Good things are knows to come to those who wait. One can safely to say that Howard Shore's scores for The Lord of the Rings trilogy are among the best-documented contemporary music. The single-disc soundtrack releases are now seen as modest beginnings. These were followed by Special Editions with several bonus tracks. But even these were just the tips of the iceberg. Next were the Complete Recordings boxes, which together were comprised of 10 CDs and 3 DVDs. And now an appealing new book by author Doug Adams has appeared: The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films.
Adams' book is a pure treat for fans. The author takes up the threads of the booklets of the Complete Recordings and weaves these strands together and expands them – as is adequate for such a musical universe. The book has three main parts. In the first, Adams illuminates and dissects each of the more than 90 themes, variations and motifs. In second part, he devotes his attention to the individual compositions in the Complete Recordings by analyzing structure, orchestration, and contextual meaning. He also discusses early and alternate musical ideas (some of which are on the enclosed Rarities Archive CD). The third and final part, The Recording Sessions, consists of diary-like posts.
All this detail is complemented by countless pictures, film stills, and – especially interesting – printed score excerpts. The book is, therefore, both a visual treat and an extensive detailed work, written in plain language and terminology, which enhances the 11 CDs of the Complete Recordings. After this reading this book, one will listed to The Lord of the Rings with even greater amazement.
Doug Adams' The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films is the result of years of work. The novelty of the content may be drawn into question be at this point, due to the previously published booklets and Annotated Scores. Despite this, the book receives an unrestricted recommendation to all completists and fans of this music.
The book’s new details, the planned recording of The Lord of the Rings Symphony, and the upcoming December 2012 and 2013 releases of The Hobbit films means Howard Shore’s music for Middle-earth will accompany us for many years.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Basil Böhni has kindly sent us over an early version of CinemaMusica's review of The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films. It's in German, but I've included a rough translation below. Be sure to click on the image to see the original article. Thanks, Basil!