When Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of J.R. Tolkien’s fantasy masterpiece, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy premiered in 2001 (continuing in 2002 and 2003), it was an instant hit. The Trilogy is now recognized one of the great achievements of film craft and imagination, joining the likes of Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, or 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film is also remembered for its magnificent soundtrack composed by the Canadian songwriter and conductor, Howard Shore (b. 1946).
That Shore was picked to score the trilogy surprised many since he was primarily associated with dark, ominous films and had never scored an epic of this scale. As it turned out, his soundtrack for the movie was hugely successful and the music became as iconic as the film itself, in the same way John Williams’ scores did for the Star Wars Trilogy.
For his work, Shore received 3 Academy Awards – two for Best Original Score and one for Best Original Song (“Into the West”) from the last of the trilogy, ‘The Return of the King’. He also won 3 Grammy Awards for Best Score for each of the Lord of the Rings films, and received a second award for “Into the West” in the category of Best Song. With a soundtrack that lasts well over 3 hours, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Below are five of my favourite compositions from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Hope you like it.
“The Breaking of the Fellowship” (17th song from Part I: “Fellowship of the Rings”) 7.16 mins. Music by Howard Shore.
“Evenstar” (8th song from Part 2: “Two Towers”) 3.14 mins. Music and lyrics by Howard Shore.
“The Black Gate Opens” (15th song from Part 3: “The Return of the King”) 4 mins. Music by Howard Shore.
“The Return of the King” (8h song from Part 3: “Twilight and Shadows”). Music by Howard Shore.
“Into the West” (final song from Part 3: “The Return of the King”) 4.32 mins. Music by Howard Shore, lyrics by Anne Lennox and Fran Walsh.
Hope fades Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
Don’t say we have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again