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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 January 2002
As a student who studies so-called 'serious' classical music, it seems to me that film music is often treated as somehow inferior by those in elitist classical circles. Film music is often disregarded because of its popularity, and because it remains an essential part of something as synonymous with contemporary culture as cinema, it has somehow come to be seen as intellectually inferior.
I find this soundtrack particularly refreshing because it doesn't sound like a composer trying to write in a film idiom. Shore has created pieces which I would be quite happy to listen to in as pieces in their own right, and that in my opinion can exist indepentdently of the visual images they were written for.
Hard core 'Star Wars' fans may note the similarity of the choral passages with John Williams' music for 'The Phantom Menace', but in my opinion Shore's music is by far the superior, and as cinematic as the 'Fellowship theme' sounds when taken out of context, for me it loses none of its appeal.
What I appreciate most about this music is its originality. The combination of folk and more traditional ideas create a perfect backdrop for a stunning film, and this loses none of its magic when the visual stimuli are removed.
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on 30 January 2002
I love this soundtrack! I had imagined that the battle sequences would sound a little more like 'The Battle' in Gladiator, but this soudntrack REALLY grows on you! 'The Bridge of Khazad Dum' builds up the tension fantastically with it's male voice choirs chanting, in what, I am told, is genuine Dwarfish, and ends with one of the saddest, most tear-jerking pieces of music I have ever heard! Brilliant! 'The Council of Elrond' is simply beautiful and so romantic, and 'Lothlorien' with it's Lament for Gandalf, like the actual Golden Wood of the film, is eerily haunting.
Oh, and Enya is great - singing in elvish, even if it does sound an awful lot like welsh at times! I highly recommend this for Tolkien and music fans alike!
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on 16 December 2001
Reading over the other reviews, it's been interesting to note how wary other people seem to have been at the choice of the composer for this score. Rest assured - just as others have said, the score IS very good.
Perhaps this soundtrack does veer a little too close to cliched patterns at times, but then again, given both the epic and the intimate nature of The Lord of The Rings, audiences inevitably will approach a movie like this with certain preconceptions about how the score should sound and feel.
And Howard Shore certainly delivers!
From the folksy and pastoral music which sets the sunny tone for the Hobbits, to Enya's surprisingly effective etheral voice hinting at the world weariness of the elves, to thundering choirs and lone voices roaring out grand themes and sighing out notes of loss, this score immediately defines all of the key points in the film. Grandoise horror and personal loss, peace and anarchy alike come flooding out of your speakers!
In fact, it's hard not to think of The Phantom Menace's soundtrack listening to this, and how once again George Lucas seems to have been outshone by Peter Jackson, this time in the soundtrack stakes. Where everyone can remember the Duel of the Fates theme, it is likely that many will remember various themes from this film instead.
Finally, even though the film and the first part of this trilogy end on a quiet note, it must be said that this soundtrack also ends perfectly, supplementing the dissolution of the fellowship of the ring with an urge to know more of the story, and know more of the musical themes that shall progress as the story deepens...
Perhaps it will be a difficult score for Mr Shore to follow, but based on the quality of this memorable soundtrack, it is to be hoped that he can recapture even part of the terrible beauty of this CD.
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on 12 December 2001
I've listened to this soundtrack many times over the last few days and it gets better every time.
I suppose having read the book makes me appreciate the music even more. It really captures the Middle Earth that I conjured up in my mind while reading the book.
The soundtrack is moving in parts, rousing in others and always dramatic. Enya is fantastic.
A minor gripe though. The soundtrack is only 70 minutes long. Less than half the length of the movie. I want more!!!!
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on 25 July 2003
I am not much of a fan of film scores, as they can usually not be heard without the context of the film. The score for the Fellowship of the Ring is different insofar as it allows the listener to "see" the film in their head, it is that evocative.
Howard Shore has managed to create lasting and haunting themes for each of the protagonists, viz the industrial sound of Isengard, the Gothic horror of the Ringwraiths, the bucolic idyll of the Hobbits, or the heroic grandeur of the Fellowship theme - who can forget the majestic panorama as each member of the Fellowship walks past the viewer in "The Ring Goes South".
The elegiac quality of the music following Gandalf's demise (at the end of "The Bridge of Khazad-Dum") brings goosebumps to my skin even now, while the "Lament for Gandalf" is as other-worldly as the Elves themselves.
Do yourself a favour and get the CD.
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on 19 November 2001
Unlike many film soundtracks, which can sound repetitive and disjointed, Howard Shore's score for The Fellowship of the Ring is a varied and flowing piece of music. It is a joy to listen to. Enya's vocals are always beautiful, but to hear her singing in Elvish is something else entirely! From the light and folky Hobbit music, to the crashing, crushing darkness of the mines of Moria, to the ethereal, other-worldly chanting of Lothlorien, this album is captivating from beginning to end. I didn't think I could *be* any more excited about seeing the film, but this soundtrack proved me wrong.
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on 27 November 2002
This soundtrack is totally beautiful. Its opening moments speak of the darkness, beauty, violence and beauty to follow and all these themes are explored fully as promised. The Celtic inspired Hobbits theme provides light and airy moments in what is otherwise a heavy experience. Shore's use of choristers gives the piece a dark, gothic sound, and is heard at its most prolific in `The Treason of Isengard', The Ringwraiths theme, `A Journey in the Dark', and `The Bridge of Khazad dum'.
Moments such as `A journey in the dark', are imperative in the movie as Gandalf reveals the underground realm of Dwarrowdelf to the fellowship. The music itself adds infinitely to the dimension of the scene with its majestic beauty, yet heard by itself is still an amazing, haunting piece of music, and is my favourite of the entire piece.
Moments such as `The Bridge of Khazad Dum' tell of the gargatuan and impossible evil and feats that the fellowship must overcome, cacophonous strings and brass mix with pounding drums and a chanting polynesian choir that fill its listener with awe. Juxtaposed with the mournful beauty of its ending this is also a particulary powerful piece.
There are also moments of the soundtrack that are more peaceful and elegant such as when the fellowship find themselves in the company of the elves in both Rivendell and Lothlorien. Such moments never last too long though giving the sense of evil more impact. Following Lothlorien for instance we are introduced again to the intrusive percussion and brass with its peculiar 5/4 timing that represents the will of Saruman and his bloodthirsty Uruk-Hai.
Altogther you will rarely find such powerful representation beauty and ugliness layered together in such a dynamic way. Fan of the film or not, this is still a highly impressive and inspired piece of music, larger in scale than that of any other movie soundtrack I have encountered. An Oscar well deserved for Howard Shore.
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on 11 January 2002
I loved the soundtrack so much that I decided to buy the deluxe version,thinking I would probably wear out the ordinary LOTR soundtrack which I already own.I thought the extra money for slightly posher cover and small booklet(no Elrond in it!!!)was not that good value.Better to buy one of the many excellent books of the film shots on sale.I loved the film so much I went 3 times and always find the score really enhances the powerful visual images.An epic film and soundtrack which will be a future classic of Cinema.
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on 12 January 2002
I've only just bought/heard this album today and I can say it's the BEST soundtrack I have ever listened to. Why? Because it made me cry. I really wasn't expecting to feel as moved by the music as I was by the movie (which, by the way, I also cried at at the end)
What's more is I could SEE the movie being played in my head as I listened to the music. To me, that really is a unique experience.''Concerning Hobbits'' made me smile to think of the Shire and its inhabitants and ''Council of Elrond'' replayed perfectly the scene between Aragorn and Arwen in the movie. This album is fantastic!!!! I recommend you buy it.
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on 16 May 2002
This soundtrack is the first I'd heard of Howard Shore's work, and it is a masterpiece. It perfectly complements the film, and is well deserving of it's Oscar. From the whimsical lightness of Concerning Hobbits, to the Eastern overtones of Lothlorien and the heartbbreaking emotion of The Breaking Of The Fellowship, this soundtrack is perfection from beginning to end. My personal favourites are Flight To The Ford and The Great River. I cannot praise this soundtrack enough and I would encourage anyone who liked the film to buy it. I can only hope that the next two are as great as this one is.
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