wmchichiri: Last Night at the Meyerson Center, the Dallas Orchestra performed the Lord of the Rings Symphony, and I had a very precious seat for the performance. Words will never be able to fully convey or express my immense enjoyment in the performance. The vocalists who had solo performances were truly a great treat to listen too… and to hear the music performed live, with the clarity that a live performance can give you was truly astounding. When the evening came to an end, the place was rocked by a standing ovation that lasted well beyond 5 minutes. I know I kept clapping hoping against hope for an encore, but no such luck.

I actually had tears glimmering in my eyes during the soaring call to arms for Gondor (when Pippin lights the fire signal, and it sets off a chain reaction to all of Gondor’s men and allies). This reaction took me utterly back, for I had never gotten so emotionally invested when watching the films or listening to this music before… but there was something about the sound of it, beyond the meaning of it in the film, that was truly awe-inspiring that left me dumbfounded to attempt to even minutely understand my reaction to it. And that my dear hobbits and elves, is the mark of not just a moving piece of music, but something ethereally transcendent and infinitely precious beyond any material value… a truly rare occurrence that is the earmark of musical masterpieces.

The performance was accentuated by color gel lighting that helped set the major themes of the music in a more visual way. For instance, music reflecting the shire had the orchestra bathed in a deep bright emerald green color, the lights went to a yellow, and darkened to a yellow orange, and then an orange red color when dealing with the main themes of the “enemy” forces, be they Balrog, Nazgul, Orc, Goblin, Uruk-Hai, or man. In addition to the lighting, there were screens showing storyboard art and illustrations that advanced the story with the music. It was meant to be a visual roadmap through the journey of the story as the music followed the story.

Unfortunately for us within five minutes of the onset of the performance the screens went black, and this was not fixed until we returned from intermission to here the selections from The Two Towers and Return of the King. As a compensation, every purchased ticket will be receiving a voucher which will allow free admission to one of the Dallas Orchestra’s classical series performances later this year. So my ticket has, like Frodo, gone on an unexpected journey. Though in my case, I fear the only Balrog I will have to face, is the poor signs in downtown Dallas that never direct you properly to any of the major highways. (For those unfamiliar with Dallas, there will be a sign that has an arrow pointing straight ahead for I-30, you follow it, never see another sign, and eventually end up dead-ending in a parking lot. I spent 20 minutes trying to find a sign correctly followed by other signs to navigate me to the proper road. )

My only disappointment in the evening, came not from the performance itself, but rather from the lack of certain musical pieces I had been anticipating: May It Be, Eowyn singing at Theodred’s funeral, the arrival of the elves at Helm’s Deep (I so adore the instrumentation of the Lothlorien theme there!), Pippin singing as Faramir goes on a kamikaze mission to Osgiliath. But if my only disappointment, is something not included, and not something that was included. well I’m quite content. Except I want to kill the people who sat in a section near me who arrived decked out in jingling homecoming mum’s, I kept hearing them throughout the performance.

So for those who have yet to experience the fun. you should try to catch a performance yourself! This evening has only increased my appetite for the anticipated release of Howard Shore’s multi-volume box set of the Lord of the Rings score next year.