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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
People should understand ...
on 22 June 2004
First, and above all else, I'd like to point out that Howard Shore possibly wrote the most complex, the most enjoyable, the most suitable and the most atmospheric movie score you can find out there.
The amount of thematic material that Shore juggles around with without losing his concept is nothing less but breathtaking.
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". It's the oboe-piece that also appears in "The Prophecy" (from Fellowship) and is alot more pitiful.
Also worth mentioning is "The Hornburg", which brings back a thematic thread of "Lothlorien". The main Lorien-theme is played in a very militaristic, brassy way to represent the army of elves that support the Rohirrim at Helm's Deep.
Another beautiful aspect of The Two Towers are the haunting solo voices. Ben Del Maestro brings tears to your eyes in the epic "Forth Eorlingas" and "Isengart Unleashed".
"Evenstar" is a theme for Arwen and her evenstar, which reappears in The Return Of The King, and so beautiful that it takes your breath away. "Breath Of Life" is alot more mourneful and Elizabeth Frasier sings Haldir's Lament in "Isengart Unleashed" in order to draw a parallel between Haldir's lament and Gandalf's lament from Fellowship.
The two hobbits, Frodo and Sam, get the well-known, soft sound of woodwinds.
Of course no Lord Of The Rings score would be complete without a reference to The Breaking of The Fellowship and Frodo's theme, and so these two are combined in Samwise The Brave.
Howard Shore introduces many new themes here and alters his already established motifs in a way that it prepares us for Return of The King, in which these changes are alot more prominent and also stronger.
However, the score makes clear that the musical journey isn't over yet and leaves you begging for more.
The range of emotions this score creates, is enormous; it makes your adrenaline rush, your hair raise and your eyes wet.
And most important: it enhances, complements and accompanies the movie as brilliantly as you can only imagine.