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  • The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (With Bonus DVD)
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The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (With Bonus DVD) Enhanced, Limited Edition, Soundtrack

364 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Enhanced, Limited Edition, December 9, 2003
$41.95 $0.98

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Limited Edition CD+DVD features leatherette exterior with an extra tray to hold the DVD. The DVD includes a 5-minute Supertrailer encompassing all three movies and "Howard Shore: An Introspective," a 20 minute documentary on the making of the score.

This final chapter of Peter Jackson's sprawling adaptation of Tolkien's "Ring" trilogy closes out one of the most accomplished cycles in cinema--and film music--history. As he's done for the saga's first two installments, composer Howard Shore has honed a mature, brooding orchestral masterpiece that's long on subtle shadings of mood and nuance, while eschewing the hollow bombast that's characterized all too many mainstream action and adventure films for three decades. If anything, he's pared this chapter of his music for Middle Earth even closer to the bone, the trilogy's familiar themes repeated with a sparing hand that only heightens their dramatic power. Like Herrmann before him, Shore has a preternatural understanding of orchestral timbres and their almost mystical connections with human emotions, and he's used it here to close out this remarkable trilogy with Wagnerian dramatic sweep, yet one with a distinctly modern, understated melodic sense that is Shore's alone. James Galway and Renee Fleming make key instrumental and vocal contributions, respectively, while Annie Lennox's soulful "Into the West" makes the expected, if unobtrusive, bow to the theatrical pop song conventions. --Jerry McCulley

1. A Storm Is Coming
2. Hope and Memory
3. Minas Tirith - Ben del Maestro
4. The White Tree
5. The Steward of Gondor - Billy Boyd
6. Minas Morgul
7. The Ride of the Rohirrin
8. Twilight and Shadow - Renee Fleming
9. Cirith Ungol
10. Anduril
11. Shelob's Lair
12. Ash and Smoke
13. The Fields of the Pelennor
14. Hope Fails
15. The Black Gate Opens - James Galway
16. The End of All Things - Renee Fleming
17. The Return of the King - Viggo Mortensen
18. The Grey Havens - James Galway
19. Into the West - Annie Lennox

Product Details

  • Composer: Howard Shore
  • Audio CD (December 9, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Enhanced, Limited Edition, Soundtrack
  • Label: Reprise
  • Run Time: 201 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000UHFC6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (364 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,197 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on February 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This deluxe edition of the soundtrack to "The Return of the King" has the exact same music as the regular edition, but comes in a beautiful leather package. Casual listeners should save money and buy the regular edition, but Tolkien fans will want this durable, bookshelf beauty instead. (Being a complete Tolkien nut, I bought both.)
The third of Howard Shore's soundtrack albums to the "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy is, like the film itself, the best of the best. The albums for both "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" were superb, stunning orchestral storyscapes that perfectly caught Tolkien's Middle-Earth and were wonderful individual listening experiences on their own, away from the films. The perfect music to read Tolkien by.
But this is the big one. This is the masterpiece. This is some of best film music of the last decade. Shore surpasses himself in every way on this score.
The new major theme for the score is the Gondor Theme, heard in fullest expression in the inspiring track "The White Tree" (actually, this is the music for the lighting of the beacons of Gondor) and also in "Minas Tirith" and the lonely, sad track "The Steward of Gondor," where Billy Boyd provides a haunting song to accompany a massacre. (Boyd's voice is a real surprise -- he sounds professional).
The other themes from the early films return, with Shore adapting them and changing them in surprising ways. You'll thrill to hearing the Rohirrim theme in "The Ride of the Rohirrim" as well as the way the theme introduces the real stand-out track of the album, "The Fields of Pelennor," a masterpiece suite describing various aspects of the battle around Minas Tirith.
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143 of 153 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Howard Shore has proven his talent beyond any doubt with this, the third and final of the three soundtracks for The Lord of the Rings movies. The music is the perfect score for the three most incredible movies the world has seen, taking us from emotional heights, to depths, to simple and quiet moments with some of the most wonderful music you'll ever hope to hear, regardless of whether or not you have seen, or even wish to see, the cinema trilogy by New Line.
I'd hoped to do a track-by-track analysis, but I simply don't have room, so I'll share some of this CD's better tracks.
Track 3 (3:38): It starts out with dangerous overtones, as Pippin attempts to steal the Palantír from Gandalf, and the terrible consequences of his deed. Gandalf takes him to the city of Gondor, and we hear the premiere of Shore's theme for the City of Kings. (Actually, we first heard a sampling of the Gondor theme in the first movie, when Aragorn is first spoken of as the exiled king, and again in the motion picture preview released earlier in 2003) A wonderful choir makes way to the splendorous, magnificent theme for Gondor, perfectly capturing all the wonder and awe of the city. Awesome. Actually, the solo by Ben Del Maestro, I have concurred, is the part that plays when the White Rider dashes out onto the planes to challenge the Nazgûl.
Track 4 (3:25): A solemn tune, with distinctive Death of Boromir overtones, then the theme for Gondor again, just as grand as before. I believe (I'm big on figuring out which part of the soundtrack goes to which part of the movie) that this is the glorious music that plays as Gandalf rides through the citadel of Gondor, to the very top level of the city.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Rich Stoehr on December 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This music is the completion of a journey begun over two years ago.
When I first heard, quite a while ago now, that Howard Shore had been selected to write the music for "The Lord of the Rings" films, I wasn't sure what to think. I liked Shore's music well enough from movies like "Silence of the Lambs" or "Seven," but I wasn't sure how he would handle the epic nature of something like this. Three times over now, Shore has proven to me (and to many others) that he is quite capable of expressing everything that makes "The Lord of the Rings" such a grand story in his music.
The score for "Return of the King" is the most grand and sweeping of the three scores, which is as it should be, since the events of the story are of the largest scale. And yet, somehow the music finds moments of intimacy and soft beauty, even amidst all the epic movements and operatic themes.
Each of the different tracks on the album is recognizable for its theme: "The White Tree" is a powerful and noble theme for Gondor, "Shelob's Lair" is a terrifying piece for its namesake, "The Steward of Gondor" is a softly moving march accompanied by panflute, with a surprisingly-moving vocal piece by Billy Boyd (Pippin in the film), and "Minas Morgul" is an even more intense repriese of the recurrent theme for the Nazgul. "The Fields of the Pelennor" will rouse you right out of your seat, and "Twilight and Shadow," with the incomparable Renee Fleming lending her gorgeous voice, will make your eyes tear up.
The track that will rip your heart out, though, is definitely "Into the West," with Annie Lennox singing vocals.
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