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Glasgow LOTR Symphony Review

June 26, 2006 at 6:20 pm by xoanon  - 

Steven writes: I just got back from the LOTR Symphony in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and wanted to share with you my impressions of the evening. The music was presented in 6 movements and ran for around 2 hours. The first part before the interval was devoted to the Fellowship of the Ring, which meant that the movements for the second and third films were squeezed into the last hour, which was a bit of a shame because there’s some great music in those scores. Nonetheless, the music included was played really well.

The highlight of the first half for me was the build up to the fight in Balins’ tomb which, as on the 1 disc CD, runs into ‘The Bridge of Khazad Dum’ – the way the orchestra played the Fellowship theme here was the best I’d heard it played on any of the Fellowship CD’s. Maybe that’s because I heard it live right in front of me or because the music didn’t need to be orchestrated to match onscreen action, I don’t know! The second half highlight was ‘The White Tree’ when the beacons are lit. Other musical highlights for me were hearing the Isengard theme played live, as well as the Amon Hen music.

The first half featured a young soloist from the RSNO Junior chorus, who did really well when it came to his turn to sing. The female soloist – Ann De Renais according to the programme – did a good job in the second half, though I doubt it was easy stepping into the shoes of Annie Lennox for ‘Into The West’ at the end of the final movement! I should mention the work of the Live Visual Artist here also. There was a nice presentation of concept art on a big screen up above the orchestra, but I appreciated the lighting much more (I’ve got all the Art Of.. books anyway!) here. The way if turned green to represent the Shire and the different Elvish locations, but particularly when the light went red during ‘The Bridge Of Khazad Dum’ with artwork of the Balrog being projected.

I could nit-pick (tracks not included, themes absent from certain pieces – man, I waited ages to hear that Isengard theme!) but I won’t. It was only 2 hours after all, and there’s so much music in the LOTR scores that you can’t have everyone’s favourites included. I’ve only talked about what I personally liked. It was an amazing experience to hear some of my favourite movie music brought to life so vibrantly by a live orchestra and choir. Anyone who goes will, like me, not be disappointed!

If the LOTR Symphony is coming to a concert hall near you, get tickets and go see… or should that be hear…. it.

Posted in Old Special Reports on June 26, 2006 by

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