The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Enhanced, Soundtrack
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|1. A Storm Is Coming: Hope and Memory. Minas Trith (featuring Ben del Maestro)|
|2. The White Tree: The Steward of Gondor (featuring Billy Boyd)|
|3. Minas Morgul: The Ride Of The Rohirrim: Twilight And Shadow (featuring Renee Fleming)|
|4. Cirith Ungol|
|6. Shelobs Lair|
|7. The Ride of the Rohirrim|
|8. The Fields Of The Pelennor|
|9. Hope Fails|
|10. The Black Gate Opens (featuring Sir James Galway)|
|11. The End Of All Things (featuring Renee Fleming)|
|12. The Return Of The King (Featuring Sir James Galway, Viggo Mortensen & Renee Fleming|
|13. The Grey Havens (featuring Sir James Galway)|
|14. Into The West (performed by Annie Lennox)|
|15. The Black Gate Opens - Howard Shore|
|16. The End Of All Things - Howard Shore|
|17. The Return Of The King - Howard Shore|
|18. The Grey Havens - Howard Shore|
|19. Into The West - Howard Shore|
The final film in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy will be a certain blockbuster. The soundtrack albums to the previous films have been hits and award winners. Now with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King featuring a track by Annie Lennox, this score album from the series' composer Howard Shore is sure to score with movie fans.
This final chapter of Peter Jackson's sprawling adaptation of Tolkien's "Ring" trilogy closes out one of the most accomplished cycles in cinema--and film music--history. As he's done for the saga's first two installments, composer Howard Shore has honed a mature, brooding orchestral masterpiece that's long on subtle shadings of mood and nuance, while eschewing the hollow bombast that's characterized all too many mainstream action and adventure films for three decades. If anything, he's pared this chapter of his music for Middle Earth even closer to the bone, the trilogy's familiar themes repeated with a sparing hand that only heightens their dramatic power. Like Herrmann before him, Shore has a preternatural understanding of orchestral timbres and their almost mystical connections with human emotions, and he's used it here to close out this remarkable trilogy with Wagnerian dramatic sweep, yet one with a distinctly modern, understated melodic sense that is Shore's alone. James Galway and Renee Fleming make key instrumental and vocal contributions, respectively, while Annie Lennox's soulful "Into the West" makes the expected, if unobtrusive, bow to the theatrical pop song conventions. --Jerry McCulley
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
My personal favorites are The Steward of Gondor, The Grey Havens, and Into the West. In The Steward of Gondor, Billy Boyd shines through with his amazing talent that is mixed in with eerie and ominous strings as Faramir's riders go on the suicide mission to attempt the recapture of Osgiliath. In The Grey Havens, you can feel the Hobbits' sorrow as they realize Frodo and the rest of the last Ringbearers on Middle Earth, Bilbo, Elrond, Galadriel, and Cirdan, must leave for Valinor.
And Annie Lennox does an absolutely outstanding job with Into the West. It is the perfect song to fall asleep to, or just to light candles and relax.
Overall, this album is definately worth every single penny. The other tracks are just as good as those that have received mention (but have slipped my mind at the moment. Heh.). An enjoyable CD for any Lord of the Rings/Howard Shore fan.
Most recent customer reviews
Beautiful movies pieces of music, this soundtrack is exceptional! You can really feel emotions run through you when you listen to it!Published on June 28 2014 by Jazmine
What can I say, this soundtrack is an emotional ride from fearing that the hobbits would not make it to the sad end when Frodo leaves Middle Earth. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2013 by Merlin_the_Mighty
I've been listening to it for years already via my online radio subscription. It is great to finally have it to listen to it in my car!Published on Dec 1 2013 by Kelly Roughton
I enjoyed the continuation of the Howard Shore scores. It sets an appropriate brooding tone for the last movie of the trilogy.Published on Feb. 23 2013 by Delbert C Wright
I love the movies and love the soundtracks also! Howard Shore is a brilliant composer.
I heard that late this year or in 2005 will be released a BoxSet with 9 CDs of the... Read more
Howard Shore has proved himself as a musical genius in The Lord of the Rings soundtracks. As the Amazon reviewer said, he mystically ties emotion and music into one beautifully. Read morePublished on June 25 2004 by Bryan
This score was beautifully, and masterfully crafted. I love the "Into the West" Theme that occurs so often... Read morePublished on June 20 2004 by Danielle E. Johnson
The ROTK soundtrack is a magnificent installment of Shore's. The songs capture the distinct climaxes of the movie, allowing the listener to visualize those great movie scenes again... Read morePublished on June 17 2004 by Emiko Thein