Reports have been coming in regarding the U.S. premier of The Fellowship of the Ring screening with the score performed live at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts last week. Below is an excerpt from one Mary sent us. Follow the “Discuss” link for forum member Magpie’s report about additional reviews at Doug Adams’ Blog site.

Mary: “I am a lover of movies and movie music. So when an opportunity to attend The Lord of the Rings – the Fellowship of the Ring in HD with the musical score performed live came along, I grabbed it.”

It was a magical evening at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. The movie was shown in HD and the musical score was performed by the Filene Center Orchestra, the City Choir of Washington, and the World Children’s Choir. Kaitlyn Lusk, who performs for the LOTR symphony productions, sang the soprano solos.

The evening started with a pre-performance preview. Deb Lamberton, from Classical WETA 90.9 FM, gave a wonderful talk. She started with a LOTR trivia quiz which led to a discussion or the “lietmotifs” or themes of the music we were about to hear. Her talk was light, funny and extremely interesting. It definitely enhanced my listening experience and I am going to use her info the next time I watch by DVD.

The movie was shown in High Definition! It was beautiful! This was a much clearer, more intense version. I noticed details that I had not seen before (saw FOTR seven times in the theater, own all versions of the DVDs). The colors were brighter and deeper, the patterns more pronounced in the clothing, architecture, armor, and weaponry. It was a visual treat.

The movie is subtitled. I can understand why this was done, but it was annoying at times.
Of course, the main emphasis of the performance was the music. By playing the score live, the music was brought forward to a more prominent place. The music didn’t overwhelm the speaking parts but was more definitely a true supporting element to the entire movie, more so than in the theatrical version. It was fun to switch gears every once in awhile and watch the orchestra and the choirs. The percussion section really went to town and seemed to be having a good time. In fact, I enjoyed this performance of the music with the movie more that the symphony performance I saw a few years ago.

All I can say is when do we get the BluRay versions of both the theatrical and extended versions?
If this experiences comes your way, DO NOT MISS IT!!!!

Mary Norton
Lifelong Tolkien Fan