Andres writes: Once again Howard Shore’s wonderful LOTR Symphony did not disappoint this fan! I, and a sold out audience in the beautiful Severance Hall in Cleveland were transported back to Middle-Earth in grand fashion. First of all Saturday’s concert, 2/11 marked the 90th performance of this wonderful Symphony that has been heard at concert halls all around the world- from New Zealand to Great Britain, across Europe, in Japan, and throughout the United States. And The Cleveland Orchestra, which stands today among the world’s most revered symphonic ensembles, did this city proud! I have had the privilege to have been in attendance a number of times in various cities to hear the LOTR Symphony but none could compare to Saturday’s performance!
Now to the performance: When Mr Shore stepped out on the stage he was met with a thunderous applause! The magic was about to begin, and begin it did! Starting with the FOTR: “The Prophecy”. We were than taken to the world of the Shire. ” Concerning Hobbits” which has a special place in my heart ! The Celtic tones were wonderful and the flute was played to perfection, not too fast and not to slow.
This music is all so moving and powerful. The sounds of the instruments just wash over one and engulfs your very soul till you feel that your heart that is pounding so fast will beat out of you chest! And that is what I felt like especially during the playing of “The Bridge of Khazad-dum”. Just picture seeing on the huge movie screen that has been projecting images of the varies drawings of Alan Lee and John Howe, you now see A Balrog and the stage now takes on a fiery red hue. You now hear the men’s chorus chanting and I wish all of you could have seen Mr. Shore directing this part. Bending his knees, thrusting both arms upward. It was riveting! Did I say my heart almost burst out of my chest? We moved on to “The Breaking of the Fellowship” tears are now flowing. And the flutist, perfection! Then you hear the drums. The little soloist was a little nervous but boy did he pull it off!
The Two Towers: “Foundations of Stone” I absolutely love this song! Played to perfection! The mixed chorus’s chanting was right on the money! “The Riders of Rohan” very majestic sounding.And the violinist was wonderful!
The singing of “Evenstar” was performed by a 16yr old young lady by the name of Kaitlyn Lusk. I had the opportunity to hear her perform this piece in Nashville this past fall. She has a beautiful voice but either the microphone was too low or she needs to project her voice more. She was almost drowned out several times on other pieces by the orchestra. But she did perform this piece beautifully. On the singing of “Gollum’s Song” she did all right but was still not loud enough to hear all the words and I was only 7 rows from the stage.
The Return of the King: “The White Tree” once again my heart is pounding faster and faster. I could literally almost see Pippin lighting that signal fire. The orchestra excelled in this piece and the trumpets were fantastic!! “The Return of the King” was beautiful but as always I would still prefer a soloist that was not a baritone. But I still shed tears here knowing that this adventure is coming to an end soon. The violins are so beautiful here! Then the “Grey Havens”
I now looked at my friend sitting next to me and I whispered to her that our journey was now at its end. For you see we were at ORC this past January and now this wonderful performance was the last of our adventure together. We were both crying like babies now! And than comes “Into The West” Kaitlyn performed this beautifully! Once again after this piece there was a thunderous applause and a standing ovation for Mr. Shore. And I managed to take a lot of photos at this time. I’m so bad!
Than after this wonderful performance they had immediately following a Post-Concert Conversation. It was a brief Q&A session with Howard Shore and Doug Adams, author of the upcoming book ‘The Music of the Rings Films”. This was such a wonderful night and I hope that all of you Ringers out there if you haven’t had the chance to hear this wonderful Symphony performed please try to do so if it comes near you. My friend and I drove 6hrs to attend this performance and we wished as we drove home that we could have gotten tickets to hear it that Sunday.But alas it was all sold out! So as we left Middle-Earth that cold Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, the snow was gently falling but we felt all warm and happy because we had witnessed the most wonderful symphony ever to be performed. Yes, Middle-Earth does exist and for a little while we were a part of it! BRAVO! Mr. Howard Shore!!!