Let's face it: for many of us avid fans of 'The Lord of the Rings', the new movie adaptation is likely to be the last in our lifetime. It is tremendously important that director Peter Jackson and colleagues don't make a mess of it. We probably all have our own ideas about the soundscape which the hobbits, elves and dwarves inhabit. We would expect every commissioned composer to devise something different, but it would be disastrous if a stunning visual story was destroyed by an appalling soundtrack.
Everything I have read and heard so far about this film trilogy indicates that Peter wants to create a cinematic experience that won't disappoint the JRRT faithful. Thankfully it appears that Peter's natural tendency is to steer towards the conservative and accurate rather than the experimental.
Thus on the soundtrack, for instance, we have no rap music, thank goodness. There is also no thrash metal, thank goodness, although some directors may have felt the Orcs deserved it. Instead, we have a mixture of the orchestral and the New Age -- a potent combination of symphonic music reminiscent of Wagner, Bruckner and Orff coupled to a bit of Enya unleashed on one of the best stories written in the 20th century. This is music that should not date badly within say, the next fifty years. It is music for the imagination -- highly visual stuff, released one month before the movie hits the cinemas, to encourage us to listen in a darkened room and conjure up our own dramatic scenes.
Peter Jackson's choice of Howard Shore and Enya for composers has generated a highly dramatic score, despite it containing few immediately catchy numbers.