|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|
|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|
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.Read more ›
Some of my favourites include -
Track 1 - A Storm is Coming
A surprisingly upbeat and whimsical introduction to the film. Compared to the previous openings (especially the fantastic 'Foundations of Stone' from The Two Towers), it sounds surprisingly subdued. Still, it's an enjoyable listen, and does provide excellent musical accompaniment to seeing Smeagol sans' makeup.
Track 10 - Anduril
Finally, after three years of impatiently waiting, we at last see the forging of Anduril - the Sword of the West! And it's about time!!! Howard Shore makes sure that the payoff here is absolutely huge, with a liberal (and beautiful) use of choral arrangements, and the elven themes from both Rivendell and Lothlorien (just to emphasis exactly who is reforging the Sword of the West).
Track 11 - Shelob
This track sounds like it belongs more to an Aliens film than an epic fantasy - it is, however, mildly scary (at least to my ears). Howard Shore has often composed music for David Cronenberg (a famous horror film director), so it should be no surprise that he knows how to scare the pants of film audiences. After hearing this music, so goodness only knows what Shelob will actually look like. And I hate spiders!
Track 15 - The Black Gate Opens
Despite its bleak title, this is a surprisingly hopeful and optimistic tune. There are a few welcome reprises of tunes from FOTR and TTT, including the Fellowship tune, Hobbiton, and the 'Into the West'.
Track 16 - The End of All Things.Read more ›
On the final soundtrack, we get a host of voices to treasure. We have the sublime in Renee Fleming (Twilight and Shadow, The End of All Things) and Ben del Maestro (Minas Tirith). We also have the flute of James Galway (The Black Gate Opens, The Grey Havens.) But what is most endearing is the voice of Billy Boyd (The Steward of Gondor)and Viggo Mortensen (The Return of the King) singing laments to mark their historical journeys.
Peter Jackson has created a gut wrenching, emotional trilogy. Howard Shore has blessed us with music that grabs your heart and soul and never lets go. I highly recommend all three magnificant sound tracks.
A Storm is Coming-a wonderful display of the theme for the Ring. Read more