Did anyone else besides me attend the LotR Symphony performance? I had a blast in spite of the 6+ hour driving time surround the event (there & back again-a 12-hour journey!)
It was really wonderful. One of the most wonderful aspects of going to this event was how diverse the audience was. How many times do you get to go to an evening symphony performance and see lots of kids and people from all kinds of backgrounds? You could tell from the look on the kids’ faces that they thought they were as cool as if they had been attending a rock concert! I was sitting in the second row, (being on a budget allows that you get neck strain from tring to look up at the screen to see the lovely sketches from John Howe’s and Alan Lees concept art)….but it also allows you to really hear the instruments not just the mixed projected sound. We sat right under the first violin seat where we heard the unique sound of the hardinger fiddle and the featured vocalist, Sissel, who had a voice like an angel!
When the music from The Fellowship began to play and the first big graphic of Middle Earth came on the screen, I began to cry. I was embarrassed when the lights came up for intermission because I thought my husband would make fun of me (not quite the fan that I am), but he very kindly pointed out to me that he noticed I was not alone in my tearfulness. Sure enough, when I looked around, almost everyone else around me had tears in their eyes. I know I am very emotionally invested in the story and movies of LotR, but I think the music, on its own is also very powerful and moving. I loved the whole score to the Fellowship. The Two Towers played a little more like movie music, although also very beautiful to hear, but when they got to the RotK, I found myself crying again….especially when that short piece of music that plays when, in the movie, Frodo explains how hard it was to be back and that the Shire would never be the same for him. That part always gets me, and hearing the music is very evocative of the emotions expressed in that moment. Then, the Gray Havens and Into the West were also intensely moving. There was a 10 minute standing ovation which followed the concert.
We were at the Friday night sold out Houston Symphony presentation of the Lord of The Rings Symphony and it was magnificent. Our symphony is one of the top orchestras in the nation and it really showed. The music was overwhelming and the soloists were excellent. Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate was wonderful to watch. He puts his entire being into the music. Soloist Sissel has one of the clearest, purest voices I have ever heard. Her songs in Elvish weren’t just mouthed, they were sung with feeling. Gollum’s Song has never been one of my favorites, but Sissel brought a new life to it. After the concert she autographed her CDs at the gift shop. Alan Lee made an on stage appearance during the ovation. His art work was displayed on a screen above the stage. I especially liked the drawing of Shadowfax. The standing ovation was timed at almost 5 m! inutes and Mr. Mickelthwate had to return to the stage three times. The last time was fun for everyone. You could tell he was enjoying it because of the big grin on his face. First he pointed out the three soloists from the chorus, and everyone kept applauding and cheered. Then he pointed out the lead percussionist, and we all cheered again. He finaly gave up and just started going through every section of the orchestra and each group got a rousing cheer. It was a wonderful night. Howard Shore’s music was designed for a concert hall. Whenever I hear my CDs, this performance will echo in my mind.