Well the London Festival Hall must have been filled with TORn visitors. Tracey was there on any account, and here’s what she had to say!
After four hours of waiting, the music man (along with his LPO) came on stage! It was far too long to wait…and far too short to be satisfied with, but it left me with the choons in my head and the Lord of the Rings in my heart so you could say that it did its job!
I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire performance and I even found myself smiling at particular points of the score! One in particular moment which I will never ever forget was near the end, at Amon Hen, when – if you, like me, have seen the FOTR countless number of times – can picture Lurtz coming up over the hilltop, ready to fire his arrows at Boromir…the crashing, haunting sounds which the instruments on stage made were amazing!
Why was it amazing?
Because for one thing the beats of the timpani’s were so strong…the clanging of hammers against the steel sheets creating that harsh armour sound…and whats more is the clinking and clunking of chain mail, being beaten against the top of a wooden piano bringing the sound of the armour even more to life…it was a site that was rather amusing…this petit woman leaning over the lid of the piano, in order to get to the chain mail, whilst always keeping a close eye on Howard Shore’s guidance for the correct beats…it was spectacular!
Many people have said to me that Im am decidedly Lord of the Rings obsessed, and whats the point of seeing an orchestra play when you can just listen to the soundtrack? Well, I say to these sad people, that its the entire atmosphere the fact that Howard Shore, not just the conductor, but the composer, the winner of countless awards including an Oscar, for flips sake he was there controlling his own music the way he wanted it to be played. The London Philharmonic is THE orchestra, which played and the choirs are THE voices that will forever remind us of what Lord of the Rings, and what Middle Earth sounded like.
In a few years when, sadly, it will all be over and done with, we Ringers will look back and remember that music, as the bit where the hobbits fall off the hill and find the shortcut to mushrooms; or the bit where they are being chased in Khazad Dum (my fave bit) and have to jump over the broken stairs, shortly followed by the timely fall of Gandalf the Grey. Speaking of which, the solo boy in the Oratory Choir my friend said that he wasnt that good, but Id to like to praise him and say congratulations and think that it was most likely nerves. He wasnt able to sustain the notes for as long as he could have done, but hey? Who are we to judge and criticise? That goes for all the other soloists, on the whistle, the core ingles, the soloists and, well, the whole frickin orchestra! Congratulations!
It was wonderful, terrific, superb, outstanding, dazzling, marvellous, remarkable, breathtaking, there arent enough words in the English vocabulary to describe how wonderful it was to see Howard Shore live! And bless him, he seemed like a very humble man! Three times he came and bowed to a rapturous crowd with a standing ovation! And each time you get the feeling that he was more and more reluctant to accept his genius! Peter Jackson is the genius of film, but Howard Shore is surely the genius of music!
So I take my imaginary hat off to Shore, the man behind the music of Middle Earth. I long for next year when hopefully he will do the same for The Two Towers, then after that? Maybe an entire 3-hour concert encompassing the music from all three films? As a violinist and a regular orchestra player, myself, I could not think of a greater piece of music I would rather play, nor could I think of a greater conductor to conduct. Not only was the playing spot-on, not only was the music exact, but also the atmosphere was tremendous and truly magical. Yesterday evening was quite possibly the best hour of my life! That is until the next concert! As said before, do go and see it! I was on the balcony, second row, centre stage and the view was spectacular! It really annoys me whenever I am unable to see who is playing what but no matter where you are, you will definitely be touched by the pure and exquisite magic of the music being played.