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The Battle of Middle-Earth: Your favourite Hobbit/LOTR score?

The Battle of Middle-Earth: Your favourite Hobbit/LOTR score?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Your favourite LOTR score?

    • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  2. 2. Your favourite Hobbit score?

    • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


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So now when we have the last Hobbit score i'm curious which score you guys prefer in both of the trilogies.

Of course the choice might change if we ever get complete recordings of the Hobbit but please vote on what you feel right now based on all the material we have and have heard in the films.

I LOVE all the scores myself and to me it is very hard to pick my favourites since I feel that all of the scores have their assets.

If you want you can write how you personally would rank the scores.

This is how I would rank the scores right now (I feel that my opinion might change in the future):

The Lord of the Rings trilogy -

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Hobbit trilogy -

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

This was very hard for me to do since all of the scores are 5/5 scores to me...

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I need more time with the Hobbit scores to decide, but I guess I'll put in a temporary vote.

I've been writing about the ME scores as I've been marathoning them, so I think I've justified enough why RotK will always be my favourite.

Things get more complicated with the Hobbit scores though. I listened to AUJ recently, and I will write about it sometime this weekend. But it really was quite a step down. I mean don't get me wrong, I think it's a great score, but for the first time, that first CD was genuinely kind of...underwhelming. There is great writing in there, and things pick up brilliantly in the 2nd CD, but the writing is just a bit tame in comparison to it's predecessors...and even its successors. I love AUJ, the way it handles the old themes, introduces new melodic ideas and all, but some of it feels a bit too safe for my tastes. I feel Shore was just getting back into this world and was stretch those ol' wings to tap into what really works (that's why there was so much experimentation, little of which came out) And for that reason, it remains the weakest (though still very good).

DoS is a marvelous step up from that though. The writing is Shore back at his A-game. I can see why some consider the themes a little nondescript, but there are some beautiful melodies here still. The real success is in the actual writing though. There's just so much colour here! From the amorphous textures of Mirkwood, to the rustic folksy tones of Laketown to the brilliant gamelan-driven Oriental tones of Smaug...it felt like a real journey! I'll write more on it later.

BotFA continues the trend well, and I have a nice big review coming up. But currently, I think it falls a bit short of DoS.

So for now, I'll vote for DoS. All 3 scores were my favourites of their respective years of course. And in time this may change.

Current Hobbit score ranking

1) DoS

2) BotFA

3) AUJ

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Well.... no, actually!

In fact, I'm positive I've listened to DOS significantly more than I've listened to AUJ.

But the simple thing is, AUJ has some of my favorite themes of hte entire trilogy - the Journey Theme and Bilbo's Theme, primarily. I think the score Shore was crafting for that original 2film Film 1 was going to be so amazing before PJ lost his mind.....

I dunno.

I do know BOFA is not nearly as compelling as AUJ and DOS to me - of course, it's barely even fair for me to rank it against the others, since I haven't seen thefilm, which means I have no idea what the context is for any of the music, and also I have no idea what any of the unreleased music sounds like.

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Well.... no, actually!

In fact, I'm positive I've listened to DOS significantly more than I've listened to AUJ.

But the simple thing is, AUJ has some of my favorite themes of hte entire trilogy - the Journey Theme and Bilbo's Theme, primarily. I think the score Shore was crafting for that original 2film Film 1 was going to be so amazing before PJ lost his mind.

I dunno.

I know BOFA is not nearly as compelling as AUJ and DOS to me - of course, it's barely even fair for me to rank it against the others, since I haven't seen thefilm, which means I have no idea what the context is for any of the music, and also I have no idea what any of the unreleased music sounds like.

After the film, you'll still lack context of quite a bit of music.

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I need more time with the Hobbit scores to decide, but I guess I'll put in a temporary vote.

I've been writing about the ME scores as I've been marathoning them, so I think I've justified enough why RotK will always be my favourite.

Things get more complicated with the Hobbit scores though. I listened to AUJ recently, and I will write about it sometime this weekend. But it really was quite a step down. I mean don't get me wrong, I think it's a great score, but for the first time, that first CD was genuinely kind of...underwhelming. There is great writing in there, and things pick up brilliantly in the 2nd CD, but the writing is just a bit tame in comparison to it's predecessors...and even its successors. I love AUJ, the way it handles the old themes, introduces new melodic ideas and all, but some of it feels a bit too safe for my tastes. I feel Shore was just getting back into this world and was stretch those ol' wings to tap into what really works (that's why there was so much experimentation, little of which came out) And for that reason, it remains the weakest (though still very good).

DoS is a marvelous step up from that though. The writing is Shore back at his A-game. I can see why some consider the themes a little nondescript, but there are some beautiful melodies here still. The real success is in the actual writing though. There's just so much colour here! From the amorphous textures of Mirkwood, to the rustic folksy tones of Laketown to the brilliant gamelan-driven Oriental tones of Smaug...it felt like a real journey! I'll write more on it later.

BotFA continues the trend well, and I have a nice big review coming up. But currently, I think it falls a bit short of DoS.

So for now, I'll vote for DoS. All 3 scores were my favourites of their respective years of course. And in time this may change.

Current Hobbit score ranking

1) DoS

2) BotFA

3) AUJ

But AUJ has a certain warmth that is missing from DOS and BOTFA.

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DOS is the darkest part of the story, so it's missing "warmth" is really fine.

I haven't seen BOFA yet but I was hoping that once the battle was over, it would have a really nice, and really warm ending. The OST doesn't give me confidence it will, but we haven't hear Shore's real (EE) ending cues yet.

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What warmth in TTT are you talking about?

Hobbit stuff in Emyn Muil

The Three Hunters

Gandalf the White

The Dreams of Trees

The Heir of Numenor

Ent Draught

The Court of Meduseld (the Expelling of Saruman)

Theoden King

Exodus from Edoras

One of the Dunedain

Refuge at Helms Deep

The Story Foretold

etc.

I just enjoy the DoS underscore more.

The warmest parts of DOS (for me) are:

The oboe/cor anglais bit when Tauriel picks up the Runstone in FOS.

The B section of Tauriel/Kili (or whatever it really is) in FOS.

On The Doorstep.

Thrain's Healing

Bard and Family

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I can only agree with Jay, same choices almost same reasons.

FotR (although it's basically on par with ROTK, just because FOTR had most of the themes already established i give it the edge). TT is great but you only can chose one on the top. All three are 5 star scores!

AUJ by FAAAAR (especially the discarded Bilbo's theme, the Edge of the Wild/ Erebor company theme, all the lovely original theme statements, the Dwarf Lords, the Good Omen film version, and the great Misty Mountains theme)

Concerning the end of BOTFA... i will see the film tomorrow but the soundtrack lacks warmth in the final parts. I hoped for more extensively developed Bilbo/Shire material and not suspense music. Let's hope it is ok in the film and if not there is always the EE which will undoubtedly improve the ending.

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I thought James Horner wrote the score for BOFA . . . right?

I haven't given the Hobbit scores enough of a listen yet to make an educated guess. As for the LOTR scores, I was impulsively going for the ROTK click, but then I stopped. It's the best in a lot of ways, but . . . it doesn't feature the Rohan theme as prominently as TTT does. Nor does it approach the Fellowship theme as grandly as FOTR. But it has "Into the West," so it has to be the best, right? But the opening to TTT is the best of the three. And FOTR has "Aniron," one of my favorite vocal parts of the trilogy. But so is Billy's song in ROTK, so. . . .

The more I think about it, the harder it is to even consider these as separate scores. Like the novel--which isn't actually a trilogy at all, but a single novel published in three volumes--I've come to consider them a single, great score. Which speaks to the power of Shore's work as well as anything else, I guess.

So since the Academy sorta recognized the whole trilogy by honoring the last installment, I guess I'll do the same.

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You made the right decision my friend! ;)

And you can't get much grander than this!

But yes, yes, I think I know what kind of "grand" you're talking about.

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ROTK has a slight edge over FOTR, but I can't explain why. I might change my mind tomorrow.

But The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the only Hobbit score I've honestly listened to in its entirety, even though it left really no impression on me. I tried to listen to DOS and BOFA, but simply couldn't stay interested in them long enough to stick it out.

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And you can't get much grander than this!

But yes, yes, I think I know what kind of "grand" you're talking about.

Heh . . . y'got me, buddy. In trying to make my point, I was actually just pulling themes out of the air without much thought. You win the day on this one: the "For Frodo" moment is the absolute pinnacle of the Fellowship theme (and one of the pinnacles of the three scores in itself!).

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What? Bilbo shell shocked from his experiences.

(he cant even utter a word to Gandalf). Refusing to join in with the festivities and goes home instead. Lies to Gandalf about having lost his Ring. Finds his home emptied and his belongings sold. And in the end is slowly ensnared by the lure of the One.

It's a huge downer of an ending. Almost Se7en-like!

But seriously, that final shot of Freeman's Bilbo. his face when he gazes upon the Ring, is actually quite chilling.

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Both middle chapters. There is something gritty, earthy and ancient about their moody sound. They create a sense of verisimilitude that's quite unlike most fantasy film music. Not the obvious ornamented wondrous way.

Karol

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I keep coming back to these scores, hoping to finally hear something that truly captures my heart, to really get where all the love they get comes from. I've been doing it since 2001. So for nothing. And I really wish it were otherwise

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Though I don't really think there's much to get in Gia's music or that there's something worthwhile that I'm missing. Whereas with this, conceptually, it looks brilliant. The whole architecture of these scores, their blueprint, so to speak, is fascinating. But then comes the music, and it just doesn't do it for me.

It's like a fantastic plan of a so-so real builiding

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I keep coming back to these scores, hoping to finally hear something that truly captures my heart, to really get where all the love they get comes from. I've been doing it since 2001. So for nothing. And I really wish it were otherwise

Just give up Romão. I think 14 years is enough to lament this. Not your kind of music. We Finns have a saying, no use wasting shots on a murder of crows.

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Any place I could read a good track by track analysis of these scores?

Well there is the Doug Adams's book for Lord of the Rings but that is available only in print. The Hobbit music will probably receive a similar one in the near future.

There are what were called The Annotated Scores (additional PDF liner notes) that came out to complement the Lord of the Rings Complete Recordings in essence track-by-track analysis but the Doug Adams's book offers more complete descriptions than these. Here are the links in BloodBoals post from a few days ago:

I never got those PDFs. Disappointed to know there's info in there that I've missed!

There you go:

The Fellowship Of The Ring - The Annotated Score

The Two Towers - The Annotated Score

The Return Of The King - The Annotated Score

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the "For Frodo" moment is the absolute pinnacle of the Fellowship theme (and one of the pinnacles of the three scores in itself!).

The statement in Sammath Naur is nice too

It just takes a bit longer for it to come to the point. ;)

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the "For Frodo" moment is the absolute pinnacle of the Fellowship theme (and one of the pinnacles of the three scores in itself!).

The statement in Sammath Naur is nice too

It just takes a bit longer for it to come to the point. ;)

I like that choral symphony feel to it.

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Any place I could read a good track by track analysis of these scores?

Well there is the Doug Adams's book for Lord of the Rings but that is available only in print. The Hobbit music will probably receive a similar one in the near future.

There are what were called The Annotated Scores (additional PDF liner notes) that came out to complement the Lord of the Rings Complete Recordings in essence track-by-track analysis but the Doug Adams's book offers more complete descriptions than these. Here are the links in BloodBoals post from a few days ago:

I never got those PDFs. Disappointed to know there's info in there that I've missed!

There you go:

The Fellowship Of The Ring - The Annotated Score

The Two Towers - The Annotated Score

The Return Of The King - The Annotated Score

Thank you, albeit those are not particularly detailed. But it does name my favorite theme of the whole saga, that I which had been used more often: The Journey There theme

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I keep coming back to these scores, hoping to finally hear something that truly captures my heart, to really get where all the love they get comes from. I've been doing it since 2001. So for nothing. And I really wish it were otherwise

Just give up Romão. I think 14 years is enough to lament this. Not your kind of music. We Finns have a saying, no use wasting shots on a murder of crows.

Why would you murder crows? Is that a national sport in Finland or what?

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I keep coming back to these scores, hoping to finally hear something that truly captures my heart, to really get where all the love they get comes from. I've been doing it since 2001. So for nothing. And I really wish it were otherwise

Just give up Romão. I think 14 years is enough to lament this. Not your kind of music. We Finns have a saying, no use wasting shots on a murder of crows.

Why would you murder crows? Is that a national sport in Finland or what?

I am sure you are aware the term "a murder" means "a flock" of crows.

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Just listened to Battle of the Five armies. It has some nice moments but it's like Howard Shore says "I'm glad there's no more movies because I'm running out of ideas for this music"

And you liked the Star Wars teaser?

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