And they are still floating in.. ichi also attended the concert and was fortunate enough to shake hands with Howard Shore himself after the show!
The concert had been going since 3 with other acts, but we were only interested in Howard so we didn’t go in until the last interval. We took our seats and waited.
The London Philamonic began to take their seats, once they were in place a boys choir came in the back, closely followed by a male choir and finally a female choir. Then the moment we were all waiting for Howard Shore came onto the stage to a fantastic response, the applause went on for ages. Howard was clearly flattered.
Everyone settled down and it begun, from the moment the female choir began ‘The Prophecy’ my draw dropped, it was really happening and the sound was just a joy to hear. The Prophecy was more in keeping with the film than what we hear on the CD, I have to say I do prefer that version. The whole sound was mindblowing, I’d say it was CD quality, but it wasn’t, it was better than that, mindblowing!
It then smoothly went into Concerning Hobbits, this was the moment I had been really looking forward to above anything else, I adore the strings in that track and throughout the build up to the day that was foremost in my mind. I wasn’t to be dissapointed. The emotions were really running high by now, you know that feeling you get in your chest when you’re about to cry? It was all pure joy, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed live music and felt like that, with the possible exception of David Bowie at Glastonbury a few years ago.
I’m not sure if it was just me enjoying it too much, but we seem to get to Rivendell really quickly if you get my meaning. the whole Black Rider, knife in the Dark, flight to the ford sequence was quite abridged. Not that it was the slightest bit bad, just a bit quick. Howard cleverly hinted to the bits with enya, the whole Rivendell part was beautiful, especially the rousing Fellowship theme that comes in when frodo says ‘I will take the ring to mordor’ That bit is probably my favorite part of the film, pretty much because of what the soundtrack does, I will never forget that sound.
Then the big surprise for me, the Moria Sequence. Yes I’ve always liked it, but I’ve prefered other parts of the score more. I don’t know what it was or why but this whole section affected me more than the rest of the concert, cue the tears, and it wasn’t in the usual ‘gandalf falling moment’ If I remember correctly it was when they got into the great hall. Then the big solo after the fall. Obviously this was one of the big expectations of the concert, and the kid singing was clearly nervous as hell. But all credit to him he hit the notes perfectly, sure he didn’t hold on to them quite as long as the original but it was still a great performance.
‘Lament’ of course was beautiful, The female soloist was stunning, and the way her voice linked with the Sitar (I think that was what it was I couldn’t see it properly) was incredible, a real other worldly sound without any digital effects. By this stage I was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience, every note from all the different instruments was such a pleasure to the ears. The last few songs were wonderful (Amon Hen inparticular but I’ll mention that later) building up to the climactic finale with ‘In dreams’ The young soloists nerves seem to have calmed and he did a fantastic job of it, with the orchestra and the choirs working off his voice it created such a fantastic ending, it was no surprise that Howard and the LPO recieved a standing ovation and Howard came back on stage three times, boy did they deserve it.
So that was it, it was over. we were left with an incredible mix of emotions from joy to bemused disbelief that we’d actually just witnessed that incredible display. It really provided and insight in to the genius of the man, he conducts with such incredible passion you can see the love with every movement of his arms. And how he came up with the ideas to create some of the sounds is beyond me, for instance stroking some sort of asian cymbal with a violin, created the most bizarre screeching sound that was perfect for moria. Or during Amon Hen, listen carefully to the CD, you can hear what is like the sound of armour clincking but it seems musical somehow. Well that was the percussionist with metal chain wrapped around her hand, hitting the open strings of a harpsichord (not a piano as reported elsewhere). If you ever get the chance for the love of god go and see it, I’m desperately hoping that I will be here next year reporting on the TT concert.
Well that was it, time to go home, but there was one last highlight remaining…………….
Time to head to the station then, thinking the day was over. We were heading for the station and we had to walk round the back of the hall to get there. I suddenly noticed a group of posh cars waiting, members of the choir, people walking away with harp shaped cases and a group of ‘rings’ fans. Obviously we’d stumbled upon the artist’s exit, so we stuck around. We hadn’t planned on making an effort to get an autograph, but we’d had brought with us the special edition TT soundtrack just in case. It seemed it was worth it.
We waited quite a while, and it was freezing, still a dedicated fan must do what a dedicated fan must do. Once all the choir and orchestra members had gone it was just a small group of fans waiting. We started chatting to another couple, no idea who they were but hey, I’m a talkative kinda person. One of them was grilling Howard’s chauffer for information The grilling was successful, we were now getting good information when he’d be out.
Then we saw him through the window, and he was out. No mad panic up to him, everyone just calmly walked up to him and he seemed more than happy to stay for a while and not. He chatted with everyone, stood in for photos (I’m still annoyed I didn’t bring my camera!:grr and signed anything that was put infront of him. When it was our turn, he signed my cd book, we had a short chat, congratulated him on the concert etc, thanked him and that was it. Brief but unforgettable, and a perfect end to a perfect day. Howard is a genius and a really nice person to boot, and kindly added his name to my growing LOTR autograph collection.