Album : Lotr – Fellowship Of The Ring(Soundtrack)
Artist : Howard Shore & Various others
The LOTR franchise established a legacy for itself right from the release of its 1st episode in 2001 The Fellowship Of The Ring! So selcting the composer of soundtracks for it was quite tiring and difficult as its not enought to expect the best outta him/her only for the first movie but for all the remaining parts as well. And thus they seemed to have narrowed done to Howard Shore who didn’t sound promising either while being interviewed but he had truly given us what was expected and with consistency so deftly bringing to life the tale of J.R.R Tolkien.
|The Shadow Of The Past|
|The Treason Of Isengard|
|The Black Rider|
|At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony|
|A Knife in The Dark|
|Flight Of The Ford|
|The Council Of Elrond|
|The Ring Goes South|
|A Journey In The Dark|
|The Bridge Of Khazad Dum|
|The Great River|
|The Breaking Of The Fellowship|
|May It Be|
The movie is based on an age old battle between the good and the evil with different stories of kings elves dwarves humans and other middle earth creatures and a Ring which acts as a nexus to all these stories and the quest to destroy it by a few hobbits an elf a dwarf and a human king thus to end the reign of evil on their land(well i might have missed out a few details). So Howard Shore perfectly reflects the battle between the forces of dark and light through his gothic orchestral elements and improvising on vocals! It is believed Shore took an year to compose the scores for each movie in the LOTR series.
Reviewing Shore’s work proved quite tedious because when you listen to it with the movie, it completely redefines your movie experience no doubt but when you have decided to listen it all together separately then you notice a lotta pros and cons in the soundtracks. It is imperative to not view Shore’s work from a commercialized point of view because unlike the other tracks these are far superior next best to E.Morricane’s! Shore has done a wonderful job in writing a theme for each of the significant chracters in the story and the golum his favourite.
1. The Prophecy
From the very first track the listener can feel that he/she will be experiencing the middle earth through the music such is the experience Shore provides us with.The first film has no light in the story hence Shore implements the theme well with the dark orchestral elements! With the music plays a story runs in the background with emphasis on the history of the Ring.A smooth and beffiting beginning to musically narrate the events in the movie!
2. Concerning Hobbits
A quaint piece of music with more light orchestral arrangements as the tone is set for the Shire portrayed as a happy hobbit settlment.The track has a crude feel to it bringing out the lushness of the Shire and Bilbo has been focused too in this song who plays an important role in the story.
3.The Shadow Of The Past
A transition or change in tone from lighter to darkness at which Howard Shore is skillful as he shows it throughout the album.It appears in the movie during the part in which the Ring over powers Frodo and possesses him and the dark tone keeps growing in the track intensifying the evil nature of the Ring and also Shore tries to depict not everything is lush green in the Middle Earth. We are also introduced to The Nazgul- the Ring seekers or the Black Riders.
4. The Treason Of Isengard
The audio track is filled with military style bass heacy orchestration and intense chorus. It starts gallant tune as Gandalf The white, rides towards the Isengard tower to meet Saruman the head of their order only to be deceived and be imprisoned! The music clearly commuicates the encounter between Gandalf and Saruman with the rising and fallin tempo and the epilogue connotes the obvious that Gandalf had lost!
5. The Black Rider
The track starts with a lively and gay note but soon the dark chanting choir and an undulating bass takes over the song that features almost all flats implying the entrance of the black riders and the end of happiness. The terror and mayhem created by the malicious Black Riders is daftly portryed by Shore.
6. At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony
Another intense song a continuation of the the previous track with almost the same elements to it. Shore tries his best to tell the part of the story where the hobbits enter into the ‘Prancing Pony’ where the Riders soon attack but the hobbits manage to escape and Shore musicaaly conveys the part where Frodo consumed by the power tries on the ring only to draw the attention of The Nazgul.
7. A Knife In The Dark
The track is impounded with the orchestral fury , the exhilarating rise of the string instruments and the percussion pounding snaps back at the listener depicting a scene of chase by the Black Riders atop the watch tower of Amon Sul. This is the scene where Frodo once again tries to escape from The Nazgul by putting on the Ring unaware that they are still drawn by its power and gets stabbed by one of the Black Riders luckily Strider comes to the rescue.
8. Flight Of The Ford
The same tempo and the elements persist from the last track but slows down eventually. Shore tries to convey Arwen’s arrival to rescue Frodo from the wound inflicted by The Nazgul and the initial and the final crescendo is to portray the blinding light radiating from Arwen and after she heals Frodo she takes him along with her only to be persued by the Black Riders whom she wards off with her elven magic.
9. Many Meetings
Shores delineates the arrival of Arwen along with Frodo to the elven citadel of Rivendell witht he right lyrical imprints and the choral strains insinuating the majesty of the safe haven. The track also depicts the joyous reunioun of Frodo with his friends Sam , Merry and Pippin. The music is light and capturing apt for the mood prevailing in the movie at that scene.
10. The Council Of Elrond
One of the first tracks featuring Enya , her magical voice befits the movie capturing the spirit of the story and this track which marks an important event in the story, where people of the Middle Earth – Elves , Humans , Dwarves and Hobbits meet to decide the fate of the Ring. The music reflects the serious situation in the movie where Frodo comes forward to be the Ring bearer and to destroy it.
11. The Ring Goes South
A slowly rising track building up as Shore gives us a first major statement of the LOTR theme which marks the defining moment both in the movie and for the album. The track sings the journey of the Fellowship the smooth tune of the track suggests that the journey is smooth as of yet and has not been attcaked. Even the scene in the movie is inspiring very grandly shot.
12. A Journrey In The Dark
Now as the Felowship enters the ruined mines of Moria the tune is set to a darker note suggesting the lurking danger for the Fellowship also harbingering the majesty of the fallen Dwarven wolrd and the terrors that await. Also the Fellowship meets Golum and later Pippin alerts the goblins and an attack stirs out which is not mentioned in the tracks although!
13. The Bridge Of Khazad Dum
The Fellowship is fleeing the Goblins as they are outnumbered but a sudden change in the track’s tempo suggests that some unseen force had just warded off the goblins giving The Fellowship some time to escape but soon . And the sounds even get resounding all of a sudden suggesting their path is obstructed at times and again the music changes to seem its all well but then Galdalf falls for Balrog and the Fellowship is forced to continue without Gandalf.
Once again singing praises about the Elven land the music implies the comfort and healing and purifaction powers. The song starts with a sad note which fits as gandalf had just perished, pulled down by Balrog. Shore limns the the scene of Aragorn meeting Galadriel – The Lady Of Light who towards end gifts the Fellowship with enchanted items and weapons. A story about the Elven rings and the origin of The Nazgul is also told.
15. The Great River
By the great river Shore refers to the Anduin which channels the Fellowship in their flight fom the orcs. A quick and powerful song filled with excitement conveying the grandeur of the area surrounded by The Fellowship. A sense of haste and the urge to escape is accentuated by the of use horns in the track.
16. Amon Hen
As the great statues of the Kings of old – Aragorn’s predescendents in the line of Elendil is shown in the movie Howard Shore’s score just examplifies its maginificence of those structures. Though graceful, the haste in the song tells us that the Uruk Hai are hot on their heels. The song is simply capturing and the visuals in the movie stunning.Its hard for someone reading the book to picture about those statues.
17. The Breaking Of The Fellowship
The first conclusion track of the album a seven minute long masterpiece, an extremely sad where the listener can feels The Fellowship breaking apart and splitting. It all starts as Boromir is possessed by greed to releive Frodo of the ring but he realises his mistake and fights valiantly with the orcs only to lay down his life. The song conveys that though the Fellowship though scattered remain unshattered!
18. May It Be
Another magical and spectacular song from Enya , her voices matches with mystical theme of the LOTR so adroitly. Her tone almost sounds like the voice of the Middle Earth. A fitting conclusion not too fast and not too dragging. Enya was even for nominted the Oscar for this track. Overall a great listen in the entire album very calming and expressive!