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LOTR Symphony Performances 2005-2006

September 16, 2005 at 6:21 pm by xoanon  - 

FOLLOWING SUMMER PERFORMANCES IN THE U.S. AND EUROPE, HOWARD SHORE’S THE LORD OF THE RINGS SYMPHONY RETURNS TO CONCERT HALLS ACROSS AMERICA IN 2005/2006

OREGON SYMPHONY TO GIVE FIRST PERFORMANCES IN NEW SEASON ON SEPTEMBER 17 AND 18 IN PORTLAND; SEASON HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE THREE PERFORMANCES BY RENOWNED CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA IN FEBRUARY, CONDUCTED BY HOWARD SHORE

FIRST TWO MOVEMENTS OF THE SYMPHONY WILL BE PERFORMED BY THE COLLEGIATE CHORALE AND THE ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE’S AT NEW YORK’S CARNEGIE HALL ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13; PROGRAM ENTITLED “THE RINGS: MYTH AND MUSIC” PAIRS SHORE’S MUSIC WITH EXCERPTS FROM WAGNER’S “RING” CYCLE AND OTHER WAGNER OPERAS

“This symphony…is breathtaking. Shore’s music takes listeners into new worlds, evoking a panorama of emotions that cut to the heart including love, serenity, pain and fury. It deserves to be enjoyed long after the movies have left the multiplex.” – Buffalo News

New York, NY, September 14, 2005 – After a summer of first-time and encore performances in America and Europe, Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus returns to concert stages on both continents in the 2005/2006 season beginning on September 17 and 18 with performances by the Oregon Symphony in Portland. Additional performances of the work will follow this fall in Grand Rapids, MI (Grand Rapids Symphony, October 14), Nashville, TN (The Nashville Symphony Orchestra, November 5) and Spokane, WA (Spokane Symphony Orchestra, November 12).

“The Rings: Myth and Music,” a compelling and thought-provoking program that pairs Shore’s music with music by Richard Wagner, will be performed on Sunday, November 13 at New York’s Carnegie Hall by the Collegiate Chorale and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the direction of conductor Robert Bass. The program features the first two movements of The Lord of the Rings Symphony – those that comprise The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment of Tolkien’s trilogy – along with excerpts from Wagner’s “Ring” Cycle and other Wagner operas.

In early 2006, the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus will present three performances of Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony. These performances on February 10, 11 and 12 will be conducted by Howard Shore, who has led a number of previous performances of the symphony as well as the enormously successful soundtrack recordings that accompanied director Peter Jackson’s three record-breaking The Lord of the Rings films. Around the same time – and across the Atlantic – the Orchestra National de Lyon will present the symphony (February 10 and 11). Then, in the spring, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra will perform the work in Denver (May 19 – 21). Additional performances of the Symphony for 2006 will be announced in the future.

Over the summer, The Lord of the Rings Symphony received several high profile performances in both America and Europe, including encore performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra (at its summer home, the 6000-seat Mann Center), the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. The Buffalo Philharmonic gave its first performances of The Lord of the Rings Symphony on July 15 and 16, and a critic was heartened by both the quality of the work and by the new faces that attended the show:

“No, it wasn’t the crowd that typically attends an orchestra concert, but it was an uplifting sight to see – and one that has been repeated around the world as Howard Shore’s ‘The Lord of the Rings Symphony’ draws new audiences to the symphony.”

Following the Pittsburgh Symphony’s encore performances, a critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported:

“Shore’s symphonic journey certainly echoes J.R.R. Tolkien’s dark and wonderful story, with its mysterious swirling mists, majestic sweeps and whimsical touches where needed. But nothing can match the impact of Shore’s most powerful passages drawing upon full brass and percussion, along with the Mendelssohn Choir and Children’s Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh.”

Performances in Europe this summer were enormously successful. The Athens News Agency reported that a “sold out crowd was enchanted” by a performance at the Acropolis’s Odeon Herod Atticus, one of the city’s most famous outdoor theaters. The Symphony also received performances at the prestigious Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany and in Oslo’s Frognerparken, where Norway’s acclaimed Oslo Philharmonic played it for a crowd estimated to have topped 70,000. The same orchestra gave another performance a few days later in Bergen for a crowd estimated at over 30,000.

Since its debut performance in Wellington, New Zealand, on November 29, 2003, Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony has been performed to full houses close to 90 times on four continents. Audiences from Sydney and Tokyo to Los Angeles and London have greeted the two-hour work with rousing ovations following performances in some of the world’s most famous venues – including Sydney’s Opera House, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Moscow’s Kremlin Palace Theater. Some of the world’s leading international orchestras – including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the London Philharmonic – have performed the Symphony in addition to regional orchestras from Albuquerque and Salt Lake City to Dallas and Hartford.

Shore takes particular pride in the fact that performances of The Lord of the Rings Symphony around the world have been given not by a single touring orchestra but almost entirely by local performers: “The symphony has been presented around the world, but regardless of where it has been done the performances have been given by local artists. That’s the real joy of it for me: this work is helping awaken community interest in the symphony orchestra.” In addition to Shore, there are five other conductors performing the piece around the world: John Mauceri, Alexander Mickelthwate, Markus Huber, Alastair Willis and Terry Edwards.

About The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus

Howard Shore wrote his six-movement The Lord of the Rings Symphony for symphony orchestra, adult and children’s choirs, as well as solo instrumentalists and vocalists, totaling more than 200 musicians on stage. Working with conductor John Mauceri, who first suggested that the music of The Lord of the Rings be preserved as an independent work for the concert hall, Shore created a two-hour symphony drawing from the nearly 12 hours of music he composed for Peter Jackson’s phenomenally successful film trilogy. (Shore received three Oscars and four Grammy awards for the soundtrack recordings.) The six movements of the symphony correspond to the progression of the epic through the six books that comprise the three-volume trilogy, capturing the enormous complexity and limitless imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien’s creation – from the simple, pastoral beauty of the hobbits’ Shire to the magic and mystery of the Elves and the monumental battle scenes – in music by turns explosive, ethereal and, ultimately, transcendent.

As Doug Adams, author of the soon-to-be-published book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films explained in a Chicago Tribune interview, “There’s a different style of music for each culture of characters: hobbit, elf, dwarf. If you go to the symphony performance it’s very much like an abstract version of Tolkien’s story.”

Shore achieves this enormous feat by the ingenious use and juxtaposition of a plethora of recurring motifs – close to 80 in all – associated with the various characters and places in the books. Shore’s employment of some instruments foreign to the traditional Western symphony orchestra – and of choral settings in Tolkien’s languages – help conjure up the ancient beauty of Middle-earth, its diverse inhabitants, and the harrowing struggle between the forces of good and evil.

Howard Shore is currently working on King Kong, another film project with Peter Jackson. He is also working on an opera, The Fly, based on his film collaboration with David Cronenberg, for Los Angeles Opera. Earlier this year, his score for The Aviator (his third collaboration with director Martin Scorsese) won a Golden Globe as well as a Critics’ Choice award and his soundtrack for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the song “Into the West” both won Grammy Awards. Each of his scores for the previous installments of the trilogy – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – won a Grammy.

Shore likens the daunting experience of writing the music for the three The Lord of the Rings films to that of the humble hobbit asked to carry the ring. “When I started,” he told the Chicago Tribune, “I was the hobbit with the ring saying, ‘I will do this. I will take the ring to Mordor, although I do not know the way.’” Shore considers his work on The Lord of the Rings to be the culmination of everything he has done in his first 40 years of writing music.

Critical acclaim for Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony

“[Howard Shore’s] instinct for melody is superb, his integration of legitimate ancient music sources with contemporary-sounding tonal clusters and harmonic invention is terrific, and, most of all, he creates, as both Jackson and Tolkien did before him, an entire imagined universe that is both detailed and consistent.”
– Newark Star-Ledger

“There’s no denying the sweep and rich texture of the work, with its Celtic-like tunes, moody pop songs, and effective use of choral voices (think Carmina Burana, only darker). And Shore’s nod to Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the very end, with the orchestra reveling in the healing power of a major chord, makes a satisfying coda. …When the last notes dissipated, it sounded as if the demonstrative audience would keep the ovation going until long after all signs of Elvish had left the building.”
– Baltimore Sun

“Shore’s musical opus is every bit as impressive as Tolkien’s literary one, standing on its own as a sweeping, operatic experience, even when liberated from the majesty of Jackson’s trilogy.”
– The Seattle Times

“Among the highlights of the six-movement [The Lord of the Rings Symphony] was ‘The Prophecy,’ featuring a lonely ney flute that evoked the other-worldliness of 5,000-year-old Middle-earth. The chorus swelled and climbed with urgent excitement in ‘Concerning Hobbits,’ and a solo fiddle added effervescence to ‘The Shadow of the Past.’ Heavy percussive drive on ‘The Bridge of Khazad-dum’ sweepingly suggested a history of classic cinema spectaculars. Emotional interludes included ‘Hope and Memory’ and ‘The Riders of Rohan’; ‘A Knife in the Dark’ pulsated with ‘Camina Burana’ excitement.”
– Variety

Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony: 2005/2006 Performances
* all dates below are of the complete Symphony, except the 11/13 concert at Carnegie Hall

Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18
Oregon Symphony Orchestra
Portland, Oregon (Civic Center)

Friday, October 14
Grand Rapids Symphony
Grand Rapids, Michigan (DeVoss Hall)

Saturday, November 5
Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Nashville, Tennessee (Curb Event Center)

Saturday, November 12
Spokane Symphony Orchestra
Spokane, Washington (Spokane Arena)

Sunday, November 13 at 2PM
“The Rings: Myth and Music”
The Collegiate Chorale and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s perform excerpts from Wagner’s “Ring” Cycle (and the Flying Dutchman) and Movements I and II – “The Fellowship of the Ring” – from the Lord of the Rings Symphony under the direction of Robert Bass.
New York, NY (Carnegie Hall)

Friday, February 10, Saturday, February 11 and Sunday February 12
Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Howard Shore
Cleveland, OH (Severance Hall)

Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11
Orchestra de Lyon
Lyon, France (Hall of Tony Garnier)

Friday, May 19, Saturday May 20, Sunday, May 21
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Denver, Colorado (Boettcher Hall)

Posted in Old Special Reports on September 16, 2005 by

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