Howard Shore’s Music of Middle-earth

Lotr howard shore
Howard Shore

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring In Concert at the National Arts Centre, the NAC Orchestra will be conducted by Erik Ochsner; Laurence Ewashko directs the 130-voice Lord of the Rings Chorus, and soloists include soprano Nancy Allen Lundy and boy soprano Matthew Kronberg.

The following fascinating notes are © Doug Adams, a Chicago-based musician and writer who is the author of the book The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films.

The vast scope [of the score for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring] calls for symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, boys chorus and instrumental and vocal soloists singing in the Tolkien-crafted languages Quenya, Sindarin, Khuzdûl, Adûnaic, Black Speech, as well as English. Original folk songs stand alongside diatonic hymns, knots of polyphony, complex tone clusters and seething, dissonant aleatoric passages. It is purposeful, knowing writing, as contained in execution as it is far-reaching in influence; for within this broad framework resides a remarkably concise musical vision. Howard Shore’s writing assumes an earthy, grounded tone built on sturdy orchestral structures and a sense of line that is at once fluid yet stripped of frivolous ornamentation.

Says Howard Shore, “This is the first time that the complete score to The Fellowship of the Ring will be performed live to projection in Ottawa. My first score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, was the beginning of my journey into the world of Tolkien and I will always hold a special fondness for the music and the experience.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring In Concert runs July 5 - 7

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