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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 December 2003
So, you've more than likely seen all 3 Lord of the Rings films by now, and although it's difficult to put aside all the top-notch visuals and acting in what are certainly the best fantasy films ever made, let's just do that and consider the music on its own, insofar as that's possible. I don't think it was just me who spent whole days absently humming the Fellowship theme, or listening to Gollum's Song when feeling down. Howard Shore's music has somehow managed to cross the boundary between classical music and what I think of as "modern" hooks... okay, that's not very clear at all, but what I mean is that unlike a lot of classical music, Shore's gets lodged in the hindbrain of people who wouldn't dream of admitting they liked classical music ordinarily. And Classic FM listeners voted Lord of the Rings as the best soundtrack ever made; the allure of this music works both ways, it seems.
From the aforementioned Fellowship theme to the Celtic-infused Rohan music, to the 5-4 time of Isengard's war-like signature, Shore has reimagined Middle-Earth in musical form even as Peter Jackson did so on celluloid. The breadth of his composition allows for as much variety of tone and atmosphere as you find in the films themselves, and of course goes a long way to creating and anchoring those atmospheres when you watch the movies. From the dark pounding rhythms of Isengard and Mordor, there are the beautiful choral pieces; Gandalf and Boromirs' deaths have music which makes me want to cry every time I hear them (perhaps partly a consequence of connecting the music with the events in the film, but this is gorgeous, evocative music in its own right).
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of these three soundtracks is the development of themes or simple phrases as you progress onwards. The Fellowship theme is never complete again after the fall of Gandalf until the reunion in Frodo's room in the Houses of Healing in Gondor. The Shire theme gradually becomes sadder and sadder as the hobbits are exposed to the harsh realities of war across Middle-Earth. This evolution of the music transforms it from a mere accompaniment to a film into a living, emotional entity of its own, and is in a large part responsible for making this collection of all 3 so wonderful to listen to. When each is separated from the others it's "only" really good music, but when you have the full picture, the context, of all 3 together and can thus fully appreciate Shore's work as a whole, does it become astonishingly beautiful.
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VINE VOICEon 18 December 2003
This trilogy of soundtracks from the Lord Of The Rings movies is the essential musical companion to the greatest movie trilogy of our time. As sweepingly expansive and magnificent as the visual feast of the movies, Howard Shore brilliantly evokes the imagery of Middle Earth by his intellegent interpretation of the huge variety of themes within the movie.
Ranging from the gentle yet harrowing 'Gollum's Song' (featured at the end credits of 'The Tow Towers'), to the grand excitement of the various battles throughout the movie, the scope of this music is immense. Performances throughout turn what could have been mere soundtracks into a genuinely outstanding collection of musical accomplishment. There are even vocal performances by Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) which prove that there is more to these performers than just acting!
The thing that surprised me about this package, however, was the price, which truly makes it value for money and a worthwhile investment, and as much a worthy addition to any music collection. But most of all, it is like owning another part of the movie trilogy itself, one that allows you to take the journey again, but in a much more personal way, as Howard Shore's brilliant compositions conjure a dazzling array of images in your mind.
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on 3 January 2007
If you've seen the film you will know the tunes inside out I would imagine, and here they are for your personal enjoyment. The composition is so varied, and there are some truly evocative numbers on here. Howard Shore did a remarkable job really here. It is true that the Return of the King lacks something, but this is more than made up for by the first two which possess music for all tastes and moods.

Wasn't sure about the cards you get free with this though, of the members of the cast. All seemed a bit gimicky to me. There are reasons this soundtrack has one awards, not least of which being the 'best original score' Oscar.

Of course, the fact that you get all 3 for a reasonable price is the true bonus, and if your reading this its probably just a matter of deciding which one to get. Get this one, trust me.
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on 29 November 2003
Howard Shore has created a masterpiece with the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. I am a big fan of Lord of the Rings in general (the books and the movies), and these three soundtracks are possibly my favourite movie soundtracks of all time. Out of the three CDs, "The Two Towers" is probably my favourite soundtrack, with the majectic theme in "The Uruk-Hai", the beautiful Celtic theme of Rohan ("The Riders of Rohan", "The King of the Golden Hall", etc), and the lovely finale sung by Emiliana Torrini, "Gollum's Song". The Return of the King soundtrack also maintains the high standard Howard Shore has set with the previous two soundtracks. Even if you are not a particularly large fan of the movies or the books, if you are a music lover, you will enjoy this item.
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VINE VOICEon 24 March 2006
The LOTR movie trilogy contains so many ground-breaking special effects it's easy to overlook the music. Howard Shore has done a brilliant job of composing memorable themes for the different peoples of Middle Earth, and in the movies the music does its job perfectly, enhancing whatever action is going at the time. But really the music is a masterpiece in its own right and if you enjoyed the movies you will enjoy this set. For all you busy Riders and Shieldmaidens of Rohan out there, it brings back all the great moments from the films without having to spend hours watching the DVDs. The 'Return of the King' CD is particularly impressive.
This box set is an absolute bargain, and you also get a pack of 20 CD-sized images of characters from the film (two of Arwen but NONE of Eowyn - what were they thinking of!!). You can put them in the CD cases to customise your CDs - but we put them in clip-frames to make pictures for my sons' bedroom walls. I would give an extra star for this if I could but 5 is the maximum allowed!
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on 26 January 2007
While there are many fine film soundtracks, this is one that stands on its own as music.

The signature refrains such as those for the Riders of Rohan and the Uruk-hai transport you instantly to Middle Earth.

While I'm not a classical music listener as a rule, as a fan of the film, this soundtrack is the perfect accompaniment to both work and relaxation.

This soundtrack is a must for any LOTR fan.
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on 6 March 2015
This bad rating has nothing to do with the content of this CD. I REALLY wished the CD worked as the soundtrack is just magical! I bought one copy of the CD and it played with a background noise which made the tracks sound very muffled, like it was under water or something. I got this replaced only to have ANOTHER set of CD's with the exact same problem! Such a shame...
I'm sure if your set of CD's works it will be amazing, it just seems that they don't!
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on 11 October 2013
I've lost count how many times that I've watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in its entirety but 10 hours approx in front of a TV is a BIG chunk of time! I first listened to the box set of CDs back to back one Saturday afternoon while doing chores around my flat. It was simply wonderful but I'm sure everything took me longer to do as I paused frequently to savour the beautiful music. Listening to each piece evoked scenes from the films and I was pretty much lost in a daydream throughout.

Some reviewers have said that they found the recording to be too quiet -I didn't experience this, in fact there are some pieces that build up and become very loud! I found that I occasionally had to rush to the stereo to turn the volume down for fear of disturbing the neighbours.

I think these CDs would make a lovely gift for any fan of the LOTR movies. I snapped up the box set immediately when I saw it -I could hardly believe that it was cheaper than many prices I'd seen for a single CD from just one of the films! I'm extremely happy with this purchase :-)
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on 19 May 2006
This is without a doubt the best soundtrack ever. A lot of original soundtracks that are released are boring and flat, however this is unbelievably good. The music is excellent all the way through and is a real pleasure to listen to. The Return of the King Soundtrack won the Academy Award for best Original Soundtrack and it is clear to see why. The theme songs to the films are especially good. 'Gollum's Song' by Emilliana Torrini is a beautiful, haunting melody, and 'Into the West' by Annie Lennox is a truly breathtaking masterpiece ('Into the West' also won the Academy Award for best original song). The one thing I was disappointed by is that it does not contain 'With a Sigh' by Liv Tyler from the extended version of the Return of the King. (It is the song played when Eowyn is in the houses of healing). Overall this soundtrack is a must for all Lord Of The Rings fans and is also strongly reccomended to people who do not like the films as the music is a masterpiece in its own right. Enjoy!
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on 12 June 2008
I purchased these CDs individually as and when they were originally released. I have to say that the Fellowship of the Ring is my favourite, by the way. However, I also bought the extremely deluxe 4 disc (or in the case of ROTK, 5 disc) sets when the 'complete' scores were released (also worth buying, despite their price). One thing the 'complete' scores don't have is the first track from FOTR - "The Prophecy" (though parts of it exist in the 'complete' score). If you're a soundtrack enthusiast, then small variations or alternate takes presented here in the 'limited' 1-disc releases will interest you. In The Two Towers, for example, you here different mixes and end of cues not heard in the 'complete' scores, the same stands for Return of the King. And if like many, you think the LOTR is a bit too long to sit and watch in one sitting, then this one disc-a-film release (basically a third of the music Howard Shore composed) will suit you nicely, though really you're missing a lot of gems that are to be found in the 'Complete Recordings', also available on Amazon.
Great listening for great filmmaking.
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