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SOUNDTRACK: The Fellowship Of The Ring - Howard Shore (2001)


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On 12/19/2016 at 8:28 AM, Incanus said:

I very much agree with you on most points here, especially that the opening half's over-emphasis on the Ringwraiths's theme. And of course I missed the History of the Ring theme after I saw the film. It is perhaps my favourite theme from the whole trilogy and its single use was just too little! I wanted more! 

 

Luckily we got more. But this single disc is a pretty good at distilling the highlights of the first score into 70+ minutes.

Is the history of the ring Theme even on the OST?

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I wish we had a "theatrical cut" complete recordings.   The FOTR soundtrack album is one of my all time favorites. I prefer it a little over the complete recordings because of how well assem

The CR isn't repetitive if you're like me and love every second of the music.

Oops sorry! The excitement clearly gave me a rush of blood to the head!   @Kühni?! Thanks!

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm still knee deep in this score at the moment. Living and breathing it.

 

I mainly stick to the CR, but with a slight adjustment at the beginning: I replace the introductory EE Shire material with Concerning Hobbit's from the OST. Not only is it a much more nicely rounded cue of that setting, with a greatly preferred tempo to boot; but it also does away with that awful and intrusive panicky Bilbo music - which had no business being in the movie even as a bonus scene.

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2 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Quite amazing that this theme, which is pretty much the central theme for this trilogy was apparently not composed until quite late.

 

I wouldn't know about that. Like I said, it is present in The Prophecy which I believe was composed quite early. Its just that originally Shore wanted it to be much more understated, perhaps saving its definitive statements to the other two films.

 

I believe the first themes composed by Shore were The Shire Theme, Frodo's Theme (i.e. the hymn setting) and then the Fellowship Theme, A Hobbit's Understanding and the Dwarvish material required for the Moria setpiece.

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On 11/4/2006 at 5:53 PM, Jay said:

The History of the Ring

 

  • FOTR I-1 Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All 0:40-1:18
  • FOTR I-1 Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All 4:05-4:18
  • FOTR I-1 Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All 4:55-5:23
  • FOTR I-1 Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All 6:39-7:08
  • FOTR I-7 Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe 4:29-5:05
  • FOTR I-8 A Conspiracy Unmasked 2:25-3:01
  • FOTR II-7 The Council of Elrond Assembles 3:22-3:28
  • FOTR II-11 The Doors of Durin 0:37-0:56
  • FOTR III-4 The Fighting Uruk Hai 10:31-11:06
  • FOTR III-5 Parth Galen 0:28-1:06
  • FOTR III-5 Parth Galen 3:08-3:25
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Jurassic Shark completely misinterpreted Steef's question.  Steef asked where it it heard in the OST track "The Prophecy".  Neither of Shark's replies to that question actually answer it.

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On 1/8/2020 at 2:20 PM, Stefancos said:

 

The two notes could just be incidental. the 6 notes are actually another theme. I think it also appears in ROTK.

 

 

 

I always heard the 2 notes as a hint of the History theme. And I think that yeah, the 6 notes at 1:00 sound like that Evil of the Ring/History of the Ring hybrid from RotK.

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On 1/7/2020 at 9:31 AM, Quintus said:

I'm still knee deep in this score at the moment. Living and breathing it.

 

I mainly stick to the CR, but with a slight adjustment at the beginning: I replace the introductory EE Shire material with Concerning Hobbit's from the OST. Not only is it a much more nicely rounded cue of that setting, with a greatly preferred tempo to boot; but it also does away with that awful and intrusive panicky Bilbo music - which had no business being in the movie even as a bonus scene.

 

I wish we had a "theatrical cut" complete recordings.

 

The FOTR soundtrack album is one of my all time favorites. I prefer it a little over the complete recordings because of how well assembled it is and how well it works as an album.

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On 1/27/2020 at 11:49 PM, wowbobwow said:

The FOTR soundtrack album is one of my all time favorites. I prefer it a little over the complete recordings because of how well assembled it is and how well it works as an album.

 

It's indeed very good. The CR is just too repetitive.

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22 minutes ago, Arpy said:

The CR isn't repetitive if you're like me and love every second of the music.

 

Considering the sheer amount of music, I can listen to it with the ease. I can't say the same for E.T., for example; a much shorter score, and one which I love dearly. But there's a lot of skippable material in those albums to get to the more juicy highlights. FotR CR may go on a bit, but I just absolutely love the atmosphere of it all. 

 

Well, I say all - I can't stand the Enya parts.

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4 minutes ago, Quintus said:

 

Considering the sheer amount of music, I can listen to it with the ease. I can't say the same for E.T., for example; a much shorter score, and one which I love dearly. But there's a lot of skippable material in those albums, to get to the more juicy highlights. FotR CR may go on a bit, but I just absolutely love the atmosphere of it all. 

 

Well, I say all - I can't stand the Enya parts.

I think it has to do with the change in tone from scene to scene in E.T. but both have moments where nothing is going on. Lots of stopping and starting, but LOTR feels more operatic so there isn't that jilted feeling.

 

I like the Council of Elrond Enya parts, but yes, May it Be is something I seldom return to.

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13 minutes ago, Arpy said:

 

I think it has to do with the change in tone from scene to scene in E.T. but both have moments where nothing is going on. Lots of stopping and starting, but LOTR feels more operatic so there isn't that jilted feeling.

 

That's a good way to put it. There's a sense of grand operatic sweep in LotR's music from one scene/cue to the next, due to the nature of the film.

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39 minutes ago, Arpy said:

Where were you @Quintus when the Star Wars vs. LotR scores poll was happening? Everyone was naturally biased towards the Star Wars scores.

 

There's been a lot of those threads over the years. At one time LotR stuff was dominating the board, to the extent that it eventually needed to be moved out of GD and into its own sub forum.

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Possibly. Lean’s filmography demonstrates that he likes to work in a 19th/20th century setting, although he did direct a sequence in The Greatest Story Ever Told.

 

A few years later, he and Bolt were also briefly attached to Dune, so he wasn’t necessarily above genre pictures. Surely, there are aspect of The Lord of the Rings that will have appealed to him: his brother was acquainted with Tolkien, and the corruption of Frodo, the behavior of characters like Boromir and Denethor were right in his wheelhouse.

 

The Ring as an antagonist surely will have suited him, too. When Spielberg asked Lean who the villain of Nostromo was, Lean answered: “money.” This is the same idea.

 

Its also interesting that a prodigy of Lean’s, John Boorman, would be the one to actually write a script for just such an adaptation, not two years later.

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  • 10 months later...

How about a review from back when this first came out? Courtesy of @Tom Guernsey (if this is a no-no and brings back 2001 memories, please let me know):

 

Of the various names bandied about as composer for Fellowship of the Ring, it was perhaps the thought of Wojiech Kilar tackling Tolkien that sounded most promising and probably the thought of James Horner the least. Maybe fifteen years ago, Horner would have been a great choice, but based on recent efforts, I rather feel it would have been another warmed over effort. Howard Shore has written an eclectic mix of scores from the often unbearable writing for David Cronenberg to the warmed over Marc Shaiman of Mrs Doubtfire to his best efforts such as the thrilling Dogma, the chilling Silence of the Lambs and the playful, but quirky Ed Wood. However, nothing has been in the same league in terms of scope as Fellowship of the Ring. He is not a composer accustomed to tackling what would traditional be regarded as epic material only worthy of a John Williams score and the fact that Fellowship of the Ring is such a triumph is quite possibly because it is something new and he poured everything into it.

 

Some may remember Leonard Rosenman's superb score to Ralph Bakshi's animated version of the first half of Lord of the Rings and while that contained its share of hair raising choral passages, nothing reaches the Wagnerian drama of Shore's effort. From the opening choral majesty of The Prophecy to the nerve tingling drama of The Treason of Isengard and A Knife in the Dark, one cannot fail to be thrilled. Many reviewers have commented how the choral music functions in the way Williams' Duel of the Fates does in The Phantom Menace. While Duel of the Fates is an absolutely outstanding concert piece, its appearances in the film and on the soundtrack albums didn't really drive the fabric of the underscore as a whole, whereas here Shore's choral music is absolutely integral. The orchestra(s) are obviously still important and taught brass writing is present in abundance, notable in Flight to the Ford. The pastoral string and woodwind writing is also rich and very calming.

 

The choir is not only a precursor of dread, but also of awe. Many Meetings has a quasi heavenly sound that still resolutely avoids being in any way insipid. It also show cases the score's dominant theme, an almost hymnal melody that brings to mind (by way of comparison) a non-Celtic Braveheart that works extremely well in supplying a quieter form of grandeur. Shore even works in some more jaunty material; Concerning Hobbits and parts of The Black Rider have a folksy quality that transcends the simplicity of the Hobbits into the complex story and musical tapestry. I know that the thought of folksy in amongst the striking drama doesn't sound promising, but it works surprisingly well.

 

If the thought of folksy doesn't upset someone, then the thought of Enya quite possibly might. I never realised how popular she was across the Pond, but she has almost become the sole selling point of the album. Her contributions actually mesh well with Shore's score, or as well as they can do and May it Be certainly doesn't spoil the finale (it could be worse, it could be Celine Dion). Anyone familiar with Enya won't find much new in her writing, but anything too striking would have worked against Shore's efforts so they end up being pleasant diversions in proceedings rather than huge jumps in musical narrative.

 

There is more effort required on the part of the listener than more "traditional" epic scores and certainly a repeat listen or five is needed to pick up on all the melodic fragments. There are moments of instant impact, but one must listen to it several times to appreciate both the less obvious moments as well as the score as a whole. I doubt that many composers could have written anything better - although a couple of moments slightly suggest Elliot Goldenthal and given his work on Titus he might have written a superb score. However, it undoubtably stands as the pinnacle of Shore's career to date. In this instance, I suspect a double CD of more or less the complete score would be most welcome and failing that, there's always the next part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and I for one can't wait.

 

Rating ~ *****

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4 hours ago, Kühni said:

How about a review from back when this first came out? Courtesy of @Tom Guernsey (if this is a no-no and brings back 2001 memories, please let me know):

 

Of the various names bandied about as composer for Fellowship of the Ring, it was perhaps the thought of Wojiech Kilar tackling Tolkien that sounded most promising and probably the thought of James Horner the least. Maybe fifteen years ago, Horner would have been a great choice, but based on recent efforts, I rather feel it would have been another warmed over effort. Howard Shore has written an eclectic mix of scores from the often unbearable writing for David Cronenberg to the warmed over Marc Shaiman of Mrs Doubtfire to his best efforts such as the thrilling Dogma, the chilling Silence of the Lambs and the playful, but quirky Ed Wood. However, nothing has been in the same league in terms of scope as Fellowship of the Ring. He is not a composer accustomed to tackling what would traditional be regarded as epic material only worthy of a John Williams score and the fact that Fellowship of the Ring is such a triumph is quite possibly because it is something new and he poured everything into it.

 

Some may remember Leonard Rosenman's superb score to Ralph Bakshi's animated version of the first half of Lord of the Rings and while that contained its share of hair raising choral passages, nothing reaches the Wagnerian drama of Shore's effort. From the opening choral majesty of The Prophecy to the nerve tingling drama of The Treason of Isengard and A Knife in the Dark, one cannot fail to be thrilled. Many reviewers have commented how the choral music functions in the way Williams' Duel of the Fates does in The Phantom Menace. While Duel of the Fates is an absolutely outstanding concert piece, its appearances in the film and on the soundtrack albums didn't really drive the fabric of the underscore as a whole, whereas here Shore's choral music is absolutely integral. The orchestra(s) are obviously still important and taught brass writing is present in abundance, notable in Flight to the Ford. The pastoral string and woodwind writing is also rich and very calming.

 

The choir is not only a precursor of dread, but also of awe. Many Meetings has a quasi heavenly sound that still resolutely avoids being in any way insipid. It also show cases the score's dominant theme, an almost hymnal melody that brings to mind (by way of comparison) a non-Celtic Braveheart that works extremely well in supplying a quieter form of grandeur. Shore even works in some more jaunty material; Concerning Hobbits and parts of The Black Rider have a folksy quality that transcends the simplicity of the Hobbits into the complex story and musical tapestry. I know that the thought of folksy in amongst the striking drama doesn't sound promising, but it works surprisingly well.

 

If the thought of folksy doesn't upset someone, then the thought of Enya quite possibly might. I never realised how popular she was across the Pond, but she has almost become the sole selling point of the album. Her contributions actually mesh well with Shore's score, or as well as they can do and May it Be certainly doesn't spoil the finale (it could be worse, it could be Celine Dion). Anyone familiar with Enya won't find much new in her writing, but anything too striking would have worked against Shore's efforts so they end up being pleasant diversions in proceedings rather than huge jumps in musical narrative.

 

There is more effort required on the part of the listener than more "traditional" epic scores and certainly a repeat listen or five is needed to pick up on all the melodic fragments. There are moments of instant impact, but one must listen to it several times to appreciate both the less obvious moments as well as the score as a whole. I doubt that many composers could have written anything better - although a couple of moments slightly suggest Elliot Goldenthal and given his work on Titus he might have written a superb score. However, it undoubtably stands as the pinnacle of Shore's career to date. In this instance, I suspect a double CD of more or less the complete score would be most welcome and failing that, there's always the next part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and I for one can't wait.

 

Rating ~ *****

Man that is a less terrible review than I would have imagined. Think I like James Horner more now but still...

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31 minutes ago, Kühni said:

 

I saved some 200+ of your reviews back in October, 2003. 

 

ser.JPG

Haha cool. Hope they are occasionally interesting!

21 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Chicken Run, please!

It’s a great score even though I think Julian Nott was robbed of the opportunity to get a big break in Hollywood....

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