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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
a music question: round up the usual suspects...


Jul 23 2012, 11:30am

Post #1 of 6 (474 views)
a music question: round up the usual suspects... Can't Post

...although everybody's welcome.

It's interesting (to me, anyhow) that Howard Shore chose to end both the original soundtrack release and the LOTR Symphony with the piece that seems to represent the final journey across the Sea while the film and the Complete Recordings end with 'Elanor', the piece that plays when Sam returns home.

As our colleague Magpie has noted, Sam's return is, in some ways, our "return" as well. We need to be able to say, "Well, I'm back", because we have "more to be and to do". For me, at least, the music isn't "finished" until that piece is played.


Jul 23 2012, 7:38pm

Post #2 of 6 (187 views)
Love the Elanor piece [In reply to] Can't Post

It gets me every time! It feels very final, but sweet and lovely.


Jul 24 2012, 12:28am

Post #3 of 6 (160 views)
agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

...although I'll never be able to separate the music from its place in the story, I'm betting it would have caught my ear anyway. As it is, it's the perfect finish for the story.


Jul 26 2012, 12:28am

Post #4 of 6 (139 views)
I hadn't really thought of that... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I should have. Excellent observation.

Regarding the Symphony, one thing I noticed early on is that the selection and merging of passages is very OST-centric, if that makes any sense. This is especially true in the later movements.

What I mean by that is that the composition of the Symphony has a strong tendency to follow the composition of tracks on the OST. By Movements Five and Six, there are near-exact representations of corresponding tracks from RotK OST, even though the specific bits of music jump all around within the chronology of the film.

I would love to know a little more about the artistic process of taking the raw material of film music and re-composing it into the OSTs, because I find so many of those tracks to be wonderful stand-alone pieces, even though they look chaotic when broken down as film cues. http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...sis/cbc_analysis.htm
I wonder how much HS controlled the process by the development of the LotR Symphony arrangement and how much was delegated.

Anyway, I agree with you that the musical story should end the way the film (and book) story ends. I guess I tend to think of "Into the West" as a kind of Appendices theme - a tail credits retrospective.


Jul 26 2012, 11:06am

Post #5 of 6 (126 views)
true, too... [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadn't realized that the Symphony and the OST were so close at other points. Doing some informed guessing, it seems that HS was left alone to do the OST so the selections would be pretty much the same when he went to do the Symphony.

More guessing: the story has to end with 'Elanor' and commercial considerations probably dictated that a Pop song had to run under the initial credits. As was discussed in a previous thread, we don't really know who's singing to whom on 'Into The West' but it sounds "final" and pushes Shore's 'Epilogue' past the point where lots of people have left the theater or switched off the DVD. Maybe he just wanted to give the piece its moment in the sun.

For me, though, the story still has to end with 'Elanor' and I think it's interesting psychologically. As magpie pointed out, the 'Epilogue' is "about" Frodo, et al. leaving Middle-earth; 'Elanor' is the musical equivalent of Sam's, "Well, I'm back."

The Shire

Jul 27 2012, 2:26pm

Post #6 of 6 (242 views)
Me too! [In reply to] Can't Post

Actual tears every time I hear it! Man I'm soppy... Evil


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