Ratings and Reviews
I have always wondered why the great film composers don't do this more often. Take a great score and rearrange it for the sake of the musical experience rather than the short and/or constrained cues needed to support the visual of the film.
I was lucky enough to see Shore conduct his Symphony with the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus in 2004 and have been waiting for a recording of it ever since. Finally.
I was somewhat skeptical of the quality of this recording since I was not familiar with the conductor and the orchestra and chorus (Ludwig Wicki and The 21st Century Symphony Orchestra). Nothing to worry about. The quality is top notch. Even the vocal soloists are first rate. It *is* somewhat difficult to get past the expected voices of Annie, Viggo, etc. but open up. These soloists have great voices and their covers are excellent.
If I have one critique, it is the unnecessary applause added after the end of the performance. Easy enough to edit out with the mute button though.
If your a fan of this music, don't wait another minute. If you don't get chills or a few tears by the climactic ending then you're an Orc ;)
Outstanding, both for LOTR fans and fans of good symphones.
This album follows all three of the LOTR movies, and fans will be able to follow the story throughout the symphony. Movements One & Two cover Fellowship of the Ring. Movements Three and Four take care of The Two Towers and Movements Five and Six complete the story's last move, The Return of the King. But if you've never seen the movies, or are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, I still recommend this album because in of itself it tells a great story. You will know when evil is afoot, and when good triumphs. Howard's genius is to capture the feeling of combat, the overwhelming chaos of it all, and the desperation of those who fight for justice. I can't say enough about this album, so please buy it and let it speak for itself. There is so little good music being published, don't let this gem pass you by.
About Howard Shore
Most associated with heavier genres like fantasy epics, horror, and thrillers, Howard Shore is an Academy Award and Grammy-winning film composer. He's also known for his work as a producer, conductor, orchestrator, music director, and saxophonist. Shore's extensive filmography includes the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, Martin Scorsese films such as The Departed and Hugo, and a long-running partnership with director David Cronenberg.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Shore began studying music as an eight-year-old and was playing in bands by the age of 13. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he was a founding member of the Toronto jazz-rock outfit Lighthouse, which released their self-titled debut in 1969. He played saxophone on a half dozen albums for the group before leaving it in 1972. During his time with the band, he also found work in television, including serving as music director for the short-lived series The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour (Hart Pomerantz and Lorne Michaels). He composed the music for magician Doug Henning's musical Spellbound, which opened in Toronto in 1974, then served as the original music director for Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 1980. In 1978, Shore wrote his first film score for the mystery I Miss You, Hugs and Kisses (aka Drop Dead, Dearest). The David Cronenberg horror film The Brood followed in 1979. Shore also composed music for Cronenberg's Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), and The Fly (1986) before rejoining the director on over a dozen more projects spanning four decades.
In addition to returning to work at Saturday Night Live as a music producer in the mid-'80s, Shore's other projects that decade included comedic fare like Martin Scorsese's After Hours (1985), Penny Marshall's Big (1988), and Susan Seidelman's She-Devil. More in line with his work for Cronenberg, in 1991 he provided the ominous score for Best Picture Oscar winner The Silence of the Lambs. While he continued to compose for comedies (1993's Mrs. Doubtfire, 1994's Ed Wood), he was increasingly sought out for more suspenseful, dramatic material, such as Single White Female (1992), Philadelphia (1993), and David Fincher's Se7en (1995) and The Game (1997). In the '90s, he also provided scores for Cronenberg's Naked Lunch, M. Butterfly, and eXistenZ, among others.
The 2000s brought Shore's first collaborations with director Peter Jackson. Beginning with 2001's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, he composed the music for the whole fantasy-adventure trilogy, which also included 2002's The Two Towers and 2003's The Return of the King. He won a Grammy and an Academy Award for his score to the first film. The Return of the King resulted in two more Oscar wins: Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "Into the West," which he co-wrote with Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh. He also scored Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong.
Shore's work for Martin Scorsese in the 2000s included Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), and Best Picture winner The Departed (2006). He also wrote music for Spider (2002), A History of Violence (2005), and Eastern Promises (2007) for Cronenberg. Fincher's Panic Room and John Patrick Shanley's Doubt were among his other films that decade.
In 2010, Shore contributed to The Twilight Saga with his score for the third installment, Eclipse, and he earned an Oscar nomination for his work on the Scorsese family film Hugo, released in 2011. The Cronenberg movies A Dangerous Method (2011) and Cosmopolis (2012) appeared in theaters before Shore's music could be heard in another J.R.R. Tolkien-Peter Jackson trilogy: The Hobbit (2012's An Unexpected Journey, 2013's The Desolation of Smaug, and 2014's The Battle of the Five Armies). He also scored Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars (2014) and added another Best Picture winner to his résumé with Tom McCarthy's Spotlight (2015). Shore followed that with the WWII-themed dramas Denial (2016) and The Catcher Was a Spy (2018). ~ Marcy Donelson
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- October 18, 1946