- Conductor: Morten Ryelund
- Composer: Caspar Reiff
- Audio CD (March 13, 2006)
- Number of Discs: 4
- Format: Box set, Import, Soundtrack
- Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
- Label: Membrane
- ASIN: B000EU1JL0
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,005 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Lord of the Rings
Import, Box Set
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This 4 CD-box contains the world's first complete musical interpretation of all the poems in the J.R. Tolkien's masterpiece 'The Lord of the Rings' set to music by Caspar Reiff & Peter Hall. 14 soloists, among these the world-famous actor Christopher Lee, and more that 150 professional musicians, have taken part in the ambitious project, which took 10 years to complete.
The songs help one relive 'The Lord of the Rings' in an entirely new way, as they range from happy and funny hobbit folk-songs in the beginning of the book, to evocative and dramatic highlights towards the end.
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Over ten years ago, the Tolkien Ensemble formed to put to music the poems that appear in The Lord of the Rings. These are not "songs inspired by" or "music inspired by." This is the text of the poems as they appear in the books, put to music. Receiving the blessings of the Tolkien Estate after performing some of their results in concerts, their first disc was "An Evening in Rivendell", which contained all the lighthearted hobbit songs, and a few others (such as Galadriel's song of Eldamar, and a couple of versions of the Hymn to Elbereth). A few years later, "A Night in Rivendell" tackled some of the darker poems: the lament for Boromir, the funeral hymn for Theoden, Frodo's rememberance of Gandalf, etc. Then came "At Dawn in Rivendell", which also enlisted the great Christopher Lee to make readings of some poems that are clearly meant to be spoken rather than sung, and songs like Legolas's "Song of Nimrodel". And finally came "Leaving Rivendell", with all remaining songs and poems.
This set contains all the material that was included in the previous four discs; the difference being that in this set the poems and songs appear in the same order as they occur in the books. The first two CDs contain the songs and poems that occur in "Fellowship of the Ring", the third contains the ones from "The Two Towers", and the fourth and final the ones from "Return of the King". Except for a few repetitions that occur in the book, all the poems and songs from the trilogy are in the CDs. Even so, some repetitions receive reworked treatment (there are three versions of the Elven Hymn to Elbereth, for example).
The style of music varies as much as the style varies in the book. From a great choral arrangement for the Burial Song for Theoden, to aethereal voices singing to Elbereth, through a more bardic style for the Song of Nimrodel; a great piano arrangement for the Lament for Boromir, lively renditions of "There is an inn..." and Sam's troll song, and stately readings of the Rhymes of Lore by Christopher Lee (who also provides the voice of Treebeard in some songs). No doubt the style of some songs may strike some listeners as odd or a false note (I for one imagined the Burial Song in a more traditional, single bard, style than a choral arrangement; and one might certainly debate how appropriate the sounds of a piano might be in the context of the fantasy tale); but by and large, it just sounds right.
The Tolkien Ensemble has done an outstanding job in translating the poems to actual songs, and in providing ambient music for the dramatic readings where appropriate. Next time you read the trilogy, you will find yourself singing the poems and not merely reading them.
Sitting in a dark theater, sipping coke that cost what a gallon of gas does today, we were on pins and needles. Then, up comes the movie- and Roseman attacks, a full frontal assualt with everything in his arsenal, a rolling barrage that must have soiled the pants of his brass section. After recovering missing babies and hair peices that have been blown away in the initial fray, he turns to skirmishing and the odd sniper attack. The rest of the score is a simple battle of attrition; the victims are fewer, and less noticable. He mellows somewhat, and takes prisoners.
If it sounds like I don't like the score, nay! This is a walk down memory lane, a nostalgic interlude. Bakshi's LOTR was a big event in the lives of fantasy and Tolkien fans, a really big deal. We were obsessed with it, and eagerly awaited the second half....and got Rankin Bass and singing Orcs. I had the score on LP, lost for decades now. I even had the little picture book they used to release on movies, chock full of great stills from the movie. In my head, when I read and re-read LOTR, more that not Bakshi's visuals were in my head, and Roseman's score on the turntable. Just be warned, some parts are not for the weak of heart. Do not play around excitable barnyard animals, or the mentally impaired, as the side efects have yet to be determined. Oh, and don't buy this unless you have seen the movie! Once you have, and can apply the two, you can begin to appreciate it for it's own merits.
So there you have it. A strange cult thing for Middle-earth piners. Yes, Mr. Beagle, we would go there as quick as we could, but we can't..so we indulge ourselves with old movies and soundtracks, and try to figure out why Peter Jackson could make a movie with so much right...and so much wrong. You won't see Arwen take all of Frodo's strong secnes, or Faramir act like a poor man's Boromir or the other PJ re-writes that got under our skins in Bakshi's movie, and you will have a very different vision with Roseman's soundtrack. If you crave adventure of a new and different kind, you won't regret the meagre investment. But don't inhale until you build up a slight tolerance.
Songs like "A walking song", "The fall of Gil Galad", "Song of the Mound of Mundburg" are really impressive.
Awesome work, it is really worth.