths/Intervallic profile = Dwarves 1 8 Major Second = Joy   Syncopated Pattern = Dwarves 2 9 Tritone = Evil   Assymetrical Beat-Patterns = Orcs 10 Falling Fifth = Antagonistic Forces   Mediant (I-iii-I) chord progression = Nature (F major) 11 Falling Sixth = Manhood   Chords a tritone apart = Ents 12 Falling Seventh = Womankind (D♭ major)   Tone Row = Spiders (Atonal) 13 Falling Octave = Heroism (C major)   Miscellaneous 14 Miscellaneous       Comparativelly, Star Wars is written more in the Parsifal vein, where the musical worlds mostly act as foils for each other, with the good guy music (effectivelly unchanged) having a crescendo at the end to symbolize its victory. But there are a few notable exceptions: at the end of The Phantom Menace, it seems Williams put Sidius' music into the major and concealed it in the triumphant procession music. The Jedi Steps music betrays the corrosive influence of the Imperial March harmonies. But really, the most notable cases have to do with the music of two characters in particular: Anakin and Kylo.   Anakin's music, as first introduced, is manifestly "good guy" music, but its chromatic character give it a certain wildness. As it develops throughThe Phantom Menace, it takes on a more heroic guise: i.e. it becomes more "good", but then towards the end we hear a transformation of it as the ultimate "bad guy" music: a hint of the Imperial March. This connection is then made clear over the end credits where Williams has the one theme transform into the other before our eyes. Since Williams associated the theme with the young Anakin and not the older Anakin, its not a thread that's maintained throughout the prequel trilogy, and of course the March itself is nonexistent in the original Star Wars, which slots into the saga as the fourth entry, all of which serves to weaken the thread. Nevertheless, both guises of Anakin's music appear, however sparingly, in both later prequels, as well as another musical aspect of Anakin: the music of his affair with Padme. The angst contained in "Across the Stars", particularly the secondary theme, again points to the influence of "bad guy" music on the "good guy" camp.   Anakin also merits several statements of the theme associated with the Force with slightly darker harmonies, including one "infected" by the harmonies of the Imperial March. When the thread of Anakin's music resurges in The Empire Strikes Back, its manifestly evil music - although it does cleverly "conceal" itself in the music of Cloud City - until its redemption in the end of Return of the Jedi. In the sequel trilogy, the theme returns mostly as reminiscences of the evil Vader. The passage leading up to Vader's redemption is quoted in The Rise of Skywalker, but ultimately in that trilogy the thread is carried by the main theme associated with Kylo Ren: with a subtle reharmonization, Williams transforms this evil music into a heroic fanfare.   Another form of organizing themes is, ironically enough, in Bear McCreary's score to The Rings of Power: Bear, too, has on the face of it, musical theme-groups for Elves, Dwarves, Men of the Southlands, Men of Numenore, Orcs, Hobbits and the Ethereal (Namely, Valinor itself). The thing that is unlike the Shore/Wagner practice is that most of these theme-groups as of yet comprised of just a pair of melodic ideas: a main theme and a derived theme for the main character of that setting/group, which makes it difficult to think of them rigorously as "families." But, just as significantly, most (not all) of the theme groups are just different melodic contours (namely, melodic leaps of a different degree: Octave for Numenore, Seventh for Galadriel, etc...) rather than completely different KINDS of music, as is the case in these other examples. And, like in Williams - with whose voice (especially orchestrationally), Bear has more in common than with Shore - the themes groups, while they do interlock and even interact in limited degrees, largely remain what they are. Internal conflict within a theme-group
      Many considerTristan und Isolde, not The Ring, to be the true Wagnerian masterpiece. There are many reasons for this, but one is a new concept introduced in Tristan which was not appearant in The Ring: the concept of conflict not just between different worlds of music, but inside a single body of music. Picking-up on the precedent set by Beethoven and to a lesser extent Weber, Wagner opens the piece with a phrase that poses a basic musical "problem" which remains a source of tension and an engine of development throughout the piece and is only solved at the very end. So the themes don't just develop because they should: they develop because they must. This idea has precedent in pieces like Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata where the first theme continues to slip out of its home key until the end of the coda for the first movement and, on the stage, in Weber's Euryanthe whose overture posits (among other things) the theme associated with Emma's Ghost, which is always inflected chromatically until the very end, where it cadences in C major once we're told the ghost was laid to rest.   After Tristan, Wagner implemented this idea to a limited degree in the later part of The Ring and even in the revised Holländer and Le Tannhauser: already in the original Tannhäuser, the Pilgrim's Chorus which opens the overture doesn't reach a complete cadence until the end of the work, except back then this resolution was "spoiled" by the end of the overture, which Wagner shorn-off for Paris. In Götterdämmerung, Wagner takes the motif connected to Wotan's problems, which goes around and around the scale, and adds a disonant end-cap to it, which doesn't unwind until Brunnhilde bids him "Rest now, thou god!" in the final scene. But in Tristan this concept finds its ultimate realization where the "problem" is posed by the opening phrase's reluctance to resolve, and this issue dogs all the music of "night" - the music of sensual glory - and drives its development. The music of Tristan develops either towards finding a resolution or away from it, and only actually attains resolution at the very, very end of the piece.   Williams clearly sought to do this in Star Wars. Looking at the original film in isolation, the theme associated with Old Ben never ends with a proper cadence until the very end of the film. On a somewhat larger scale, the theme of Young Anakin's has a kind of instability about it that only comes to its resolution when the Imperial March peters out in Return of the Jedi. None of these threads runs through the entire gamut of the cycle, but they do imbue some of the music with a similar quality to what Wagner sought in Tristan.   Shore, too, tried to achieve this. You could say Aragorn's music doesn't feel like it climaxes properly until its united with the music of Gondor at his coronation, and even Gondor's music itself doesn't feel like it recaptures the grandeur of the statement from one of the drafts of the prologue until this point. The scores is also riddled with progressions of minor chords a flat-sixth apart, beginning with The Rings of Power Main Title, which don't feel like they come to a fullfilling resolution until they are transformed into the chords associated with nature when the Eagles show-up at the Morannon and then finally into the chords associated with the Fellowship when Frodo grabs Sam's hand. This is even more appearant on the OST. Even the musical material for Erebor sheds its descending end-cap, while Thorin's music ends in tragedy as it morphs into the "death" motif.   But the main thread that truly runs through the entire piece has to do with the Ring itself: its pungent harmonies are already hinted at in The Rings of Power Main Title, before we get an open-ended wisp of the theme in the music of The Hobbit Announcement trailer. The melody emphasizes halfsteps and throughout the opening leg of An Unexpected Journey we hear many hints to this kind of writing, including the string line in the opening credits and the whistle line over the films' titles, both of which are harmonized to the major. This writing intensifies chromatically with the appearance of Smaug's music a few minutes into the film and then Azog's and finally the Necromancer's as his threat materializes. The proper theme ultimately materializes as a sinister melody that emphasizes half-steps. Notably, on the album, the theme begins here in the major: all these early manifestations point towards a resolution, but as the Ring gathers power, its music will become more sinister, and throughout the cycle it engenders a lot of music that's very dissonant and unsettling. By The Return of the King, it will be at its most ominous as it combines with Sauron's music. However, before that, in The Two Towers, we are again treated to a major-moded reading and while it doesn't stay in major, that shape persists throughout The Return of the King until the Ring is destroyed that we hear it transposed to the major, its disonances cleaned-up and transformed into a triumphant fanfare; and like Wagner plays the final chord of Tristan three times to reinforce the sense of resolution, Shore lets the theme bellow out two major statements. Its true, the score contains an extended denoument but the Ring's music is never heard again except for two brief halfsteps over a major chord progression and a few motives that continue to be coloured by those progression (and a reprise of some of the Ring's earlier music in the fan-credits), but all of this only serves to reinforce the finality of its resolution at Mount Doom. Conclusions
    Wagner is of course one of the most influential composers in history, but he was ultimately more influential on the other arts - literature, poetry, drama and painting - than on other musicians. The musical influence of his leitmotiv technique is superceded by his innovative harmonic language for Tristan, as well as some of the harmonic and orchestrational devices of Lohengrin. Structurally, however, most of the works influenced by the Ring failed to live-up to its depth, usually for being single-evening works: they could not hope to attain the experience of time - either in the sheer scale of the work or its rich sense of backstory and time-lapse or even in the time of composition. Only in cinema, and only in the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings cycles, have composers John Williams and Howard Shore managed to attain the same kind of presentation, and create what are monuments to Wagnerian musical architecture. Bibliography
  6. Love
  7. Like
    SUH reacted to blondheim in Your Favorite Third Act Musical Surprise   
    The Dain material is painfully under-utilized. I know that is part of what makes it so special, like the love theme in The Shadow, but gawd, I want more of it. Ironfoot is one of my most played tracks. That bagpipe makes me swoon. Actually score-gasms are so few and far between. Shore's given us plenty, Ironfoot is a good'un
    Oh, I also offer forth the Dain material
  8. Thinking
    SUH reacted to TolkienSS in “I Roderyn” (The Noble Wood) by Howard Shore (Based on themes from "The Hobbit" trilogy)   
    Is this related to the piano book version of The Woodland Realm? There's a theme suite in there that's not on the OST.
    Maybe Shore wrote this for a version of An Unexpected Journey which still included the Mirkwood stuff, before it was three movies.
  9. Thanks
    SUH reacted to Doug Adams in “I Roderyn” (The Noble Wood) by Howard Shore (Based on themes from "The Hobbit" trilogy)   
    Woodland Realm material, I believe 
  10. Like
  11. Like
    SUH reacted to Mr. Who in The Rings of Power show discussion - spoilers allowed for all aired episodes   
    “Lighting of the Beacons” and “The Grace of Undomiel” are 2 of my favorite cues of film music! The moment when they arrive in Gondor in Grace of Undomiel with the trumpets playing the Gondor theme is really amazing.
    To me the Gondor theme (which is hinted in the first score) is a little bit like the Elven theme in the Hobbit which is hinted in the prologue in the first movie and then is used in full in the second movie. Both are themes which I loved in their first respective "hints/versions". When the first Hobbit score was released that elven choir moment was one of my favorite parts and I remember how happy I was when that elven theme was so heavily used in DOS.
  12. Like
    SUH got a reaction from Incanus in The Hobbit: Four Movements for Symphony Orchestra by Howard Shore   
    Still no recording of the full four movements then
    Looking for any information online, I found these old tweets:
    8 years on, it seems a lot of stuff didn't come to fruition!
    I would still love for Shore to work on a two hour Hobbit Symphony. I feel the Hobbit would benefit more from such an arrangement than Lord of the Rings did, given the differences between each score in orchestra / studio / mix / orchestration. Perhaps he could even tie up some loose ends thematically, for leitmotifs that were dropped due to filmmaker decisions. A single cohesive Hobbit listening experience would be a blast!
    That being said, I've greatly enjoyed revisiting the OST albums recently. Given we only got 90 seconds of new Shore music for The Rings of Power after such anticipation, I'm more able to appreciate every second of music that we do have on those two disc releases. I used to find them frustrating to listen to, knowing how much terrific music and motivic storytelling was lost in the film versions, and having melodies like 'The Edge of the Wild' only appear once in a bonus track. But now I can see how great it is to have all that music released as canonical Shore Middle Earth music that will live on for years to come!
  13. Like
    SUH got a reaction from Bofur01 in The Hobbit: Four Movements for Symphony Orchestra by Howard Shore   
    Still no recording of the full four movements then
    Looking for any information online, I found these old tweets:
    8 years on, it seems a lot of stuff didn't come to fruition!
    I would still love for Shore to work on a two hour Hobbit Symphony. I feel the Hobbit would benefit more from such an arrangement than Lord of the Rings did, given the differences between each score in orchestra / studio / mix / orchestration. Perhaps he could even tie up some loose ends thematically, for leitmotifs that were dropped due to filmmaker decisions. A single cohesive Hobbit listening experience would be a blast!
    That being said, I've greatly enjoyed revisiting the OST albums recently. Given we only got 90 seconds of new Shore music for The Rings of Power after such anticipation, I'm more able to appreciate every second of music that we do have on those two disc releases. I used to find them frustrating to listen to, knowing how much terrific music and motivic storytelling was lost in the film versions, and having melodies like 'The Edge of the Wild' only appear once in a bonus track. But now I can see how great it is to have all that music released as canonical Shore Middle Earth music that will live on for years to come!
  14. Like
    SUH got a reaction from Chen G. in The Hobbit: Four Movements for Symphony Orchestra by Howard Shore   
    Still no recording of the full four movements then
    Looking for any information online, I found these old tweets:
    8 years on, it seems a lot of stuff didn't come to fruition!
    I would still love for Shore to work on a two hour Hobbit Symphony. I feel the Hobbit would benefit more from such an arrangement than Lord of the Rings did, given the differences between each score in orchestra / studio / mix / orchestration. Perhaps he could even tie up some loose ends thematically, for leitmotifs that were dropped due to filmmaker decisions. A single cohesive Hobbit listening experience would be a blast!
    That being said, I've greatly enjoyed revisiting the OST albums recently. Given we only got 90 seconds of new Shore music for The Rings of Power after such anticipation, I'm more able to appreciate every second of music that we do have on those two disc releases. I used to find them frustrating to listen to, knowing how much terrific music and motivic storytelling was lost in the film versions, and having melodies like 'The Edge of the Wild' only appear once in a bonus track. But now I can see how great it is to have all that music released as canonical Shore Middle Earth music that will live on for years to come!
  15. Love
    SUH got a reaction from Jay in The Hobbit: Four Movements for Symphony Orchestra by Howard Shore   
    Still no recording of the full four movements then
    Looking for any information online, I found these old tweets:
    8 years on, it seems a lot of stuff didn't come to fruition!
    I would still love for Shore to work on a two hour Hobbit Symphony. I feel the Hobbit would benefit more from such an arrangement than Lord of the Rings did, given the differences between each score in orchestra / studio / mix / orchestration. Perhaps he could even tie up some loose ends thematically, for leitmotifs that were dropped due to filmmaker decisions. A single cohesive Hobbit listening experience would be a blast!
    That being said, I've greatly enjoyed revisiting the OST albums recently. Given we only got 90 seconds of new Shore music for The Rings of Power after such anticipation, I'm more able to appreciate every second of music that we do have on those two disc releases. I used to find them frustrating to listen to, knowing how much terrific music and motivic storytelling was lost in the film versions, and having melodies like 'The Edge of the Wild' only appear once in a bonus track. But now I can see how great it is to have all that music released as canonical Shore Middle Earth music that will live on for years to come!
  16. Like
    SUH reacted to Holko in The Rings of Power show discussion - spoilers allowed for all aired episodes   
    Somehow I got suckered in and watched the first one. Disregarding things like Galadriel not being Galadriel, that whole boat thing being weird and stupid, elves not feeling like elves, things they never could've gotten right like the Trees, etc, etc... I just found it boring, a ton of cliché characters in cliché situations with cliché dialogue. Looks good in general but designwise it's afflicted with the shiny squeaky TV fantasy blandness instead of the rich tangible details of PJ's trilogy. Overall nothing really feels like it has weight and much depth to it. I guess now I'll wait to see the dwarves and Númenor too but if it continues like this I'll just stop.
  17. Like
    SUH reacted to blondheim in Bear McCreary's The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power (2022)   
    The disappointment is just really fresh and massive. I really thought Bear would want to walk behind Shore and be respectful of that masterwork and continue it. He definitely didn’t have to. I just didn’t realize until I heard Galadriel how much I was counting on him to.
    In time I may be kinder to it. Who the hell knows. But man, it truly hurts to hear people talking about how great it is when I can’t hear it. Because that means the decision is validated on some level and the work will probably continue in that vein.
    I am listening to The Hobbits again and they are fantastic.
  18. Like
    SUH reacted to Jay in The Music Of The Hobbit Films - Doug Adams' Book confirmed by Howard Shore   
    Hey @Doug Adams, any progress getting the publisher to move forward with finally publishing this book, or the silent movie book?
  19. Like
    SUH reacted to Evanus in Amazon buys up Middle-earth, it searches the One Ring! (Rings of Power news thread)   
    Sooo are they gonna release expanded versions of the Hobbit scores to coincide with this? That's all I care about, honestly.. 
  20. Like
    SUH reacted to Chen G. in Your Favorite Third Act Musical Surprise   
    Closer to what the OP is going for is probably the introduction of the material associated with Dain or, perhaps more significantly, the figure associated with the body-count at the end of the story.
  21. Like
    SUH reacted to crocodile in Your Favorite Third Act Musical Surprise   
    I was truly amazed what Howard Shore managed to do with Smaug's material in the third act of The Desolation of Smaug. It didn't like all that much in the first score, to be honest. The themes felt established well enough before that but only in the third act of the second movie did they transform from a functional villain material to exceptional villain material. Imposing and terrifying, gorgeous and uncomfortable. All at the same time. Perfect.
  22. Like
    SUH reacted to bored in Oscar Winning ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Howard Shore In Talks To Compose Music For Amazon Studios’ Middle Earth-Set TV Series   
    Howard Shore was the only thing about this series I was actively looking forward to, and if they're going to restrict his use of previous themes, then my hype level for his score has significantly decreased to about 50%. 
  23. Like
    SUH reacted to Barnald in Oscar Winning ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Howard Shore In Talks To Compose Music For Amazon Studios’ Middle Earth-Set TV Series   
    True, but there are certain themes one would expect/hope to hear direct quotes of - History of the Ring, Dwarrowdelf, House of Durin, Lothlorien, etc. Plus Williams and Shore were both legally allowed to reference old material when composing related works in the same world. Providing LOTR/Hobbit material is indeed off-limits, just how close can Shore get here? I say this as someone who has no idea how this would work in legal/technical terms.
  24. Sad
    SUH reacted to Chen G. in Oscar Winning ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Howard Shore In Talks To Compose Music For Amazon Studios’ Middle Earth-Set TV Series   
    The issue, though, is that legally they can’t rehash designs (WTF?!) and where does that put Shore’s great themes?
    Of course, he can spin new themes out of the same ideas. Numenore could be to Gondor what Bilbo’s material is to the Shire theme.
  25. Thanks
    SUH reacted to Chen G. in Amazon buys up Middle-earth, it searches the One Ring! (Rings of Power news thread)   
    More than one Durin: There's an older Durin (codenamed "Khain"), presumably played by Peter Mullan, and a son of his, also called Durin (don't ask me how it works) codenamed "Brac", played by Owain Arthur, presumably doing his best Peter Mullan impersonation.
    I guess any number of themes could work for them, although Shore or whomever would have to take the melancholy out of them to depict the Dwarves in their prime: so, in the case of the theme we associate with the House of Durin, variations closer to what we hear over the trilogy's opening credits, and for the theme we associate with Dwarrowdelf something akin to the perliminary form we hear under the arrival of the company to Bag End. I actually think the theme from "The Dwarf Lords" could be a good candidate, too.
    Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) could get the themes we associate with them from the films, too. Isildur (Maxim Baldry) could get perliminary form of the Strider motive that we hear in Fellowship's prologue. Numenore itself could get the theme we associate with Gondor in the Second Age from the alternate prologue, the theme we associate with the White Tree and Narsil could come back, etc...
    And what about the themes we associate with the Ring? With the Diminishment of the Elves? With the alliance of the Elves of Eregion and the Dwarves of Moria? The kind of arpeggios we associate with human fallibility? They're all extremly appropriate to the scenario. Its a huge treasure trove. As you said, that level of attention to the motives is unlikely, but one can dream!
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