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I wrote this donated review...
• Posted by: Vestard Shimkus   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2002, at 10:58 a.m.
• IP Address: proxy.parks.lv

When I listen to some music which I've never heard before, it's possible for me to get (to feel) some absolutely new impressions, if they're realy written inside the music sheet. I'm always very interested about everything I never knew. And this time it was a very big surprise for me when I found out that the score for L.O.T.R.has written by Howard Shore. A composer who was quiet unknown for me. Now, after a not very long time I acn say that my interest about his music was innerable.
So, in one not so special day I finally bought this CD (actually it was very difficult, 'coz it always was sold off n all the music shops around my home. See, I'm not the onlyone who is obsessed with Shores music!) and in the evening of the same day I decided to listen it-throughout, from begininig to end-for the first time. I put it in my CD player, switched off all the lights in my room(I do it often when I listen music. I'ts normaly For me), pressed "PLAY" and then the music began to sound...

...more than 70 minutes and a long time of silence was elapsed when I finally starded to tray to recover myself after the listening of something called THE GREAT MUSIC which was captured me from my head to my feet. Ooooh my Godness, it was unforgettable! This is so genially, exciting, magnificant, colourful, epic and-overall-GRANDIOUS symphonic suite (I think it's the best designation). Grandious-not only in its amazing lenght, but also in its development's conception of all tracks distribution. In its wealth of all kinds of emotional moods, musical contrasts, orchestral and choral colours, original ideas and everything else. For more clarity, further I'll describe my impressions and opinions about each track separately.
The album (further I'll say-suite)begins with one of the finest pieces-"THE PROPHECY". It's very ancient, epic and archaic, starts with a sorrowful thme in cellos and choir. Then there're several modulations, strings sounds like an organ. Timpani are jumping very menacing. The climax is so loud. After that cames some resume, moving from one tonality to other. And then finally canes major and resounds a beautiful irish-spirit theme which sounds a lot in the next piece-"CONCERNING HOBBITS". Here it plays somekind of blockflute with an accompaniment by the small orchestra. It's so joyful and have something in common with celtic folk music. At the ending there is a truly eveningly mood and peace. The next one is "THE SHADOW OF THE PAST" where at the begining are agitating shadows, Thematically unstable. Many modulations. Suddenly comes crescendo and resounds this motive, walking theme on d ostinato counterpoint. It sounds like a foreboding of perishability. Then it disappears. But afterwards it bumps against a moment of horrorful feelings with so peculiar and original harmonies and violin trills. Then it disappears again with absorbing chords in strings (big m7 in d-m53 in b flat). Again resounds motive theme, silent and menacing. Then comes "THE TREASON OF ISENGARD". The begining is fascinating with its silent and diatonic theme in choir, sounds like some gregorian chant. But then this peace breaks and for the first time sounds Ring theme, Then comes minor, motive theme sounds again, violins plays dissonanses in a high pitch. After some doubtful shadows, there sounds tragically theme of perishability for choir and brass fff. Then all this climax comes down to the low pitch and suddenly stops. "THE BLACK RIDER" starts woth quick, restless, a little bit naive cue in C major (in my opinion this begining is the weakest musical fragment in all the suite, nevertheless there is a brilliant orchestration) but it breaks off soon. And then perishability sounds again with new ostinato. The choir ascends so silently. Then comes loudness, many rhytmical syncopes, it sounds like nobody can stop it. And then sounds one of the most interesting and absorbing things-choir sings very loud d minor chord t53 in a very high pitch and this chord turns to CRYING!!! It's phenomenal! Then this vision dwindles. Stays only one d by conthrabas in very low pitch. At the begining of "AT THE SIGN OF THE PRANCING PONY" are playing cellos in a dreary emotional mood. Then there is somekind of timorous dance, mournfulness, a lot of menacing shadows while cellos are starting motive again. Strings enter one after other (like an organ), again there is ffff which breaks, but stays only ostinato rhytmics very silent, strings plays by collegno. I see here somekind of of silent, enormous evil, which breaks away with glimmering violin passage by absolutely another tune into motive theme. A short before it all calms down, there resonds some motif which I called by "Ork's theme" and which sounds a lot in the next piece-"A KNIFE IN THE DARK"-after the some motive theme and violin glissandos (here violins sounds painful). The Ork's theme sounds a (strokesof Black smith, Full of cold, dreary emptiness (one of the best themes from all the suite). Then resounds a bit of peace by boys choir and a wonderful E. Ross solo. This peace is breaking by the Ork's theme again. Then the peace comes for the second time and stays also at the begining of "FLIGHT TO THE FORD"'. There is boys choir, Holyness, lucid inteval. In my opinion it associates with an open, fertile, peaceful plain, which is being cleared for sight from a high precipice. Yet cames crescendo again with the same perishability, which grows up. There is a havy rhytm like jabs with brass. Violins are playing aleatorics. In the climax there're flinging, restless, loud nand virtuosic "vibration" by horn (e-fis-b). Anotherone horn plays ork's theme (one of the most genially cues in this suite). Then it dies away and the peace is returned. "MANY MEETINGS" comes with a warm, happy major by harps and choir. Full of colours, there sounds irish theme by strings and clarinett. It reminds me a southern sunset. And cames one of the most outstanding tracks-"THE COUNCIL OF ELROND". At the begining strings are weaving som chords, but after that comes a chord serie which is phenomenal-T64 in A flat-T53 in E (and which, unquestionably, has written by H. Shore, not Enya!). Over that rises wonderfully voice of Enya. At this moment I feel like I'm standing near the gate of Paradise!). After that for the 1st time sounds Fellowship theme very solemny, Full of expectations and celtic spirit. There also ends the first stage of conception's evelopment."THE RING GOES SOUTH" starts with unstable oboe solo. Then it grows up and sounds Fellowship theme very heroic."A JOURNEY IN THE DARK" begins impending. Choir sings silently. Violins are so nervous. Pulsing.Something is brewing. After some unstable shadows cames so tragically epic diatonic. There is dramatically moving tune (very original in its language), full of dissonanses and motoric passages.I think that the best piece is "THE BRIDGE OF KHAZAD-DUM". Starts with victorying Fellowship theme. Perishability comes again. T5 intervals in all the orchestra sounds like waste. And then-silent male choir-so furious. Then fullness of passages, Brass plays everything. So furious and epic choir theme. Sounds like archaic devil. After the Fellowship theme cames "next level" with g ostinato in bass, dissonanses are in the ALL pitches. Finally there's staung one d in a low bass-the most genially place-it turns to a silent, funeral choral in D flat major with boy's solo-chatarthic music. You dont have the soul if You dont cry here... The next piece is also genially-"LOTHLORIEN"-in moods of ancient India and gregorian chant. There're somekind of polimodality. Ancient holyness, many genial nuanses. Voice solo sounds like an echo from SPACE. One of the most magnificant and original laments."THE GREAT RIVER" is a wonderful reflection of a river for choir, strings and harp.At the end represents a new, heroic theme which is simbolizing Two statues, many colours."AMON HEN" is perfectly "last dramatic"in the conception of the cycle, a lot of excitement, slacken ostinato motive, ork's theme, the last, empty perishability. Last three strikes with a short pauses between each-fantastic! And then-silent boys choir choral sounds so sadly and sorrowful, it symbolizes this grand waterfall. People was born for death... "THE BREAKING OF THE FELLOWSHIP"is truly a BEAUTIFUL music with irish theme, brilliant orchestration, mood of happyness. Blockflute theme sounds like in TITANIC. It reminds me a slow flight or soar above the colours of the World and ancient nations. E. Ross choir sings like an angels.And then, in a little more resignated and serious voice, sings Enya. Wonderful music.It reminds me like I'm rising up and up to stars ad God; and I feel FREE during the grandious orchestral conclusion or resume of this musical pearl, whose author is HOWARD SHORE.
I can really say that Howard Shore's symphonic suite "Lord of the Rings:Fellowship of the Ring" is the BEST PIECE FROM CONTEMPORARY MUSIC I'VE EVER HEARD!!! There're ALL things what we could expect from music in our time. I'm absolutely delighted...

* * * * * (what a pity that I can't give SIX stars!)

VESTARD SHIMKUS,
a composer and pianist,
a winner of one natilonal composers contest and
six international classical piano contests,
a great fan of Howard Shore and Hans Zimmer.




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