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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Soundtrack, Special Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 348 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, Special Edition, December 11, 2012
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The Special Edition of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey contains the full score from the film with seven extended score cues, six exclusive bonus tracks, and deluxe liner notes packaged in a 2 CD hardcover digibook. The Soundtrack features original score by Academy Award winner Howard Shore recorded at famed Abbey Road Studios by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally it includes an original song, Song of the Lonely Mountain, written and performed by Neil Finn (Crowded House).
One of today's most respected, honored, and active composers and music conductors, Howard Shore previously worked with director Peter Jackson on The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, which stands as his most towering achievement to date. He won three Academy Awards for his music for those films.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 11, 2012)
  • Special ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Soundtrack, Special Edition
  • Label: WaterTower Music
  • ASIN: B009O07NDY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (348 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Kroener on December 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I don't know if there ever was film music, save for the sequels to the original 1977 Star Wars, that had as much anticipation attached to it as The Hobbit. Howard Shore created a milestone with Lord of the Rings, and despite the events surrounding Jackson's King Kong, there was no question he would be on board for these films. It is quite possible, and very likely, given his passion for Tolkien, that he was playing with ideas for a possible Hobbit movie ever since he wrapped up The Return of the King.
Should you have asked yourself the question if themes from The Lord of the Rings would appear in The Hobbit, Howard Shore puts it to rest one minute into the album, when a plain string arrangement of the Shire theme appears in "My Dear Frodo", leading into the prologue music after the opening titles. Here, much like in Fellowship of the Ring, several main thematic threads are introduced; the most prominent being the themes for Smaug and the dwarves.

Given the story of the films, it should be no surprise that Shore heavily expands upon the dwarven music from Lord of the Rings. "My Dear Frodo" and "An Ancient Enemy" are the most prominent examples, when the deep male chorus sings out earthshattering expansions of the dwarven harmonies, together with a new, noble theme on french horns for the great dwarf culture. While their theme in Lord of the Rings ("A Journey In The Dark") was ever downward reaching, this theme moves upward in a proud, yet already slightly resigning way. This is a major thematic thread in this score, but of course not the only one. There are themes and motifs abound.
The centre of the score is twofold. One is the theme "Misty Mountains", as already heard in the trailer. Written by Plan 9, it sets J.R.R.
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I thought that this would be the whole score in its entirety like when the whole scores of the Lord of the Rings released about three years latter after the trilogy had its run ended in the winter of 2004.But it wasn't.For the first tracks it does have the main sequences, but then as you go further into the music it then is edited and shortend then what it was on screen.So I hope that this was not about money that they could not put the whole thing in one package.I hope that when the whole prequal trilogy is over that Reprise Records gives the authorization to have Howard Shores Hobbit scores re-relaesed in its entirety the way it should be.
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While this soundtrack contains a great score as expected, I've found that the tracks do not actually contain the same tracks that were used at parts in the movie. For instance, the Misty Mountains song that was so moving in the movie is only on the soundtrack by itself and in a variant form. Nowhere in the soundtrack is the song presented along with the booming score as it was in the movie and this is quite disappointing as it was one of the main reasons I purchased this soundtrack.

As noted, the overall score is fantastic but if you're looking for something specific I would give it a listen before buying.
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Format: Audio CD
Like so many of you, I have been fascinated by J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth for decades and was thrilled when my prepaid download of the soundtrack began this evening. Thankfully, Howard Shore has once again proven himself more than equal to the task of bringing these marvelous tales to life. Having just re-read the Hobbit, I found that I had forgotten just how much of the story is quite serious in nature. The film score brilliantly reflects the story arc with some light-hearted moments as in "Blunt the Knives" (a sprightly, Celtic sounding track featuring the dwarves) but quickly takes on the more majestic scope of Tolkien's story as it proceeds. As with Lord of the Rings, Shore presents a full offering of beautiful instrumental pieces, haunting choral pieces, and stirring adventure-themed arrangements of daring and foreboding.

Some themes such as "The Hidden Valley" and "The White Council" are very reminiscent of the Rivendell pieces from LOTR. We book lovers especially appreciate how brilliantly Howard Shore has captured the *feel* of Tolkien's work and brought it to life. The dwarves' rendition of Misty Mountains is most interesting -- deep voices joined in melancholy song. This is one of my favorite tracks and one which is intertwined very effectively throughout the rest of the soundtrack, much in the vein of the Fellowship theme in the Lord of the Rings movies. And of course, the Gollum and Bilbo scenes are brought to menacing life in "Riddles in the Dark". The music is just what you would expect of a scene like this.

This is one for the ages -- brilliant soundtrack and one I expect to listen to over and over again.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm very sorry to disagree with so many others, but I have to say that as a long- time fan of both Peter Jackson and Howard Shore I found this soundtrack very disappointing.
Unlike the 2-disc soundtracks released with the Lord of the Rings series (which are now almost impossible to find for under a small fortune), this set IS NOT the film score! It is a collection of songs that feels like a slightly- extended basic soundtrack, along with a few tracks added which we never heard in the film (Previews for the next film, I suppose? What will go on that album then?).
The way the music is arranged, you never really have that sustained feeling of majesty that the other soundtracks achieved. Instead, you're constantly jerked around between music that is too quiet, then too bombastically loud, then on occasion showing a little of that glory you know it is capable of.
Cosmetically speaking, the case is disgraceful considering how much it costs compared to the "basic" soundtrack. It's overpriced cardboard with a bunch of silly iphone app features printed into it, a book about the album mostly dominated by pictures, and slots that barely hold your CDs in place. Yes, I'm sure it's cheaper for the record company and better for the environment, but it doesn't provide much protection for your discs at all!
All negativity aside, there are a few absolute gems in this set, including recordings of "Blunt the Knives" and "Misty Mounstains", though I am disappointed that these were not recorded longer for the album. Would it really have been that difficult to ask Mr. Armitage to sing the entire song, or at least more than a minute's worth of it for the fans who shelled out the money for this?
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