The Council Of Elrond [featuring the song "Aniron (Theme For Aragorn And Arwen)" composed & performed by Enya]
The Ring Goes South
A Journey In The Dark
The Bridge Of Khazad Dum
The Great River
The Breaking Of The Fellowship
May It Be [composed & performed by Enya]
Score composer Howard Shore has informed this first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy with his distinctly modern sensibilities. Revolving loosely around a brief, heroic brass theme, this epic is infused with a p... more »owerful rhythmic thrust and a musical range that encompasses centuries (from the Renaissance pastoralism of "Concerning Hobbits" to the fiery, Prokofiev-influenced drama of "A Knife in the Dark"). Key to the score's sense of mystery and magical place are the rich choral passages that are interspersed throughout, some so ominously gothic they make The Phantom Menace's "Duel of the Fates" sound almost sunny by comparison. Enya's contributions ("The Council of Elrond" and the song "May It Be") add a sense of organic tranquility, but it's Shore's Wagnerian-scaled orchestral score that should long be cherished by admirers of film music and hobbits alike. --Jerry McCulley« less
Score composer Howard Shore has informed this first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy with his distinctly modern sensibilities. Revolving loosely around a brief, heroic brass theme, this epic is infused with a powerful rhythmic thrust and a musical range that encompasses centuries (from the Renaissance pastoralism of "Concerning Hobbits" to the fiery, Prokofiev-influenced drama of "A Knife in the Dark"). Key to the score's sense of mystery and magical place are the rich choral passages that are interspersed throughout, some so ominously gothic they make The Phantom Menace's "Duel of the Fates" sound almost sunny by comparison. Enya's contributions ("The Council of Elrond" and the song "May It Be") add a sense of organic tranquility, but it's Shore's Wagnerian-scaled orchestral score that should long be cherished by admirers of film music and hobbits alike. --Jerry McCulley
Ken G. from BIRMINGHAM, AL Reviewed on 8/23/2010...
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It's Anybody's Guess
The Fingers On My Keyboard | 12/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are many avenues about this soundtrack worth examining and discussing. After all, with such great anticipation facing "The Fellowship of the Ring", how can anyone truthfully confess that he can help not wondering about how the music for the movie would turn out? Ideas and expectations abound: Could Peter Jackson acquire the Celtic pastoral feel he was gunning for? Or could fans expect something colder and more military sounding, something befitting of a movie of such epic proportions (literally)?When Howard Shore signed on, I'm sure plenty were apprehensive about his ability in such relevance, while others were willing to give him an open opportunity. But the debate is sure to rage on, even with the release of this edited record of a three-hour soundtrack. One score to rule them all, or just one score to fall? It's anybody's guess.On the one hand, to put it honestly, you hardly hear anything Celtic here (even with Enya around), except maybe for the occasional fiddle in "Concerning Hobbits". There's nothing very bright - or "pastoral" for that matter - about any of this music. It's very hard, very bitter, and even as you listen on, you can see how these pieces inevitably spiral towards the darker thematic side of J. R. R. Tolkien's story. It isn't entirely military, with rattling drums and soaring strings for the mere purpose of accompanying battle sequences, or the incidental monster encounter, but it isn't something you'll feel very cheerful listening to.On the other hand, that might not be so bad. Very evidently, this is not a thematic soundtrack. This can be clearly demonstrated by undisputed comparison to the soundtrack of the other fantasy counterpart - John Williams' "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Throughout the latter you somehow hear "Hedwig's Theme" all the time. But with Howard Shore's immensely dark choral verses and dramatic orchestral backing (while giving him less room to build up a proper, impressive theme), there is great space for variation. Honestly, there is hardly any piece that sounds alike with another. From the very beginning, "The Prophecy" sets it straight: This is a musical voyage that's going to go grim. But interspersed with such grimness come moments of subtle mysticism, heartfelt poignancy, and sometimes plain excitement that hints of an omen of death. "The Shadow of the Past" actually suits very appropriately the tone of that part of the story. It grinds gloomily into the listener's mind how utterly sickening the Ring of Power can be, but it doesn't grind too hard. No - it kind of floats on for other bits of the soundtrack to pound you harder. "The Black Rider" is typical of a looming omen, almost vividly portraying the coming of the Ringwraith just through audible music. "A Knife in the Dark", "Flight to the Ford" and, the sure favourite, "The Bridge of Khazad-Dum", ignite the soundtrack with dark adventure, a race for life, and the ever ominous uncertainty of what has yet to come.But Howard Shore really fleshes out his thirst for variety in all the vocal additions he has integrated quite cleverly into the music. Elizabeth Fraser's "Lament for Gandalf" in "Lothlorien" is aptly spooky and spine-tingling, and reminds you of how Enya creates her own ethereal voice. Though lyrics are included with the CD, the magic of this bit is that you never get to hear them sung clearly. It really is a lament, so to say - a mourning cry that is hauntingly - and surprisingly - melodious. Enya's involvement in this project will undoubtedly come under fire. On one hand, it may not be anything new that we've heard from her, and it may not be so beautifully Celtic as we've come to expect from her. On the other hand, maybe that's just the right kind of sound Peter Jackson and Howard Shore were looking for. For example, "Aniron" slips in somewhere in "The Council of Elrond" so delicately, it's almost as if Enya had composed that very theme, careful not to break any of the accompanying strings. The end title theme song she composed - "May It Be" - may not be so lush with the air of Ireland. But, really, should she be doing Ireland, or Middle Earth? If you think about it, her music, with Roma Ryan's lyrics, brilliantly sum up everything that "The Lord of the Rings" strives for: The painstaking fight for good over evil, and how love, courage and hope can give strength in such a battle.But, really - in the end, it's anyone's guess. There isn't anything particularly musical for anyone to hang on to in this soundtrack. To one, it could be something merely dedicated to pounding eardrums, or even an exhibition of plagiarism from the likes of John Williams and crew. To another, it could be a bold attempt, a take on something hardly anyone would have expected for a beautiful movie, dark or otherwise. Still, shouldn't you give it credit for provoking some thought?"
A flawless effort
Mental Floss | 11/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Howard Shore was certainly a somewhat unconventional choice for the score of "The Lord of the Rings". However, it has become obvious now that he was an excellent choice and that he was definitely up to the task.There are many unconventional tracks on this soundtrack. One of the most unconventional pieces is probably "The Bridge of Khazad-Dum" where Shore uses a male choir to great effect, building the proper tension for this scene, which is most likely going to be a centerpiece of the movie. Another very interesting cut is "Lothlorien", which has an "arabian" feel to it and which features haunting vocals in Quenya and Sindarin (two of Tolkien's invented languages) by Elizabeth Fraser. A favorite of mine is "A Knife in the Dark", which jumps from dark choir voices and pounding percussion directly to the beautiful and innocent voice of young Edward Ross, an amazing musical moment which can send shivers down the listener's spine. Edward Ross' vocals fit just as well into "The Breaking of the Fellowship", a mostly sad piece, setting the proper mood for the end of the movie.Even with these somewhat uncommon tracks, the soundtrack is never overbearing, and there are many atmospheric pieces which are needed to set the proper tone for a movie without distracting from the actual movie events. There are several excellent re-occuring themes, which give the soundtrack a certain consistency without becoming boring.Howard Shore also uses some celtic elements, especially on the light-hearted "Concerning Hobbits". In other places, he uses elvish lyrics or has the choir relentlessly chant verses in the Black Speech for the darker scenes, thus drawing upon the great reservoir of Tolkien's world.This soundtrack is of course being heavily promoted through Enya's appearance on two songs. "May it Be" is perhaps not Enya's most catchy tune, but it certainly shouldn't be catchy, as it is intended to be played over the movie credits just after the Breaking of the Fellowship, one of the saddest moments of the whole story. An uptempo tune a la "Orinoco Flows" would be out of place here. Enya's "Aniron", which is weaved into "The Council of Elrond" is perhaps a bit more interesting and showcases Enya's otherworldly voice very well.This is certainly a great score for anyone who likes good soundtracks which go a little bit beyond the usual "soundtrack mainstream". Of course, it is also a must for any Tolkien fan, as it is obvious that the music, even as a stand-alone effort without the movie, is inspired by Tolkien's writings and mirrors their mood very well."
A soundtrack fitting the movie
Sidney A. Meyer | Florida | 12/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tolkien wrote a literary masterpiece. I read it more than 30 years ago and was impressed then. As a movie it was fantastic, one of the rare movies from a book that is faithful and true to the mind's eye. Every LOTR fan that I know felt that the movie was a masterpiece. The score is perfect for the movie. It is not trite. It was not a commercialized effort to write as many tunes as possible so that a soundtrack would be a best seller. The soundtrack was meant for the movie and it did an aweome job. As far as albums go, it may be repetitive. It may not have tunes that are easily whistled or hummed. It is unlikely to have a hit theme song that will be played on the radio. However, as a movie soundtrack, it was superb for the very reason that it enhanced the movie and was an integral part of the whole. That explains why it does not stand as well on its own. I enjoy the album, not because it has great songs, but because it exudes the sense of LOTR. It is a tone poem of sorts. It exudes a mood. There is darkness, but there is also hope. There is fear, but there is courage. If you liked the movie and enjoyed the score, you will like the album. If you are looking for a standard movie soundtrack written with record sales in mind, then this is not an album that listens well as a stand alone. It must be understood in the context of the story and the movie. Also, be aware that the same album came out with multiple covers. Mine has Arwen on the front, but there were also versions with Frodo, or Sam or others from the story. The album inside is the same."
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - The Comp
enommaz | Grapevine, TX | 10/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"According to a very reputable source..."The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - The Complete Recordings" 4 disc soundtrack set will street on November 22, 2005.
The first 3 discs of the set will contain composer Howard Shore's entire 180 minute score in stereo. The 4th disc will be a DVD containing the complete score in 5.1 surround sound. Other extras will include artwork and a booklet of liner notes entitled "The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films - Part I: The Fellowship of the Ring", written by Doug Adams.
It smells like Reprise Records is going to release Shore's COMPLETE scores of the other two "Rings" films in the near future as well...I'll be on the look out. "
If You Can't See The Movie, Hear It
Edward Lee | 01/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reportedly, Howard Shore campaigned for this -- the opportunity of a lifetime to score the seminal THE LORD OF THE RINGS film series. His efforts do not disappoint here, as the motion picture soundtrack captures all of the magic, mystery, danger, and adventure that goes hand in hand with the filmed journey through Middle-Earth. It sounds as if each of the principle characters received a bit of a 'theme' of their own, and Shore weaves these throughout his compositions with tremendous ease and success. If the soundtrack has any shortcomings, it's that it's too short: the film was nearly 3 hours long (the DVD allegedly will be over 4 hours) but the soundtrack is only 70+ minutes. A wonderful listen but definitely for fans of the movie only."