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The Return Of The King COMPLETE RECORDINGS 4CD set


sandman609
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I just finished listening to the ROTK CR. Wow. Absolutley amazing. It starts out very strong, with two brilliant opening tracks. The middle is a bit shaky for me, with mainly very good tracks but still a bit of dead music scattered here and there. But once you get to the third disc, you're in for a real treat. I like every single track on discs 3-4, which is incredibly rare for me. The action music is superb, almost all of the important themes get loud, bold, or impacting variations. The Battle of Pelenor Fields is amazing, especially in the beggining when Theoden comes. Then there's the climax--the destruction of the Ring. Amazing! The choir really shines here, the beauty, horror, and triumph is all emphasiazed. Then there is the resolution. Tender strings, almost equivalent to Hand of Fate Part 2 play, along with a new dose of the beloved Shire music. In the end, I felt more than satisfied. It is a wonderful ending to a wonderful trilogy. It took 189 tracks, 13.4 hours, and 750.7 MB, but Shore's "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" is finally complete.

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I just finished listening to the ROTK CR. Wow. Absolutley amazing. It starts out very strong, with two brilliant opening tracks. The middle is a bit shaky for me, with mainly very good tracks but still a bit of dead music scattered here and there. But once you get to the third disc, you're in for a real treat. I like every single track on discs 3-4, which is incredibly rare for me. The action music is superb, almost all of the important themes get loud, bold, or impacting variations. The Battle of Pelenor Fields is amazing, especially in the beggining when Theoden comes. Then there's the climax--the destruction of the Ring. Amazing! The choir really shines here, the beauty, horror, and triumph is all emphasiazed. Then there is the resolution. Tender strings, almost equivalent to Hand of Fate Part 2 play, along with a new dose of the beloved Shire music. In the end, I felt more than satisfied. It is a wonderful ending to a wonderful trilogy. It took 189 tracks, 13.4 hours, and 750.7 MB, but Shore's "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" is finally complete.

Another Satisfied Customer!

750.MB? bit small that aint it?

Did you listen to it on DVD? its rather spectacular! :lol:

glad you liked it, im still and think always will be in love with this score! :D

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I haven't listened to the ROTK CR yet. But I had a question. On the OST, there is a track that features a motif that was heard only in the movies during the climb up Caradhas. And it was uncertain where this went. Did this appear on the ROTK CR? If so, where was it intended to go?

~Andy

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I haven't listened to the ROTK CR yet. But I had a question. On the OST, there is a track that features a motif that was heard only in the movies during the climb up Caradhas. And it was uncertain where this went. Did this appear on the ROTK CR? If so, where was it intended to go?

~Andy

The motif you are refering to is called Dangerous Passes and it plays twice in the Pass of Cirith Ungol in the RotK score. First when Frodo, Sam and Gollum are leaving the Morgul Vale after witnessing the passing of the Army of Minas Morgul and the second time when Frodo tells Sam to go home and goes on with Gollum to Shelob's Lair. Both statements were left out of the film.

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So I noticed "Days of the Ring" has an awkwardly tracked "suite." This is too bad. All that's needed is the original credits music: "Into the West," "Bilbo's Song" and the final coda (which, incidentally, should follow Bilbo's song, not precede it, I think).

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they should have released just the composed music for the credits in the CR then :/

And then somebody would have complained about why weren't the film versions of the end credits on the CRs :lol:

And I think that the End Credits cut/paste job is the weakest spot on the CRs. But then again it is as the music was presented in the films so we just have to live with it.

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they should have released just the composed music for the credits in the CR then :/

And then somebody would have complained about why weren't the film versions of the end credits on the CRs ;)

And I think that the End Credits cut/paste job is the weakest spot on the CRs. But then again it is as the music was presented in the films so we just have to live with it.

Dont people complain becasue the complete EE end credits are not present in the CR?

So they still complain in the end...

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Well, seeing how the full end credits on FotR EE run for a good 35 minutes, I really don't think we need all of it... ;)

Not the tracked portions, anyway (and the alternate Breaking of the Fellowship will probably be released next year).

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  • 3 months later...

I have a question which could be me talking rubbish or not.

In "For Frodo" on the ROTK CR, after the quiet initial statement of the Fellowship Theme, the grand following statement of the theme is combined with the choir immediately as it begins, but I remember it from the film (and the audio rip I did of it) as the first part of the theme (dah-duh-dah-dah-dah) being orchestral, with the choir kicking in after that point as the Hobbits et al follow Aragorn towards the Black Gate. Is this right, or is my memory being tricksy and false?

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No, that's right, they just dialled the choir out until the B part of the theme. One of the more pleasant surprises on the CR.

The obsessive completist in me wants to rip that tiny bit and make a film version <_<

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  • 7 years later...

And here is the final instalment of my assessments of the CR, this one from March 2008:

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

Consider yourselves warned, this will be a thousand words long:

 

Well, I have been listening to this lovely set for the past six weeks. Almost daily. There was some other film music in between, but 80% of the time I was listening to stuff from my collection, it was RotK Complete.

 

You are all aware of my love for the LotR trilogy, book, film, and score. This, of course, makes anything I say about it inherently biased, but still...since the journey ends with the RotK set (kinda), a summary of sorts seems appropriate now.


First off, this set is, once again, a revelation. While the thrill of the opening chapter, The Fellowship of the Ring, was absent both from T2T and RotK, listening to the music Howard Shore conceived for RotK is almost a religious experience for me (and before anybody accuses me of blasphemy...shove it!). Even after all these years, I still get goose-bumps from the music, get that manic grin some of you know, get teary-eyed etc. And it keeps on being interesting to listen to. Even now I find myself thinking: "Whoa...I haven't noticed this before...", although Doug Adams' exemplary liner notes helped connecting the dots. ;)

 

I know that some of you have problems with the music, for whatever reasons (both valid and no). I probably cannot offer a musicological explanation for why I adore this music (hi, Chris Tilton, you jolly old gasbag!), but I don't think I have to do this anyhow. It's primarily an emotional experience, which is kinda impossible to base on facts or specific details. There are too many whole notes and too much vertical and aleatoric writing for your liking? So what? It still sounds great! :D The trilogy offers some of the most gorgeous music I've ever heard, just as it offers the most ferocious, exciting, introspective, sorrowful, etc.

 

While Fellowship is and will continue to be my favourite part of the trilogy (partly due to it actually having been novel back in 2001), RotK has much to offer. Whether it be the complete Shelob's lair sequence, the complete Osgiliath sequence, the battle of Pelennor fields ("Shieldmaiden of Rohan"...Oh. My. GOD!), the increasingly desperate music accompanying Frodo and Sam to and through Mordor, or especially the three wall-shaking appearances of the 'Reclamation of Nature' (end of #15, CD 1; #4 and end of #16, CD 3), Shore cranks the music up to ridiculously activity and size and his method of "running themes into each other" to mirror the chaotic action on-screen makes for a marvellous listening experience. With the setting out of the Minas Morgul army (#14 on CD 1), the pulse of the music (and film!) begin beating and never wholly disappears until the climax.

 

Oh, and what a climax it is! Scoregasm material. Unbelievably so. During the 15 minutes from "For Frodo" (#16, CD 3) to "The Eagles" (#3, CD 4), Shore offers a culmination of themes and orchestral and choral power that, for me, is unrivaled in the history of film music. But what makes it even more outstanding, especially in the present climate of "everything must be bigger!", is that this musical zenith comes so naturally and appropriately. The journey of Frodo and Sam led us to Mount Doom, to this single moment of decision, and Shore's music has so perfectly illuminated this journey, and those that have offsprung (?) from it along the way. With the multitude of themes and motifs and their connections, the music informed us both of the action at hand and the bigger, overacing picture. And it never played as contrived or overly showy music. If there's a term for it, I'd say it's "being emotionally truthful". I know that this doesn't really explain anything and/or can be laid out ten different ways, but it's the best description I can come up with.

 

And when it's all said and done, the music is reduced to purity and quietness and "sails away with remarkable grace", as Christian C. once put it. All in all, Shore's music for the entire trilogy is remarkably mature, but never more than in the closing moments of RotK.

 

I remember being very skeptical when I heard back in 2000 that Howard Shore had been signed to do the score for LotR. I remember sitting in the cinema for my first watching of Fellowship on Dec. 21st, 2001 and being spellbound by this spectacle. I remember the slight apprehension at the question whether or not Shore could continue the music at such a high level. I remember the relief, joy and mounting excitement when it became clear that not only did he maintain that level, but actually went higher with the next two parts. (And I remember being absolutely thrilled to have been invited and attending the rehearsal of the first Fellowship concert in London in February of 2003.) I don't think that I will ever hear another score that has been composed, thought-out and performed with so much diligence as the LotR trilogy. Of course, Shore had, unlike Williams with the original Star Wars trilogy, the entire picture in front of him from the beginning and knew how to lay out the path.

 

One day, I hope to be able to listen to the DVDs of the Complete Recordings. After that, I think I can die as a happy man. Unless somebody manages to get The Silmarillion done in as true a way as Peter Jackson & Co. did with LotR, I don't think I will hear something better. And even with all the other LotR fans out there (and over at moviemusic.com), I still get most pleasure out of it by simply sitting in my room with a cup of tea and letting the music engulf me.

 

For over six years (and counting) of sheer musical joy and excitement, I tip my hat to Howard Shore, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Voices and everybody else who had something to do with the creation of this magnificent opus. Hannon le! :)

 

Thanks for reading, 
CK

 

PS: An irate note of condescension to those woolly-footed peabrains at Warner Music and Reprise Records who, for some fucking inane reason, did not expect the high demand for this release, pressed too few copies, so that I once again I had to ask somebody in the US to arrange for a copy from their personal collection to be sent my way. To that party, I owe unending gratitude! :) 

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9 minutes ago, Faleel said:

CK, did you do anything like this for the Rarities disc? I would love to read your early thoughts on that disc.

 

Good question, I honestly can't remember. It would be weird if I hadn't, however...

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