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Music Inspired By Middle Earth

David Arkenstone, The Elbereth Orchestra Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 32.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Oct 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Paras Group
  • ASIN: B00005R5LV
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 552,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prelude: Hobbits From The Shire
2. The Road To Rivendel L
3. The Quest
4. Moria
5. Lothlorien
6. Galadriel's Mirror
7. The Riders Of Rohan
8. The Palantir
9. Arwen And Aragorn
10. To Isengard
11. In The Land Of Shadow
12. The Field Of Cormallen
13. The Grey Havens

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Great Beauty 19 May 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is the second of David Arkenstone's works that I have bought and having already heard "Atlantis", I was hoping for great things as I opened up "Music Inspired By Middle Earth". I was not disappointed.
I fully agree with another reviewer that this work is on a par with the music from the films. Music will almost always draw me mental images and this CD conjoured up images not only from the film but a whole load of my own.
Once again there is the melding of new age and classical themes, of electronic and traditional orchestral instruments. It all combines to make a wonderful sound. Middle Earth can be stirring at times, wistful and contemplative at others, but there is always an ethereal beauty about Arkenstone's compositions.
The CD's are well produced, the sound quality is superb and the whole thing is a joy.
So far I haven't heard Classic FM playing any of David Arkenstone's music but they really should, it deserves a much wider audience.
The Prelude is a perfect opening and sets the scene of the pastoral Shire. The Riders Of Rohan has something of a warlike feel to it and encapsulates perfectly the image of riders on horseback. In the Land of the Shadow is brooding and you can almost see Sauron looking at you. Yes, there are many different moods here and all are enjoyable.
This CD is highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music Inspired By Middle Earth 19 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Excellent. Sets just the right sort of tone, totally in keeping with the epic subject matter. All the tracks are top-class but "The Quest" (illustrating the point in the story where the Company is setting out from Rivendell) in particular is outstanding - in my opinion, on a level with Howard Shore's music for the recent "The Lord of the Rings" motion picture trilogy - it pushes all the necessary emotional buttons, striking just the right balance between pathos and nobility. David and Diane Arkenstone (yes, as in "The Hobbit", but don't hold that against them) have managed to produce a suite of pieces which might conceivably have served as the movie score, if Howard Shore hadn't been hired instead! The sound is best described as "eclectic", ranging from world-music through Celtic and mediaeval to traditional orchestral. Well, I've listened to it about a dozen times since I got it a week ago and I haven't got tired of it yet. Buy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 23 Jan 2008
By Lou152
Format:Audio CD
David Arkenstone has created Middle Earth in a single CD. The tracks create the right balance of the etherial and mystical, the sad and the sense of epic adventure. If you are looking for an alternative to the music by Howard Shore, or just want a different perspective on Middle Earth through music, then this is perfect. As the CD is not directly related to Lord Of The Rings, it allows you to create and explore your own version of middle earth without following the exact imagery and moments so well associated with the films.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Right up there with Arkenstone's best work. 8 April 2003
By Ash1138 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album was given to me as a gift, and I'm glad because I'm not sure I would have bought it otherwise.
People seem to all be rating this album on how well it captures middle earth which I guess is warranted given the name of the album. Some have said they don't like it because Howard Shore's work on the motion picture score captures Tolkien's world better. Others have said they can't believe Arkenstone wasn't asked to score the film. Few have judged the CD on it's own.
First let me say Howard Shore rightly deserved the oscar for his score. Has any composer in history had a more daunting task? Shore not only composed a beautiful, encapsulating score for the film, but also did the near impossible--gained the approval of a vast majority of die hard Tolkien fans whose sacred ground he tread upon. In my mind, it is the definative music to Tolkien's saga.
To most Americans, fantasy is made up of rainbows and unicorns, fairies and good witches. It's a world where girls grow up to become beautiful princesses and evil is thwarted by true love's kiss. It is as such that many such Americans who read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings that they have a hard time seeing past the naivete and innocense of those cute little hobbits always singing and dancing even when climbing the face of Mt. Doom.
David Arkenstone's Music Inspired by Middle Earth is definately INSPIRED by this side. To be fair, that is his style. His music is typically very light and airy. To be even fairer, the music include here is at some times the darkest I've heard from the composer. But Tolkien wrote his masterpiece in a world ravaged by two world wars, having himself been in the trenches for the first. Tolkien's audience was one that had lived through the devastations; understood real sacrifice. Arkenstone's music captures Lord of the Rings about as much as an old John Wayne World War II movie captures the real event. Parts of it seem right, until you see Saving Private Ryan.
I would recommend this album as one of (if not) the best of David Arkenstone's albums. The music is beautiful and timeless. While it doesn't do anything to bring Lord of the Rings to mind for me, it is often a selection of choice for when I'm reading a fantasy novel or when writing. Strangely enough this album makes me think of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series more than anything else. It would be nice to hear Arkenstone do an album inspired on that. Most albums inspired by fantasy works [are bad]big time. This album certainly does not.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unbelievable Adventure into Tolkien's Middle-Earth 19 May 2002
By M. A. Rossi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This CD is just unbelievable! I just finished listening to it for the first time, and it's very rare these days for an ENTIRE CD to catch your attention. Every track faithfully recreates the world of Middle Earth. Play this as you are reading The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, and the mood is instantly created for you.
I can't really compare this CD to the actual soundtrack by Howard Shore. Both are two different music types. While Shore's score is more orchestral and theatrical, Arkenstone's version here is definately more traditional in terms of instruments, music-style and rhythm. There is definately a down to Earth Medieval and Renaissance feel to it, something Shore doesn't fully capture, except in his track "Concerning Hobbits", or the msic played at Biulbo's Birthday Party in the film.
The songs are light and upbeat for the most part, definately setting the mood for the Fellowship embarking on their Quest. If you are a lover of Celtic music, or period-based music from the Renaissance, this CD is definately for you. I highly and enthusiastically recommend it!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, fitting music for Lord of the Rings 6 Jan 2002
By Robert Gamble - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Edited after much listening:

Recently I was listening to the first track in 'Quest of the Dream Warrior' and was struck that this was just the kind of music that should be the backdrop for 'Lord of the Rings'. Instrumental, with vocals that complement Arkenstone's style perfectly (he himself is a very good singer even if only a handful of his tracks on all his CDs actually feature him singing).

Initially I felt that this CD only reinforced the notion that Arkenstone would have been the perfect choice to do the music for LotR. After having listened to both CDs (Shore's and Arkenstone's) I have to retract that statement, especially after having watched the movie again. Arkenstone doesn't do moody and
dark to the level that the movie would have required. He does the 'triumphant'/cheerful pieces better than the more somber ones (which tend to be repetitive). This CD has gotten a lot of playing time, but I don't listen to it over and over again, simply because each of the pieces do tend to repeat themselves, some with absolutely no change in the piece on each of many repetitions. Some of the pieces are wonderful however, and those keep it at a 4 star level. A below average Arkenstone CD, but still above average compared to most other similar works.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars arkenstone versus shore 23 Feb 2004
By Jorge Carnaxide - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
All my life i have been a fierce rock fan, and still am, but because i'm very open minded about all types of music, i recently became a fan of New Age, and it's fair to say that David Arkenstone played an important role in my discovery of this kind of sound. Yes, it is true that he, like most new age musicians, falls ocasionally in the terrible clichets that plague the genre, but it is also true that the man is a great composer and his music has always something valuable and special, even in his weakest moments.
Having said this, i believe that this album is his masterpiece, the best record in a prolific and mostly splendid career; he created great works with the albums 'Quest of The Dream Warrior' (with a song, 'Kyla's Ride, that in my opinion is the best that he ever recorded, and that amazes me how nobody used it in a movie score), 'In The Wake Of The Wind', and 'Return Of The Guardians', all loosely inspired by Tolkien, and has other excelent records, but here he exceeded in recording music that exhales a true and axciting spirit of adventure, romance, mystery and imagination, places of enchantment, of pure magic and wonder - the Tolkien world in all it's splendour.
Arkenstone has the gift of creating sounds that sugest more than they reveal, a cinematic music that evokes and seduces, and with this album he manages to place the listener in the mythic universe of the Middle Earth, opening our eyes and ears with the wonders and the misteries of the ring saga. 'The Palantir', that unfolds an ethereal beauty and profound misticism, 'The Grey Havens', a beautiful display of the elfic ports, and 'Moria', a magnificent musical description of the somber caves, are just some of the highlights of a record filled with them. Magical and beautiful, a true wonderful record.
Wich brings me to Howard Shore: can we compare both scores? Well, they are diferent, because Shore's is more spectacular and screen-oriented, but i must say that i prefer Arkenstone's music, much more melodic and captivating. Nevertheless, i feel that it's a shame that music of such scope and beauty is not used in a proper movie.
An absolute must for every Tolkien fan, and actually to anybody who loves great music.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Enchanting!!! 14 Mar 2002
By Judith E. Pavluvcik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Music Inspired by Middle Earth is another amazingly, wonderful album by David Arkenstone. You can add me to the rest of the shocked reviewers who could not believe that Arkenstone was not picked to do the score for the movie. This entire CD is sheer beauty and it is so hard for me, (as if I really want to!!!) pick a favorite song from this CD. All of them portray Tolkien, his world and the epic that Frodo sets out upon. When I listen to this music, I am transported and carried away to Middle Earth and revel in every minute that I am there!
Having seen the movie several times now, I can put this CD on and I am seeing the scenes in my mind as if I was right back at the theater. I also have the original soundtrack and the music from the movie does not move me, nor does it have the same effect on me, as does this CD by Arkenstone.
Enchanting, enthralling and at times ethereal sum up this journey through Middle Earth for me! I absolutely love this arrangement.
David Arkenstone shines once again with this latest release! Fans will not be disappointed in this release. I play mine all the time and never tire of it! I only wish that I could rate it higher than a 5!
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