Doug Adams writes: In May of this year, I was contacted by Howard Shore’s office with a rather unique request: Can you write a concert? Wait, let me back up.
Before I came into the picture this inchoate concert was the brainchild of James Cassidy, conductor of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Cassidy had envisioned a concert that would encompass both of the great musical Rings, one Wagner’s, one Tolkien’s/Shore’s. He had brought his idea to Shore, who was intrigued. This, of course, had been a topic of conversation for a number of years. Jonathan Dean had given some Wagner/Shore talks back in the early 2000s, and added some thoughts for the Music of LOTR book. Alex Ross had written a piece for the New Yorker. One of New York’s very first choral performances of Shore’s Rings music featured a sort of back-to-back with Wagner. But these fascinating comparative glimpses were just this — cursory glimpses into a rich vein of subject matter. More..