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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

254 customer reviews

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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
9. The White Rider
10. Treebeard
11. The Leave Taking
12. Helm's Deep
13. The Forbidden Pool
14. Breath Of Life
15. The Hornburg
16. Forth Eorlingas - featuring Ben Del Maestro
17. Isengard Unleashed
18. 744861056829Samwise The Brave
19. Gollum's Song - Emiliana Torrini

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 10, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: December 18, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Warner Music Group
  • Run Time: 179 minutes
  • ASIN: B00007BH5C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,386 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

144 of 146 people found the following review helpful By franz conrad on December 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Howard Shore's Fellowship of the Ring score was a revelation. Who knew that the composer of The Game and The Cell had such a mastery of the leitmotif approach to scoring? FOTR of the ring left us with fully fleshed out themes (the Ring theme, the Fellowship theme, the Hobbit theme, the Riders March, the Isengard march, the Lorien theme) and haunting motifs (Arwen's motif, Aniron, Gandalf's lament, the 'Moth' theme, the betrayal theme, Gollum's theme). The Two Towers offers both revised presentations of the old and a stunning collection of new material.
Of the old, the Ring theme opens the album in a bold statement, followed by Goldenthal-like strings that take us back into the percussion and male choir of the Moria episode of FOTR. In "The Forbidden Pool", the Ring theme is most deftly developed, intertwined with Gollum's motif for the moment in the film that corresponds to the Henneth Annun segment of the novel. Also of note is the renewed Fellowship theme, which opens "The Uruk Hai" in grand style and proclaims the peak of the Riddermark charge in "Forth Eorlingas". The Isengard March (Shore's answer to Williams' Empire March) is twisted and turned into a charge for Gandalf in "The White Rider" (hear the opening!) and in "Isengard Unleashed", the brass is amazingly low. There are many other reprises of the old material, my favourite being the reappearance of, of all things, the 'Moth' motif in "Isengard Unleashed".
Of the new, there is the theme of the Riddermark, stated frequently in a number of tracks ("The King of the Golden Hall", "Riders of Rohan", "Hornburg"), and memorably played for the Hardinger by Dermot Crehan. A lovely theme for woodwinds appears in the second half of "The White Rider", reappearing in "The Hornburg".
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Howard Shore has indeed made another masterpiece. It is incredible that he can improve upon the highly acclaimed Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. I was somewhat disappointed that Enya would not be making another contribution, but there are no complaints about the new artists. I did read a previous review expressing disappiontment that the music featured on the trailer was not on the soundtrack. This is becasue it is not from The Two Towers. That music actually is the score from the film Requiem for a Dream and is on that soundtrack. Just thought I would clear that up for anyone who was wondering because that is a powerful score as well. So, I would no doubt recommend adding this to your collection. It is just a taste of the highly anticipated theatrical experience that is on the way.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I loved the soundtrack for Fellowship of the Rings, and when the second movie came out, I was so impressed with Shore's continued work. The first film was whimsical and light in places, reflecting the Shire and it's Neverneverland perfection. It had to run to gauntlet of emotions from light and pure to powerful and pressing as they fellowship fought for their lives, to the sorrowful, the ethereal realm of the Elves to the final battle and redemption of Boromir.
Under Shore's hand, The Two Towers is darker, more intense. It does not have the range of Fellowship simply because we are past the Shire and it's tranquil beauty. But the score for the Two Towers is so moving. Think back on the brilliantly filmed scenes, and imagine them without the moving score of this film and you begin to understand just how brilliant conceived this score is. Howard Shore has firmly controlled the scores to make the sounds tracks as important as the film in creating the magic of the Rings.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Cutro on January 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
After his Academy Award win for The Fellowship of the Ring, Howard Shore returns to score the sequel, The Two Towers. This is just as good as Fellowship, if not better. Some of the themes from the last soundtrack are reused, but the majority of the music contains new themes, which are just as good. A new element used in the music for this soundtrack is a handanger, which is a Norwegian fiddle used for the Rohan theme. This thematic material can be found in "The Riders of Rohan", "The King of the Golden Hall", "Helm's Deep", and "Forth Eorlingas". The powerful chorus and mighty percussion that made the first score so great is featured in "The Passage of the Marshes", "Helm's Deep", "The Hornburg", "Forth Eorlingas", and "Isengard Unleashed". As Enya was used in the first soundtrack, Shore employs several soloists for this one, such as Isabel Bayrakdarian in "Evenstar", Shelia Chandra in "Breath of Life", Elizabeth Fraser in "Isengard Unleashed", Ben Del Maestro in "Forth Eorlingas" and "Isengard Unleashed", and Emiliana Torrini singing "Gollum's Song". The Fellowship theme returns in "The Uruk-hai" and the Hobbit theme returns in "Samwise the Brave". A major highlight of the album is "Helm's Deep", "The Hornburg", "Forth Eorlingas", and "Isengard Unleashed" with a powerful chorus, brass fanfares, and booming percussion. Some other new material for Gollum can be found in "The Taming of Smeagol", "The Forbidden Pool", and "Gollum's Song" with a cimbalom being used for his sound. As you have probably guessed by now, this is definitely a score worth getting at all costs. If you liked Fellowship, you will equally enjoy this. I think this will win the Academy Award this year for best score, as Fellowship did. Very impressive!
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