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Music Inspired by Middle Earth [Import]

Diane Arkenstone David / Arkenstone Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 62.95
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Product Details

1. Prelude: Hobbits From The Shire
2. The Road To Rivendel L
3. The Quest
4. Moria
5. Lothlorien
6. Galadriel's Mirror
7. The Riders Of Rohan
8. The Palantir
9. Arwen And Aragorn
10. To Isengard
11. In The Land Of Shadow
12. The Field Of Cormallen
13. The Grey Havens

Product Description


It's very hip to refer to Tolkien, given the success of Lord of the Rings on celluloid. But to be fair to David Arkenstone, he's always been inspired by the master fantasy author, so the release of this album just happens to be timely. A collaboration between composer-multi-instrumentalists David and Diane Arkenstone, the disc features many of David's trademarks as it incorporates influences as diverse as Aaron Copland, international sounds, and progressive rock. With both orchestral and ethnic instruments at their disposal, the composers and their Middle Earth Orchestra journey from grand symphonic peaks to delicate valleys, including the grand fanfare of "Field of Cormallen," the mysterious and ethereal atmosphere of "Palantir," and the lively, Renaissance-flavored dance of "Road to Rivendell." While this ode to Middle Earth is nothing groundbreaking within Arkenstone's extensive catalog, it's still an amiable, engaging album that will appeal to longtime listeners and intrigue many fantasy fans. --Bryan Reesman

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars arkenstone versus shore Feb. 23 2004
Format:Audio CD
All my life i have been a fierce rock fan, and still am, but because i'm very open minded about all types of music, i recently became a fan of New Age, and it's fair to say that David Arkenstone played an important role in my discovery of this kind of sound. Yes, it is true that he, like most new age musicians, falls ocasionally in the terrible clichets that plague the genre, but it is also true that the man is a great composer and his music has always something valuable and special, even in his weakest moments.
Having said this, i believe that this album is his masterpiece, the best record in a prolific and mostly splendid career; he created great works with the albums 'Quest of The Dream Warrior' (with a song, 'Kyla's Ride, that in my opinion is the best that he ever recorded, and that amazes me how nobody used it in a movie score), 'In The Wake Of The Wind', and 'Return Of The Guardians', all loosely inspired by Tolkien, and has other excelent records, but here he exceeded in recording music that exhales a true and axciting spirit of adventure, romance, mystery and imagination, places of enchantment, of pure magic and wonder - the Tolkien world in all it's splendour.
Arkenstone has the gift of creating sounds that sugest more than they reveal, a cinematic music that evokes and seduces, and with this album he manages to place the listener in the mythic universe of the Middle Earth, opening our eyes and ears with the wonders and the misteries of the ring saga. 'The Palantir', that unfolds an ethereal beauty and profound misticism, 'The Grey Havens', a beautiful display of the elfic ports, and 'Moria', a magnificent musical description of the somber caves, are just some of the highlights of a record filled with them. Magical and beautiful, a true wonderful record.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's really good, but doesn't beat Howard Shore Jan. 7 2004
Format:Audio CD
I did my level best to give this album its own fair chance, but I must admit I am a little spoiled by the insurmountable Howard Shore and the film score for the three Lord of the Rings movies. Arkenstone has some great stuff in his album, but I'm just going to have to admit that Shore's music is better, much better. Had I listened to this CD prior to hearing any of Shore's soundtracks, I would have thought "wow, pretty good." But when a fellow like Shore comes along and raises the bar so high, you look back at the rest and say "gee, that sounded pretty good...but THIS is AWESOME."
Still, Arkenstone is talented, no doubt about it. And he gets points merely for sharing the name of the famous jewel in Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'. There were a good many of the tracks whose music was good, yet in my mind did not fit the exact theme he titled it after. Arkenstone admits that he knew the challenge would lie in fighting the mental images and private imaginings that nearly every member of his audience who had read the books would have. I also found some of the tracks went on just a little too long. Perhaps it was his intention to listen to this music while reading a particular selection of Tolkien's books.
Regardless, here is a track-by-track analysis.
Track 1 (4:08): Majestic, symphonic opening - excellent. It has a Celtic flair to it, and for you soundtrack aficionados out there, it reminds me of a combination of the Prologue music from Shore's Fellowship soundtrack, the Prince of Egypt soundtrack, and the Apollo 13 soundtrack. (All of which are great pieces to buy) About two minutes into the track, the mood obviously shifts to hobbits.
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Format:Audio CD
Words alone cannot describe my feelings about this album. It is something that cannot be explained through the usage of this poor language, but something that must be experienced....
In my opinion, Music Inspired by Middle Earth is one of the greatest compositions of all time. Its gripping melodies and powerful drums pull you deep into the exuberant world of fantasy, whether it be a universe of your own, or the one that inspired it, the world of Tolkien. Each track has been well thought out and masterfully composed, entwined with the distinctive sound of the ancient Celts, and of Medieval England. Parts of it are thilling, others chilling, as Arkenstone attempts to give you a tour of Tolkien's Middle Earth, starting with the Shire, guiding you to Rivendell and through Moria, onto Lothlorien to glance at Galadriel's Mirror, and into the lands of Rohan, where the Horse-Lords dwell, to Isengard, with the Tree-Herders on the Last March of the Ents, treading the path of Frodo and Sam through the Lands of Shadow, where Sauron rules all, then, taking a moment to dare a gaze into the Palantir, to later venture down to the fields of Cormallen, and finally ending with the Grey Havens, where Elven White Ships depart to the West... Oh what a world to see, aided by music's guiding eye! It is almost as if the entralling compositions have the ability to actually open the gate to Middle Earth...
If you, like the millions of Tolkien fans out there, yearn to venture to Middle Earth and see Elves, Ents, Hobbits, and Ringwraiths, then this CD is definately for you. While it can't litterally take you to Middle Earth, it definately is a sensational selection to play when reading the books and to aid your mind's eye in imagining Tolkien's world for yourself.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Music Inspired by Middle Earth Featuring David Arkenstone
Music Inspired by Middle Earth is wonderful! The Journey, The Fields of Cormallen, and The Grey Havens are three of my favorite songs in this brilliant audio CD. Read more
Published on July 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Glorious!
This is one of Arkenstone's best efforts, for unlike some of his other pieces, it seizes one's imagination and attention right from the get go. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars a breathtaking ride through middle earth!! : )
never before have i heard sutch amazing atmosphereic mythical melodies in my life!. im 15 and have been a true Tolkienite lord of the rings fan all of my life. Read more
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie Soundtrack!
This CD is packed with powerful, beautiful instrumentals, and it brings to mind the very themes the song titles intend. Every one of them is awesome. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by D. MacNair
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, enchanting...
This album will transport you to Middle Earth. I'm serious! Listen to the tracks, and you can't help but feel the magic of Tolkien's realm--it's gaiety, wonder, poignancy, and... Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars His best album
I have been listening to Music Inspired by Middle Earth for c. a year now. My personal DA favorite is still "Eternal Champion", but, that is a collection of singles from... Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2003 by Merlin Douglas Larsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Right up there with Arkenstone's best work.
This album was given to me as a gift, and I'm glad because I'm not sure I would have bought it otherwise. Read more
Published on April 7 2003 by Ash1138
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey to Middle Earth
I have to say, I've never been one to make snap judgements about anything, and when I first bought this CD I was disappointed.... Read more
Published on March 29 2003 by Redbird
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruling the music of Middle-earth...
I would just like to say that I listen to this CD more than the soundtrack to the movie! It rules, it's inspiring, it's cool, it's awesome, and, quite frankly, this CD RULES!
Published on March 14 2003 by X.O.4
5.0 out of 5 stars A musical picture of Middle Earth!
This is a truly beautiful CD! I read the titles first then got comfortable to listen. I knew without refering to the jacket exactly what the selection represented. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2003
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