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But before I dig deeper into this Eldorado of film music, I want to make clear one thing: The Lord Of The Rings is one movie, split into three parts, and so is the score.
They don't RIVAL each other, they COMPLEMENT each other and they are meant to be heard as ONE score. So, if somebody tells you that Fellowship of the Ring is everything you need is simply wrong.
Now, The Two Towers takes a special place in the trilogy, for it being the middle part of it. As the linking piece between Fellowship and Return Of The King, it has to fulfill unique tasks. First of all, it has to continue the first part, but it has to introduce us to the culture of Rohan, too.
Howard Shore does this masterfully. Here and there, he incorporates thematic ideas from Fellowship and takes them to the next level by using slightly different orchestrations.
Rohan is represented by three main ideas: the Hardanger (a celtic fiddle), the Rohan motif and choral pieces written in Old English.
The new location of Fangorn forest is represented by the track "Treebeard", which hasn't really got an own theme, but creates a fairy-tale like atmosphere by using a light choir (almost Danny Elfman style), woodwinds, and lots of wooden percussion.
Gollum gets two themes; one appears in "The Taming Of Smeagol", played by a hammer dulcimer to represent the instabile, scyzophrenic side of Gollum. The second aspect of Gollum can be found in "The Forbidden Pool".
Under Shore's hand, The Two Towers is darker, more intense. It does not have the range of Fellowship simply because we are past the Shire and it's tranquil beauty. But the score for the Two Towers is so moving. Think back on the brilliantly filmed scenes, and imagine them without the moving score of this film and you begin to understand just how brilliant conceived this score is. Howard Shore has firmly controlled the scores to make the sounds tracks as important as the film in creating the magic of the Rings.
When I listened to the soundtrack for the first time after watching the film, the scenes fitted into place incredibly well. Each group of people (or other middle-earthly creatures) seem to have their own recurring themes - be it the Uruk-hai, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, Gollum, the Elves or the Rohan. Because of this, some of the themes are similar to those of the Fellowship's soundtrack, but I feel that being a trilogy with the same characters throughout, this is to be expected.
Having said that, each theme has come with variations - such as the battle themes at Helm's Deep and 'Forth Eorlingas' (which amazingly seemed to incorporate the themes from the elves, Uruk-hai, Rohan, and Aragorn etc all into one!)
I loved Gollum's Song sung by Emiliana Torrini at the end of the soundtrack and having listened to it at the end of the film (credits) I feel that it ended both the film and the soundtrack on an eerie note of anticipation.
I can't wait for the The Return of the King to come out, and would like to say that Howard Shore has done an excellent job in writing the score for the Two Towers - well done!!!