Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

4.9 47
by Howard Shore
     
 

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The soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the third installment in the LOTR saga, is the work of award-winning composer Howard Shore and features an original song by Annie Lennox. Also available is a three-CD limited-edition version which includes the first two soundtracks, and a

Overview

The soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the third installment in the LOTR saga, is the work of award-winning composer Howard Shore and features an original song by Annie Lennox. Also available is a three-CD limited-edition version which includes the first two soundtracks, and a limited edition CD/DVD that features a bonus DVD including a five-minute trailer encompassing all three movies and a 20-minute documentary, Howard Shore: An Introspective, on the making of the score.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
The monumental task of scoring -- in rapid succession -- three of history's most anticipated films has done little to temper the fire that fuels composer Howard Shore's vision and enthusiasm. With each installment of New Line Cinema's Lord of the Rings trilogy, his seemingly bottomless cauldron of memorable motifs and affecting character themes washes over Peter Jackson's Middle Earth like a coat of varnish, bending each frame to its will. If The Fellowship of the Ring was its heart and The Two Towers its body, then The Return of the King is the series' soul. Opening with a Brahms-like veil of strings that deftly segues into a solo violin variation on the main melody, Shore begins by re-revisiting themes from the previous films. By the time he reaches the devastating "Steward of Gondor" -- featuring a heartbreaking tune sung by Hobbit (Billy Boyd) -- the mood has shifted from nostalgia to urgency, channeling the protagonists' desperation to complete their harrowing journey. "Twilight and Shadow" uses the gorgeous voice of soloist Renee Fleming to add weight to Arwen's (Liv Tyler) decision on whether or not to choose love over immortality, and "Shelob's Lair," with its dissonant bursts of percussive brass, cements Shore as this generation's Bernard Herrmann. The real magic begins with "The Black Gate Opens," a nervous breath and the calm before the storm, anchored by James Galway's tin whistle. That breath is needed, as what follows is the culmination of nearly five years of work. "The End of All Things" explodes with a variation on the choral arrangement that normally accompanies the Ringwraiths, and inter-cuts it with the voice of the ring -- a boy soprano -- before launching into the ten-minute "Return of the King." Like a Wagner opera, Shore methodically places familiar themes within the context of emotional turmoil, avoiding the forgettable nonstop dissonance that others apply to battle scenes with sweeping, often nightmarish melodies that linger for days. It's this dedication to memorable composition that makes "The Grey Havens" -- the film's epilogue -- so compelling. With its soft, bittersweet strings, it packs an emotional impact that would have resonated only on the surface had he taken a by the book approach to scoring the action sequences. Shore and Jackson are visionaries for whom this was a labor of love, and these films are a testament to their nearly inhuman resolve and tenacity. Despite the inclusion of a lovely yet unnecessary song by Annie Lennox, The Return of the King marks the end of an extraordinary collaboration that's destined to be celebrated and studied for generations to come.
Classic FM Magazine - Anna Britten
As breathtaking as its predecessors.... Magnificent.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/25/2003
Label:
Reprise / Wea
UPC:
0093624852124
catalogNumber:
48521
Rank:
8521

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Howard Shore   Primary Artist,Conductor
Dermot Crehan   Fiddle,Double Violin,Irish Fiddle
John Parricelli   Guitar,12-string Guitar
Annie Lennox   Soloist
Renée Fleming   Soloist
Jan Hendrickse   Low Whistle
Urlich Herkenhoff   Pan Flute/Pan Pipes
Ben Del Maestro   Soloist

Technical Credits

Howard Shore   Producer,Liner Notes,Orchestration
John Kurlander   Engineer
Peter Jackson   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Danny Bramson   Executive Producer
Paul Broucek   Executive Producer
Fran Walsh   Executive Producer,Text
Mitch Rotter   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Mark Willsher   Associate Music Producer

Customer Reviews

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Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
awesome from the very begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GandalfTheWhite More than 1 year ago
awesome from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DarthTyranus More than 1 year ago
awesome from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Some part's were wonderful. Some were just down. But when you hear again the sounds of Rohan and Gondor, maybe even just a little of hobbiton is makes your heart glow. The thing I felt was not needed was the wood flutes for the "Steward Of Gondor". Also "Into The West" is a true ending song. The Lyrics are just like the real leaving of the elves. :) Howard Shore is the best of the best! Howard shore deserves an oscar as other people have said. What can YOU see on the horizon?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I KNOW MY HEADLINE IS "UNINSPIRED," BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT IT ENCAPSULATES MY SINCERE OPINION; SHORE'S WORK IN THIS ENDEAVOR MANAGES TO TRANSCEND IT'S INTENT--TO ADD EMOTIONAL WEIGHT TO THE FILM--AND TAKES ON A LIFE OF IT'S OWN. IN CONTEMPORARY CINEMATIC SCORING, I CAN ONLY RATE THE WORK OF JOHN WILLIAMS AHEAD OF HIS. THE SELECTIONS THEMSELVES MANAGE TO KEY UPON SOME OF THE MUSICAL "TOUCHSTONES" OF THE PREVIOUS TWO FILMS, MOST NOTABLY "CONCERNING HOBBITS" AND THE "THE FELLOWSHIP THEME", WITHOUT SEEMING DERIVATIVE; FURTHERMORE, SHORE MANAGES TO REINTRODUCE AND EXPAND UPON THE "ORIENTALIST THEMES" THAT HE EMPLOYED ON THE TREEBEARD SELECTION IN THE TWO TOWERS SOUNDTRACK . . . AWESOME, TRULY AWESOME. WISH I COULD SAY MORE, BUT GOT TO GET TO A LISTENING PARTY . . . ALL THREE LORD OF THE RINGS SOUNDTRACKS IN ONE SITTING. WOW!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This soundtrack is one of the best I've ever heard. So many themes and emotions run through it, that you can just feel what it's trying to say. There is such a range of music in this work that has been recorded, giving the listener a look into the world it describes. It's beautiful, it's haunting, it's epic, it's dark, it's majestic, it's everything you could want in a soundtrack and more. The choir and London Philharmonic Orchestra were incredible, and I highly recommend this cd to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hey everybody... this is a great CD! If you don't have it please think about buying it. This music is great for listening while doing homework (you high school and college students out there!), or great for driving in the car. Some of the music may be a little haunting, but it is well worth your time and money to buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've had this soundtrack for a long time. Even after 3 months of listening to it, I have yet to tire of it. The ethereal music, seemingly plucked straight out of Middle-earth, is gorgeous in its own right and adds another dimension of depth to an already astounding film. There are not enough words to describe Howard Shore's monumental achievements in The Lord of the Rings. It fully deserves its Academy Award! As for criticisms directed towards "Into the West," Annie Lennox's swan song for LOTR, I can only say that I used to hate it too. It seemed to mar the essence of the film and the soundtrack. But as I listened to it more and more, I have come to peel away the initial emotion of distate and shock to something more along the lines of poetic ecstasy. No, it's not Keats or Shakespeare, but Lennox's rendition is heartbreaking in its beauty and sincerity. Billy Boyd was a revelation in "The Steward of Gondor," and Viggo Mortensen's own composition of the tune to Aragorn's hymn was hauntingly vivid. Ben del Maestro closed his LOTR career with a bang, Sir James Galway played with such sincerity, and Renee Fleming was an incredible addition to an already wonderful group of singers. Truly an achievement in cinematic scores!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this CD a few weeks ago, and have now memorized the words to when people sing/say something! I espescially like the last song, INTO THE WEST, performed by Annie Lennox!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This musical score is amazing....thanks to Howard shore and his ablility to capture the emotional heart of the story we have loved his music since the eariler years and now we are all at an end. This is where we all must say goodbye and thank those who have brought to life J.R.R. Tolkien's vision. The music is great and will live on in my heart for all time. Many thanks for giving me the chance to share these words.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the "Steward of Gondor" song. I also really like "Into the West" because I can sing it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all, spectacular movies!! The music really leaves an impact on you as you watch the movie, as well as listening to it in your car or on the stero. I love the music, it has a lot of passion. Though I still think the Fellowship soundtrack is better, I enjoyed this soundtrack a lot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say, we all are very worried, afarid and looking forward to the score all at the same time, in the end I am certain that Howard Shore, who has taken us through middle-earth alone with his music, will once again come back with a beautiful music score that will without a doubt blow all else out from the water. Peter Jackson and Howard Shore both have taken me and countless others to the brink of honor and fear to the bottomless coals of Mordor to the higest point on a mountain top. The Return Of The King will be the best score of all time, I say that without thinking twice, all lord of the ring fans hold on it's going to be a bumpy and wild ride this December. This CD will start it all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like The Lord of the Rings as much as I do than you'll love this soundtrack.The music is so great you will never want the CD to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say that I did miss the Lothlorien theme, but oh well. The Return of the King soundtrack is the best of them all. The movie wouldn't have been as emotional if it didn't have Howard Shore's phenomenal music. I also think Billy Boyd's singing was pretty good. "Into the West" was exhilerating. My favorite track is the Fields of the Pelennor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I won't say too much, I know that most of what I'd like the say has already been covered. I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The feeling that Howard Shore brings through his music, which is subtle, so as to prevent it from taking over (for example John Williams, whom I also love dearly, sadly does not do so well in this respect) is phenomenal. It is undoubtedly an asset to whatever collection you may have. I am aware that many wonder if the music actually varies all that much between the movies and indeed this proves the magnitude of Shore's genius because, while he plays off some of his previous scores, it is more powerful, greater, and in everyway a perfect end to a beautiful series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't heard this yet but i know it will be great. Howard Shore does a fantastic job of displaying the powerful mood and environs of Middle-Earth
Guest More than 1 year ago
Howard Shore is a genius for translating Peter's work into music. Peter is a genius for translating as best he could (we miss you, Bombadil!) Tolkien's incredible work. Tolkien was just a genius. So, in the end, they are all geniuses, and if you give them their due respect, you may not be a genius but you're still smart! :D
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is really a beautiful soundtrack. Howard Shore is a musical genius. In my opinion, part of the beauty of the score is the way the vocals blend so well with the instrumental aspects. Renee Fleming's voice is ethereal. My favorite piece, however, is Annie Lennox's Into the West. It is truly incredible. (Try picking up the LOTR ROTK sheet music. It'll further add to the experience!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
After much anticipation, I finally purchased the soundtrack for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King". Not only do I think it was worth every penny, I feel like I bought something priceless. Howard Shore's incredibly emotional and powerful score for the final installment of the epic trilogy matches the energy, anxiety and the urgency of the Two Towers soundtrack and the heart-filled and glorious sound of the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack, while adding new unforgettable melodies like the Gondor theme. My favorites were "The Steward of Gondor", "Anduril", "The Return of the King", and "Twilight and Shadow". Please consider adding this wonderful and intensely exciting disc to your soundtrack collection, and cheer Howard Shore on at the Oscars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was initially a bit disappointed with the ROTK score the first day I bought it, but since then I have listened to it many times, and have grown to appreciate the beauty in the themes and choral arrangements used by Howard Shore in this final soundtrack. It truly presents a fascinating end to the best movie trilogy ever made. I cannot wait for the movie!