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Howard Shore's THE LORD OF THE RINGS


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50 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

I'd love updated expansions as much as the next LotR fan, but I just can't see it happening. If the CRs were only revisited last year with no musical content change, I don't see the appetite from Shore nor anyone else involved, in making even more music available.

 

I dunno, I could see one of the specialty labels having a go at them one day. They know there's a huge audience of Tolkien fanatics who would eat up huge box sets for each film. Just need to wait for the current rights to expire, I guess?

 

Though from what Adams says, it does appear the rights situation is quite complex on these scores (probably due to all the various mergers).

 

I'm a little surprised the smaller labels haven't come in and tried licensing the Hobbit scores in limited quantities yet (so far as we're aware), so it must be way more complex than your average score.

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I reckon that the majority of people just think enough has been released, and that the smaller labels don't have an interest in it. And to be fair, with LotR it's not an Indy situation where we have actual score cues missing.

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54 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

I reckon that the majority of people just think enough has been released, and that the smaller labels don't have an interest in it. And to be fair, with LotR it's not an Indy situation where we have actual score cues missing.

Well, there was a an unused "cue" not in the film or on CR, for Aragorn and Legolas right before The Palantir IIRC.

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On 1/1/2021 at 3:45 PM, Spider-Fal said:

Well, there was a an unused "cue" not in the film or on CR, for Aragorn and Legolas right before The Palantir IIRC.

This was recorded, but it's also very short. It sounds somewhat incongruous next to Eowyn's Dream (which wasn't in the theatrical cut as scored).

 

Incidentally, this sequence was originally intercut with the first Sam and Frodo scenes. There are a few transitional moments recorded for that cut that couldn't easily be incorporated on the CR.

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I’ve recently been making my personal edits of these scores with the OSTs as the foundation while adding in bits of the CRs here and there where appropriate.

 

The OST for ROtK of course was pretty hard to create a chronological presentation of. And I actually liked some of the suites that Shore created instead. So it’s still not completely chronological. But this includes some of the big highlights (for me) that the CRs had that were absent from the OST. It would make a nice 2CD version of the score at 90 mins. 

 

A Storm Is Coming (OST)

The Road to Isengard ( CR)

Hope and Memory (OST)

Twilight and shadow (OST *edit with snippet of “Minis Tirith” and “White Tree” from OST at the end)

Cirith Ungol (OST never could quite tell where this one went. But it fit nicely here)

Minis Tirith (OST *edited)

The White Tree (OST* edited)

The Ride of the Rohirim  (OST)

Minas Morgul (OST)

Steward of Gondor (OST)

Andúril (OST)

Ash and Smoke (OST* edited into chronological order and inserted applicable section from “Fields of the Pelenor” (OST))

Shelob’s Lair (OST)

A Far Green Country (CR)

The Battle of the Pelenor Fields (CR)

A Shield Maiden of Rohan (CR)

The Passing of Theodon (CR)

Hope Fails (OST)

The Black Gate Opens (OST)

The End of All Things ( Starts with the first 45 seconds of “For Frodo” (CR) and then the rest is from the OST track. Ends with the last 2:23 from “Sammath Naur “ from the Rarities Archive)

The Return of the King (OST)

The Grey Havens (OST)

Elanor (CR)

Into the West (OST)

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

What were the first cues they recorded? Did any Day 1 material end up being the final take that we could listen to on the CR to celebrate?

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6 minutes ago, Jim Ware said:

Balin's Tomb (m91) was the first piece recorded. On the CR, it can be heard from 1:13-3:01 in the track of the same name. 

 

Do we by any chance have the orchestra's first reading of the piece on the album, or is it some later take?

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1 hour ago, Jim Ware said:

Also recorded on this day - Gollum (m88) and Orc Attack (m93, appears immediately after Balin's Tomb in the CR track of the same name). 

And now I remembered a table in Doug's book - page 362, it says they also recorded 2 takes of Mithril Vest on the 17th, but then 7 more on the 18th so presumably those 2 aren't released. What a way to finish the first day after 9PM! Spirits must've been high.

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This is what I have in my old notes for the start of the second half of the film

 

47A Gilraen's Memorial     TCR II-9 "Gilraen's Memorial" (0:00-1:08) 1:08
48 Bilbo's Gifts TCR II-9 "Gilraen's Memorial" (1:08-2:03) + OST 11 (0:18-0:46) 1:22 TCR II-9 "Gilraen's Memorial" (1:08-2:40) 1:32
48A The Departure of the Fellowship     TCR II-9 "Gilraen's Memorial" (2:40-3:46) 1:06
49 The Ring Goes South OST 11 "The Ring Goes South" (0:46-end) 1:13 TCR II-9 "Gilraen's Memorial" (3:46-end) 1:15
50 Hobbit Duel TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (0:00-0:12) 0:14 TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (0:00-0:21) 0:21
51 Crebain Spies TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (0:21-1:20) 0:58    
52 To Caradhras TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (1:20-1:50) 0:30    
53 A Strange Fate TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (1:50-2:23) 0:33    
54 Into the Caverns TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (2:23-3:07) 0:44    
55 The Pass of Caradhras TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (3:07-4:18) 1:11    
56 The Ring-Bearer TCR II-10 "The Pass of Caradhras" (4:18-end) 0:46    
57 The Walls of Moria Unreleased 0:33 TCR II-11 "The Doors of Durin" (0:00-1:35) 1:35
58 The Doors of Durin Unreleased 0:56 TCR II-11 "The Doors of Durin" (1:35-3:09) 1:34
59 Speak Friend and Enter TCR II-11 "The Doors of Durin" (3:09-3:49) 0:40    
60 Into The Mines TCR II-11 "The Doors of Durin" (3:49-4:20) 0:31    
61 The Watcher TCR II-11 "The Doors of Durin" (4:20-end) 1:43    
62 A Journey In The Dark OST 12 "A Journey In The Dark" (0:00-1:17) 1:17 TCR II-12 "Moria" 2:27
63 Gollum TCR II-13 "Gollum (0:00-0:13) + (0:32-1:18) 0:59 TCR II-13 "Gollum" (0:00-1:18) 1:18
64 Fate Of Many TCR II-13 "Gollum" (1:18-end) 1:08    
65 Dwarrowdelf TCR II-14 "Balin's Tomb" (0:00-1:12) 1:12    
66 Balin's Tomb TCR II-14 "Balin's Tomb" (1:12-3:00) 1:48    
67 Orc Attack TCR II-14 "Balin's Tomb" (3:00-4:06) 1:06    
68 The Cave Troll TCR II-14 "Balin's Tomb" (4:06-6:42) 2:36    
69 Mithril! TCR II-14 "Balin's Tomb" (6:42-7:26) 0:44    
70 The Second Hall TCR II-14 "Balin's Tomb" (7:26-end) 1:04    
71 The Bridge of Khazad-Dum TCR III-1 "Khazad-Dum" (0:00-3:33) 3:33    
72 The Balrog TCR III-1 "Khazad-Dum" (3:33-5:20) 1:47    
73 Gandalf's Demise TCR III-1 "Khazad-Dum" (5:20-6:55) 1:35    
74 Elegy For Gandalf TCR III-1 "Khazad-Dum" (6:55-end) 1:05    
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Seeing it all broken down into such small cues is always a bit shocking.

 

The CRs and especially Doug's book alongside them make it all feel like an immutable whole, a complete vision that was almost composed standalone as a musical work and a movie happened to be attached to it, a mostly singular vision with only a couple glimpses at how it changed, on the bonus disc. This all works very well of course for the purposes of the book, which wants to guide you along the in-universe story and point out how Shore tells that story musically, not guide you along the story of how Shore composed and recorded it.

 

The actual recording process must be kind of hell - as the composer, you're presenting your vision that you feel works as a whole chopped to bits, asked to alter one bit at a time, by the time you get to RotK, you're scoring half-blind, ending cues in a way that you can pick them up in a month when you can finally see and score the cut that has that scene finished enough, but even back in those first days, you're recording The Second Hall, the big showstopper Fellowship statement on the second day, you have to know where you are in the journey, how big it can be, will it have been set up enough in straight enough renditions by this point in the final film, are you allowed to play with it since the audience knows it well enough, should you do it more straight since it's for the Cannes presentation and will possibly have to be rerecorded in months after the sequence has been reedited anyway? And as the director, how do you give honest feedback for such a piecemeal approach, do you trust the composer enough that it will all work, do you presume to know better since you're the director and tell him this is a piece of nothing, a transition from nothing to nothing (so far), write something better?

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15 hours ago, Holko said:

And now I remembered a table in Doug's book - page 362, it says they also recorded 2 takes of Mithril Vest on the 17th, but then 7 more on the 18th so presumably those 2 aren't released. What a way to finish the first day after 9PM! Spirits must've been high.

The takes from the 18th are the ones used (38/39/44).

 

13 hours ago, Falco said:

If I am not mistaken, Mithril Vest is 5:21-7:26

Exactly right!

 

16 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Do we by any chance have the orchestra's first reading of the piece on the album, or is it some later take?

 

The film uses takes 9 and 11 of Balin's Tomb. 

 

As an aside, if we include the EE material there are over 1700 recorded takes for Fellowship alone.

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4 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

As an aside, if we include the EE material there are over 1700 recorded takes for Fellowship alone.

 

Just orchestra or also solo instruments/bands, soloists, choir, etecetra?

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13 hours ago, Holko said:

Seeing it all broken down into such small cues is always a bit shocking.

 

The CRs and especially Doug's book alongside them make it all feel like an immutable whole, a complete vision that was almost composed standalone as a musical work  ....not guide you along the story of how Shore composed and recorded it.

 

 

Well, IIRC Shore does compose in those longer form pieces with rests for unscored scenes, but breaks it up for recording purposes (as opposedbto Horner, who just recorded long cues as they were)

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On 4/18/2021 at 11:06 PM, Doug Adams said:

 

That's not inaccurate. 

 

Funny Doug is the best Doug! :D

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11 hours ago, gkgyver said:

Was probably the last project of this gravity the industry will ever see. 

 

I guess you could consider LotR a "perfect storm" of sorts. Incredibly strong source material, a director and crew dedicated (and permitted!) to incredible detail in bringing the story and, more importantly, world to life, a talented composer with a broad-but-as-of-then-not-yet-unleashed spectrum at his disposal...I can't think of other films where the combination of time, planning, execution, re-considering etc. reached such a perfect mix.

 

One could argue that Don Davis' Matrix trilogy was on a similar level of musical craftsmanship, but it didn't have the luxury of a completed (and/or strong) story to write to. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Stumbled onto this lovely all-cello tribute/arrangement that manages to blend the Fellowship, Rivendell, the Shire, Into the West...even the Wagnerian finale in a pretty sophisticated way. Looking forward to the whole album!

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 31/08/2021 at 3:51 AM, KK said:

Stumbled onto this lovely all-cello tribute/arrangement that manages to blend the Fellowship, Rivendell, the Shire, Into the West...even the Wagnerian finale in a pretty sophisticated way. Looking forward to the whole album!

 

 

Yo, KK, thanks for bringing this to my/our attention. Sounds fabulous (guy looks fabulous, too). My favourite of his arrangements is Minas Tirith:

 

 

And the portamento during his take on Mordor/Ringwraiths is fantastically scoregasmic. I shall purchase this forthwith. Yes, forthwith:lol:

 

EDIT: Well, the CD's too expensive, and the digital release is an additional $5. Tough luck...YouTube is the way to go. Meh.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 01/11/2021 at 4:19 AM, Kühni said:

Yo, KK, thanks for bringing this to my/our attention. Sounds fabulous (guy looks fabulous, too). My favourite of his arrangements is Minas Tirith

 

 

Interesting rendition!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been listening to FOTR a lot too, various sections at a time though, with so many different pieces of all the music recorded scattered across so many places currently. I should give the ole OST another listen, it is a classic. 

 

I wish they'd release it as a high def digital download, so we could have it in the same qualify as the CR releases. 

 

The FOTR OST is superbly assembled, and it is hard to think about what you'd swap out for something else. 

 

I guess the most common complaints are "not enough History of the Ring theme" and "too much Nazgul theme". 

 

For the former, it's easily understandable since the album was probably locked before the revised prologue was a thing, and the Parth Galen material with the theme probably isn't crucial to the narrative. For the latter, maybe you could swap one of those early tracks with it for something else, but that's a hard decision because all those tracks are so good!

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I agree about the second half of the FotR OST, but I'd say that only one of two of tracks 3-8 needed to be there. I find the 'too much Nazgul theme' thing a significant problem, partly due to playability, and also because you could fit 2 or 3 other major highlights in place of some of it.

 

Yes, they're all good, but most of them aren't essential if you've only got 75 minutes to represent a 3 hour score.

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21 hours ago, Jay said:

I guess the most common complaints are "not enough History of the Ring theme" and "too much Nazgul theme". 

 

There's definitely a little too much Nazgûl. I would have dropped one of those tracks and added the Caradhras sequence.

 

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21 hours ago, Jay said:

I wish they'd release it as a high def digital download, so we could have it in the same qualify as the CR releases. 

 

Do you agree, @Disco Stu?

 

21 hours ago, Jay said:

I guess the most common complaints are "not enough History of the Ring theme"

 

This is easily fixed by putting the track on repeat.

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I agree there's a bit too much Nazgul, but I don't think there's "too little History of the Ring." Its wrong to apply the usual film-score logic of the score being centered around a "main theme."

 

The significance of the History of the Ring is not in the number of its occurences. Its not that kind of score.

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Some assembly of Caradhras music would be a great substitute track for the OST album indeed.

 

Other possibilities would be an assembly of early Gandalf/Bilbo music, the Door of Durin sequence, or the fight with the cave troll.

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I'd probably lose tracks 4, 5, 6 and 8, and add in some sort of assembly of Caradhras/Durin, the cave troll fight, the unedited Khazad-dum, and yeah, probably a bit more Gandalf/Bilbo music from early on.

 

It needs a bit more of the connective tissue type scoring outside of the action and Nazgul bits.

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"The Prophecy" and "Concerning Hobbits" is a great 1-2 punch to set up the whole score, but then to jump all the way to Gandalf pondering the ring after Bilbo's already departed to start the third track, skips over a lot of good stuff:

 

-Beautiful Pensive Shire theme for Bilbo and Gandalf warmly greeting each other, as well as smoking their pipes together later

-the fun fireworks music

-all the music for Gandalf and Bilbo talking alone in Bag End before he ultimately departs


Some of that appearing on the OST instead of one of the Nazgul tracks would have been pretty great I'd say

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Exactly - it's not that what's on there is undeserving, but that it prevents variety from other places.

 

With RotK, and I'm sure TTT to some extent, Shore is limited by what's recorded, but it feels like with FotR he just decided to choose a lot of Ringwraith material.

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On 30/08/2021 at 9:51 PM, KK said:

Stumbled onto this lovely all-cello tribute/arrangement that manages to blend the Fellowship, Rivendell, the Shire, Into the West...even the Wagnerian finale in a pretty sophisticated way. Looking forward to the whole album!

 

 

 

Really surprised Game of Thrones theme was not on here with that collection her picked

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