Music From The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Composer: Howard Shore
Performed by: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus
Silva Screen
RRP £14.79
Available 07 June 2004

Here, in extended suite form, encompassing all three of the Lord of the Rings film scores, is the opportunity to relive through brilliant orchestral portraiture all the magic and excitement of one of the greatest cinematic achievements of our time...

I first discovered Howard Shore's work when I saw David Cronenberg's movie Dead Ringers - I really enjoyed the film, but it was the music that haunted me. He made quite a name for himself in the horror genre writing memorable scores for Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly and Silence of the Lambs. So, it was refreshing to see, or hear, Shore produce something a little more challenging with his work on The Lord of the Rings scores.

This trilogy is a composers dream (or nightmare depending on how you view it) allowing Shore the ability to showcase so many emotions. Tracks like Gollum's Song and Into the West show that Shore, given the chance, can create tender, beautiful work as well as haunting incidental music. Minas Tirith lends more of a swashbuckling action adventure style to the proceedings, while The Bridge of Khazad Dum conjures up images of medieval battles.

There are also three bonus vocal tracks on this collection. These include Helen Hobson's interpretation of Gollum's Song and Into the West, as well as Tara Scammell on May it Be.

There are other Lord of the Rings collections out there that are cheaper (including a three-disc set that has the original artists on the vocal tracks). But, as far as I can gather, this collection is the only one that is recorded in Dolby Surround - which gives this collection an edge.

This is well produced, but is more a collection for those who have a passing interest in soundtracks - anyone who is really interested in Howard Shore's scores will already own the soundtracks to each movie.

Darren Rea


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