Well, it was great meeting up with Momdalf and Kathleen. It’s nice to know that there are other LOTR freaks out there like me that are really ‘normal’ everyday folks with this one exception! We all got along famously, and I must compliment Momdalf on her wonderful kids (met 2 sons and pregnant daughter) who came with us to the Symphony.

Well, this being only my 2nd formal symphony in my life and 2nd LOTR Symphony, I now have a comparison. Not all Symphonies are created equal! The (July) Houston Symphony was flawless in my opinion. Sissel was the soprano soloist and I thought she was wonderful. She nailed all the high notes and I didn’t notice if they weren’t EXACTLY like the movie – they felt like they were to me. The children’s chorus was great in Houston. Not sure who was the soloist (Ben Del Maestro was a new name to me from Serenity’s post), but it didn’t seem to matter that it was NOT Howard Shore, Renee Fleming (not even sure who she is – a bit ‘ignant’ here), or Annie Lenox. (see my review on or about July 5th).

There were at least 2 (I think Momdalf said she heard 3) FEEDBACK points on the sound system!!! How bad is that?!! And a jerk behind me had his cell phone on!! Not only that, rather than rush to get it turned off ASAP when it started ringing, he answered it after about 4 rings and was talking as he left his seat for the lobby!! Death!! Death!! Death to cell phone Orcs!!

The expected orchestra themes were great and moving, but the female soloist was a disappointment (Sorry, don’t have her name handy – and I believe she arrived late and was not in the 1st movement or 2). I didn’t hear the ‘Taking Leave’ part I love so much in TTT when Arwen leaves for Grey Havens, and felt a few things missing, but maybe that was when the feedback problems happened which turned my mind numb the the few seconds they overpowered the music. The great ‘Celtic’ viola or violin or whatever it is in the Rohan/Eowyn themes was not loud enough. I kept reaching for the non-existent volume control – Don’t know if it was cuz we were in nose-bleed or not, but some points were too soft or key instruments did not stand out.

I imagine I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t listened to a better performance in Houston, but it sure made me appreciate the fact that it made my July experience even more precious! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and found the trip from Houston, 2 nights in a Marriott giving me a much needed break from my stressful job, meeting Momdalf & Kathleen, and the concert well worth the time and money. Since I consider the Houston LOTR experience a 10, I would give Dallas perhaps an 8. I know if I heard the live Symphony a 3rd time, my opinion would change about the 1st 2.

It took an hour to get out of Dallas area when I left for Houston!! Not used to all that traffic, but there was huge UT/OU game going on when I left Saturday morning so perhaps not typical? After the rain stopped as I got on I-45, I plugged in the CDs (didn’t want the sound of rain on the car to marr the music!) and the 3 hour trip from that point just sailed by! Now that I listened to the CDs again from beginning to end, I appreciate them more than when I bought them right after the July concert and the disappointments I had in Dallas quickly faded away. Now I am looking forward to that super-duper music CD almost as much as the EE ROTK DVD!!! Christmas this year will be wonderful!