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Soundtrack Review

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The Lord of the Rings Symphony
Six Movements for Orchestra & Chorus


Composer: Howard Shore
Performed by: 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Howe Records
RRP: £19.99
Available 13 September 2011

The Lord of the Rings Symphony is a six-movement piece spanning Howard Shore's three film scores. The music used here was created from the nearly 12 hours of music composed by Shore for the film trilogy. The six movements reflect each of the six books of The Lord of the Rings. It was recorded live in concert in Lucerne Switzerland in February 2011 in partnership with Bavarian Radio.

The score for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is sweeping in scope. It is a musical interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth - an operatic tapestry of cultures, histories, languages, and people. And it works just as well as a standalone collection of music as it does to heighten the emotion of the movies. Listened to in isolation this feels more like a classic symphony than it does a soundtrack to a sci-fi movie trilogy.

The album lasts for almost two hours (1hr, 55 min, 50 sec) and is split into six distinct movements.

This is an incredible album and certainly one worth purchasing whether you already own Shore's individual scores or not. There's a lot to discover and rediscover here.


Darren Rea

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