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The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

( 46 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
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.
All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
The monumental task of scoring -- in rapid succession -- three of history's most anticipated films has done ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
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.
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.

As breathtaking as its predecessors.... Magnificent.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/25/2003
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • UPC: 093624852124
  • Catalog Number: 48521
  • Sales rank: 535

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 A Storm is Coming - London Oratory School Schola (2:52)
  2. 2 Hope and Memory - London Oratory School Schola (1:46)
  3. 3 Minas Tirith - Ben Del Maestro (3:37)
  4. 4 The White Tree - London Oratory School Schola (3:26)
  5. 5 The Steward of Gondor - Billy Boyd (3:53)
  6. 6 Minas Morgul - London Oratory School Schola (1:58)
  7. 7 The Ride of the Rohirrim - London Oratory School Schola (2:09)
  8. 8 Twilight and Shadow - London Oratory School Schola (3:30)
  9. 9 Cirith Ungol - London Oratory School Schola (1:44)
  10. 10 Andúril - London Oratory School Schola (2:36)
  11. 11 Shelob's Lair - London Oratory School Schola (4:07)
  12. 12 Ash and Smoke - London Oratory School Schola (3:25)
  13. 13 The Fields of the Pelennor - London Oratory School Schola (3:26)
  14. 14 Hope Fails - London Oratory School Schola (2:21)
  15. 15 The Black Gate Opens - London Oratory School Schola (4:01)
  16. 16 The End of All Things - London Oratory School Schola (5:13)
  17. 17 The Return of the King - London Oratory School Schola (10:14)
  18. 18 The Grey Havens - London Oratory School Schola (6:00)
  19. 19 Into the West - London Oratory School Schola (5:49)
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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, Producer
Fran Walsh Executive Producer, Text
Peter Mew Mastering
Mitch Rotter Soundtrack Executive Producer
Mark Willsher Associate Music Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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2 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing soundtrack to one amazing movie!!!!!!!

    awesome from the very begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing music from a amazing movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    awesome from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing movie soundtrack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    awesome from begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Steward of Gondor

    I liked the "Steward of Gondor" song. I also really like "Into the West" because I can sing it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    yes!

    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!)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Deserved all awards

    I have never in my life played the same music over and over and over again as I do the three scores from the Lord of the Rings films. To hear Ben de Maestro, Renee Fleming, Sir James Galway, Billy Boyd, Viggo Mortensen, Annie Lennox, and the choruses and orchestra perform as they do here is a most moving experience. Even if I weren't a Tolkien fanatic of over forty years experience, I would STILL love this collection. Absolutely stunning!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The One to rule them all.

    The end has come - but in spectacular fashion! I got this CD prior to the film's Dec. 17th release and was awed by the music; it completely blew me away. Howard Shore has gone above and beyond all my expectations. Most other movie scores pale in comparison to this mighty behemoth. "A Storm is Coming" has the eerie and remorseful title music. "Hope and Memory" has beautiful harps and strings and a delightful rendition of "The Shire" theme. "Minas Tirith" contains the FANTASTIC Gondor theme - crank the volume up real loud! Same goes for "The White Tree" which includes the swirling music for the lighting of the mountain-based beacons of Gondor. "Minas Morgul" is bombastic music at it's height with the Mordor theme. Looking back and listening to this music again, it lifts you up and plants you back in the cinema seven months ago. "The Ride of the Rohirrim" is masterful; "Ash and Smoke" is creepy at first with the steady approach of the Orc legions, then sharp strings conveying the horror of the severed heads and then the thundering Gondor theme as Gandalf rallies the Warriors of Minas Tirith to man the ramparts. "The Fields of the Pelennor" and "The End of All Things" are both very operatic. "Into the West" is a beautifully bittersweet song to end the greatest movie trilogy and original motion picture score trilogy in history. Move over John Williams - Howard Shore is the epic composer on the block!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I LOVE THIS CD!!!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is a must listen to soundtrack!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding,best of them all!!!!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Lord of All Scores

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Perfect. Stunning. Brilliant.

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Soundtrack to Perfection

    Though I do admit a slight bias when it comes to these films, both the musician and cynic in me were completely awed by the soundtrack to this final installment of the Tolkien/Jackson epic. The vision of Howard Shore has defined the trilogy so far, and this soundtrack ties all three films together so seamlessly and so perfectly that it leaves me wondering if the films would have had quite so en emotional impact on me if they had been scored even slightly differently. To me, this soundtrack’s greatest strength lies in the fact that all major themes from the trilogy are present; it’s in this soundtrack, as in the work itself, that all themes are brought to fulfillment. For example, we were introduced to those scrappy Rohirrim by way of Norwegian lute in Two Towers, the first real introduction to the world of Men in the films. This simple melody drew the perfect picture of the proud, fierce peasant-warriors. Now, if you listen to this familiar theme by the last half of the ROTK soundtrack, the music of our beloved horse lords has blossomed into a majestic and noble melody, rich with the sorrow and power and courage that defined the Rohirrim’s progress throughout the movies. The soundtrack is filled with such developments, all swelling to an emotional release in “The End of All Things” and “The Return of the King”. And just in case you haven’t been put through the ringer quite enough, Shore offers “The Grey Havens”, a haunting song that presents the perfect bittersweet ending to the most bittersweet of all endings. Now, I really like Annie Lenox’s “Into the West”, though admittedly more for the lyrics than her rendering of the Grey Havens theme. If you’ve seen the film, then there’s a 90% chance you were at least a tad choked-up by the time you heard this. Personally, I wept like a small child. Which perfectly describes the sheer emotional pull that this score, coupled with Jackson’s vision and Tolkien’s genius, offers to us mortals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

    Howard Shore has made the best of The Lord of the Rings reaching deep into culture, mind, and the very spirit of Tolkien's writings. It's great to listen to and brings tears to your eye's and gives a sense of pride thinking of how hard people worked to make this just for us to hear, also the story behind the lord of the rings is truly shown. What can YOU see on the horizon?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Phenomenal!

    I have never heard a soundtrack so amazing. I love the way the instruments blend together. The singing is perfect. The last three songs make me cry because I can see what is going on in the movie while I'm listening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    emotional

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely Captivating

    I have loved the Lord of the Rings movies from the very beginning, and much of that is due to Howard Shore's genius. He manages to accompany that visual impact of the films while creating a masterpiece in itself. The scores for all three films can stand on their own as incredible acheivements of art. Since receiving this CD i have listened to little else. I also enjoyed hearing some of the cast sing (a job well done to Billy Boyd and, yes, Viggo Mortensen) and enjoyed listening to other very talented vocalists as well (Renee Fleming, anyone?) At first, I didn't enjoy "Into The West" by Annie Lennox, but have since changed my mind. It really is a beautiful song once it grows on you. This score has also done another important thing for me. My mom has always had little motivation to watch the films other than Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. I left this CD home one day, and I came back, and she is now resolute to see the Return of the King, because she was so moved by the music. This score is undoubtedly one of the most captivating scores I've ever listened to, and I would highly suggest having your own copy, because it is outstanding in every meaning of the word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The King has Returned!

    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.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews