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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Limited Edition) Soundtrack

62 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, December 10, 2002
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$79.20 $8.95

Editorial Reviews

Howard Shore's music for the massively successful first film chapter of Tolkien's Ring saga won him the Oscar® for Best Original Score, something of a surprise given the music's ambitious scale and determinedly dark overtones, factors that handily blurred the line between typical film fantasy music and accomplished concert work. Its sequel takes the same, often Wagnerian-scaled dramatic tack, following the film's story line into even more brooding and ominous dark corners. The previous film's Hobbit-inspired pastoralism is supplanted here by rich ethnic textures that expand the musical scope of Middle-earth and the World of Men; the Hardanger, a Norwegian fiddle, represents the Rohan and the North African rhaita colors the Mordor theme, while log drums, dilruba, wood xylophone, and cimbalon add intriguing textures elsewhere. The score's looming orchestral clouds are brightened by Shore's masterful choral writing, which infuses ancient liturgical influences with various solo turns by Isabel Bayrakdarian, indie-pop star Sheila Chandra, Ben Del Maestro, and Elizabeth Fraser. "Gollum's Song," the composer's concluding collaboration with lyricist Fran Walsh, is delivered with Björkish, postmodern angst by Emiliana Torrini, and helps punctuate the story's modern sense of allegory. --Jerry McCulley

1. Foundations Of Stone
2. The Taming Of Smeagol
3. The Riders Of Rohan
4. The Passage Of The Marshes
5. The Uruk-hai
6. The King Of The Golden Hall
7. The Black Gate Is Closed
8. Evenstar - featuring Isabel Bayrakdarian
9. The White Rider
10. Treebeard
11. The Leave Taking
12. Helm's Deep
13. The Firbidden Pool
14. Breath Of Life - featuring Sheila Chandra
15. The Hornburg
16. Forth Earlingas - featuring Ben Del Maestro
17. Isengard Unleashed - featuring Elizabeth Fraser & Ben Del Maestro
18. Samwise The Brave
19. Gollum's Song - performed by Emiliana Torrini
20. Farewell To Lorien (bonus track) - featuring Hilary Summers

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 10, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: December 18, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Reprise
  • Run Time: 179 minutes
  • ASIN: B00007BH9C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,321 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Leanna on December 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
After instantly falling in love with the music of "The Fellowship of the Ring," I was very anxious to get my hands on "The Two Towers" soundtrack to see if Howard Shore would be able to top his previous musical achievement. So I went out and bought TTT soundtrack on the first day.
Upon my first listen through, I discovered that it was very different from FotR. Some of the wonderful themes were either missing, only played briefly, or altered extensively, but many new themes were introduced to represent the new areas of Middle-earth that the members of the Fellowship explore throughout TTT. Overall, I was pleased with the score, although I felt that it wasn't as easy to hum along with as the first. However, I really did not care for "Gollum's Song" at first. Emiliana Torrini's voice just seemed out of place to me.
Because I generally liked the score, I decided to keep listening to it in an attempt to "memorize" most of it before I actually went and saw the movie. Am I ever glad that I did. The more I listened the more I grew to love the music and to appreciate all of its subtleties. I realized that it wasn't all that difficult to hum along with once I got used to it. Even "Gollum's Song" began to grow on me, so much so that it is now one of my favorite tracks. Shore uses unique instruments to give musical identities to the various cultures of Middle-earth (most notably the Hardinger fiddle for Rohan). He also uses choral work extensively, which gives the music incredible depth (particularly the Oratory School Schola Boys' Choir and soloist Ben Del Maestro).
The most notable difference between this soundtrack and that of FotR (besides the new music of course) is the pacing. FotR, for all that I love it, starts off rather slowly and doesn't really pick up until track 11 or so.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This review may have minor spoilers for the next (and maybe the third) movie. It is my opinion that this soundtrack has more emotion than the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack (with the exception of The Breaking of the Fellowship, which was heartbreaking). The Fellowship of the Ring's soundtrack introduced you to themes: Rivendell, Lothlorien, Hobbiton, etc, and was mainly exposition, and was appropriate to a beginning of a trilogy. This soundtrack takes those themes and instills them with heartfelt emotion. I'll review it track by track:
1) Foundations of Stone. This song begins subtly, with the Ring theme (the same theme that opened the credits to the Fellowship of the Ring.) It has beautiful woodwinds, but then moves to the music that accompanied Gandalf's stand against the Balrog, but then it moves to new ground. Intense, but ultimately triumphant.
2) The Taming of Smeagol. This begins with the hobbiton theme (For Smeagol). The beginning is sad, with a wonderful vocal backdrop. But then it gets slightly angry (for Gollum). It begins to have a strong sound, but ends quietly.
3)The Riders of Rohan. This begins with a strong and triumphant feel, then the Rohan theme is introduced, which is worth the entire cost of the album. Norse, slightly Celtic, and sad. Shakespearean, almost.
4)The Passage of the Marshes. Creepy, creepy, creepy. This song begins with strings, but then introduces a haunting choir. Who else but Howard Shore could give voices to those inhabiting the Dead Marshes? ("I saw them: grim faces and evil, noble faces and sad. Many faces proud and fair, and weeds in their silver hair." -Frodo.)
5) The Uruk-hai. This song begins optimistic, charged with the fervor of the Three Hunters.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This soundtrack for the upcoming Two Towers film is an excellent successor to the beautiful compositions Howard Shore created for The Fellowship of the Ring. Several themes are repeated, including that used for the Fellowship as it traveled through Eregion and the one used for the hobbits, but most of the work is new and brilliant. There are elements evocative of Asian and African music, which helps depict the vast landscapes of Middle earth.
The Two Towers is a darker, more violent book than the Fellowship, and this is reflected in this soundtrack's music, especially in selections like Foundations of Stone and the Riders of Rohan. The Passage of the Marshes is the eeriest piece, with elements reminiscent of horror movies. Dark but very heroic are Helm's Deep and The Hornburg, which exemplify battle music.
I think my favorite piece is The King of the Golden Hall, which majestically evokes Meduseld, the palace of the Kings of Rohan. I also loved Evenstar, which is an ethereal reminder of Elven beauty.
Gollum's Song was probably the biggest surprise to me. Listening to it, I understood the pity Bilbo and Frodo felt for the miserable creature, consumed by the Ring and horribly aware of all he has lost forever.

If you buy the Limited Edition you get a nice leather like case and an interesting twenty page booklet with pictures from the movie and of the production crew. There are also lyrics to a couple of songs not included in the CD, including The Missing, which is rendered in Old English, and The Ents, which is in Sindarin.
As I listen to this CD and await the movie, this thirty year Tolkien fan can find much to admire, little to regret, and nothing to reject. It is a worthy companion to the first movie and sets the highest of standards for the third, standards I am sure will be met if not surpassed.
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