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When will people understand that COMPARISON DOESN'T MAKE SENSE?
• Posted by: G.K.
• Date: Sunday, January 23, 2005, at 4:33 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: How does it compare? (Tim P.)

> Hello everyone. I am another one of the lovers of the LOTR scores, and I'm
> trying to select which one to buy. I see no sense in buying them all
> because there are many similar themes and motifs present, so one seems
> like enough.

Now, I try to explain it to you; the three soundtracks, the three scores, although released one year apart, were conceived, planned and written as ONE score, ONE soundtrack.
Howard Shore's music isn't just "there", like 90 % of other scores, it plays as a narrative, it tells the story by developing themes, motives and gestures for almost every aspect/character/setting in the trilogy (there are about 50 leitmotifs!).
These motifs change over the course of the three soundtracks, and apart from the beauty of the themes, it's this development and the fantastic and subtle musical connection of themes and motivs that makes these scores so astounding.
It's not just film scoring, it's subtext.
As a prime example: it's amazing to hear Aragorn's theme developing from a simple string motif in "At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony" to a major and bold part of the Gondorian theme at the end of "Minas Tirith".
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

So, the music can only be fully understood and appreciated if heard in its entirety (and even three CDs with 70 minutes per disc don't do the complexity justice).

There shouldn't be any comparison or competition between the three LOTR scores because it's self- evident that they don't rival, but complement each other.

And even if you're only interested in the themes themselves, without the connections, it's impossible to get every major theme by buying just one Soundtrack.

> I have heard FOTR and actually wasn't very impressed with it. It
> was very repetitive and quiet all the way through, and aside from a few
> themes was just elevator music. I've heard TTT and found it to be a lot
> better than FOTR, with new themes and better performances of old ones.
> While all the music works well within the context of the films, I want the
> best sdtk available. I definetly like TTT more than FOTR, so how does ROTK
> compare? Thanks for your input!

It's true that the middle part of FOTR is very repetitive.
I can't really understand why you find it too quiet; there are more fast- paced pieces in there than really quiet ones.

If you mean with "elevator music" the clear thematic development and the orchestration, then I can only say that this isn't elevator music, but classical, operatic composition, based on 19th century harmony, except for a few cues, like the Army Of The Dead music.

Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  • How does it compare?  (3615 views)
       Tim P. - Friday, December 24, 2004, at 8:07 p.m.
    •      When will people understand that COMPARISON DOESN'T MAKE SENSE?  (3541 views)    We're Here
         G.K. - Sunday, January 23, 2005, at 4:33 p.m.
    •    Re: How does it compare?  (3706 views)
         crazyperson - Friday, December 24, 2004, at 11:43 p.m.

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