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May 11, 2006 - May 29, 2006

5-29-06 Latest News

“One Morning Long Ago” Report and Pics!
Xoanon @ 9:33 pm EST

“One Morning Long Ago”
A JRR Tolkien Inspired Art Exhibition
Friday 19th to Tuesday 23rd May 2006
The Redesdale Hall, High Street, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire

'One Morning Long Ago' Report

Andrew writes: The exhibition opened at 7pm Friday 19th May 2006 for a private preview party by invite only. From the visitors book and replies 107 people attended in addition to the organisers, artists and performers. 1 large Eagle also attended. Complimentary drinks (soft drinks and alcoholic) and food was served throughout. A welcome speech was given by the organiser who introduced the programme of events, tour guide and the artists. Ted Nasmith formally opened the exhibition. Live music was performed, Piano pieces by Charlotte (Enting) Dom on the tin whistle and Tolkien inspired songs performed by Ted Nasmith, Madeline Anderson and Alex Lewis. The evening ended around midnight.

The Exhibition was open to the public from 9am until 5pm daily from Saturday 20th until Tuesday 23rd May 2006. In that time 1376 different visitors attended, including many Tolkien Society members, (some came back daily). In addition 1 senior school art group attended on Monday 22nd for a private guided tour (12 students) and 1 local junior school (30 students). Total Attendance 1525. (plus 1 dog and 1 large Eagle attended 3 times Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Overseas visitors came specifically from Germany, Belgium, many other overseas visitors in the UK added this event to their itinerary (USA, Australia, New Zealand).

15 new members joined The Tolkien Society (Malcolm Lindley has forms for 13 and the organiser has a further 2 applications).

25 people including organisers, helpers, artists, 1 member of the Tolkien Society Committee, and visitors staying in Moreton from overseas attended a special Hobbit meal (Stewed Rabbit) at The Bell Inn High Street Moreton in Marsh Saturday evening 7pm. Live music was performed into the night.

During the exhibition live music was performed, educational talks, drama and sketches, favourite readings from Tolkien passages. A number of visitors were moved to tears listening to Ted Nasmith. A quiz was held On Sunday at 3pm and the 1st prize (a limited edition framed Ted Nasmith Print) was won by Gary Emerton who donated this to The Tolkien society to be auctioned to help raise funds.

Also a cast was taken of Ted Nasmiths hand and a bronze mounted cast (holding a paint brush) will be produced and auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Approximately 1/3rd of all original art was sold and multiple orders received for Limited edition prints. Many Tolkien books were sold and Bob Blackham attended and signed copies of his new book “The Roots of Tolkien’s Middle earth”. 1 rare book was stolen.

Letters have been received from visitors and the organiser is aware that 3 children have been inspired to start painting and 4 visitors have purchased copies of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings to read them for the first time.

The exhibition will be repeated with a Private party on Friday 22nd September 2006 (a notable date) and the exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday 23rd until Tuesday 26th September 2006. (The week after Oxonmoot as proposed by Malcolm Lindley).

5-27-06 Latest News

Hall Of Fire This Weekend -- Fall Of Fingolfin
Demosthenes @ 2:44 am EST

Hall of Fire this weekend focuses on Chapter 17 of the Silmarillion -- The ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin. After a long, watchful peace, Morgoth smashes the leaguer of Angband that's been maintained by the Noldor, unleashing orcs, Balrogs and an all-grown up Glaurung. Ard-Gelen is withered, Dorthonion is destroyed, the sons of Finarfin slain and the sons of Feanor scattered. Sauron takes Tol Sirion and uses it as a base from which to torment Beleriand. And the Noldorin high king Fingolfin rashly throws his life away in a suicidal challenge against Morgoth. In the midst of this tale of woe, is there any good news for the elves and human allies?

Here's a couple of famous drawings of the confrontation between Morgoth and Fingolfin:

John Howe
Ted Nasmith

Time and date:
Saturday May 27

5.30pm EDT
4.30pm CDT
3.30pm MDT
2.30pm PDT

10.30pm UK
11.30pm Central Europe

7.30am (Sunday) Brisbane
7.30am (Sunday) Sydney
9.30am (Sunday) Wellington

Chats usually last 45 mins to an hour, and are very newbie friendly. Simply drop in and join the conversation!


Chat happens on #thehalloffire on irc.theonering.net - the TORn IRC server. You can connect instantly via our java chat client that works inside your web browser (find it here! ) or choose to install a dedicated chat program such as mIRC on your computer.

To find out more about using mIRC to connect to TORn IRC server, check out these instructions.

Upcoming topics:

Over coming weeks we'll be continuing chatting about the Silmarillion. Next chat - in two weeks time will be about the tale of Beren and Luthien.

5-17-06 Latest News

Caspar Reiff Interview
Xoanon @ 2:06 pm EST

Svenja Meyhack writes: Here is an interview with Caspar Reiff about the 4CD set "Lord Of The Rings - The Complete Songs and Poems". I hope it will be useful to you.

Caspar Reiff Interview

1. Your project was to realize the first complete music interpretation of the Tolkien poetry with more than 150 artists, involving the Queen with her drawings and Christopher Lee as a narrator. Quite challenging! Ten years of work and it took shape. Some might say that ‘s quite a long time to invest in something – if it’s not a matter that’s near to one’s heart. How did you get the idea? How do you feel now that the project is accomplished?

10 years is a long time and the project was very challenging and more challenging than I knew when I started the project. The idea for the project came when I read The Lord of the Rings in the original language the first time. I read the poems and thought that these poems ought to be set to music.

And of course it’s a very special feeling to be at “the journeys end”…

2. Everything seems to have gone so naturally when listening to the CD Set. Can you tell us more about the foundation of the Tolkien Ensemble and what it practically means to realize such an imposing project?

There was some true “Lord of the Rings magic” about the foundation of The Tolkien Ensemble. I had for a couple of years had the idea to write music to the poems, but I needed more than that. A more specific project so to speak.
A very small newspaper in Denmark mentioned that I had this idea and this was read by a count in Denmark, Peter Henrik Tesdorph. So, when I performed on guitar in a town near his castle he approached me and asked about this music for the poems from The Lord of the Rings. He would like to hear the songs performed and we agreed that we would set up a concert at his Castle, Gjorslev Castle, Denmark. That was basicly all I needed at that time: a reason to ask people to get involved in the project.

I formed the first Tolkien Ensemble asking my friends to join it. Only a few of them had ever read The Lord of the Rings…
From that point on I worked on the idea of making the complete musical version of the poems. One of the first mucisians I asked to be involved was Peter Hall who became co-composer on the project. And of course: It takes a lot of hard work to compose the music to about 70 poems. Then to coordinate the recording of the music, deciding who should be the soloists, persuading record company’s etc. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

3. Was is it difficult to get Christopher Lee as a narrator? How was it working with him?

First of all it was wonderful to work with Christopher Lee. He is a living legend and when you meet him you fell very small. He reminds me of Tolkiens treepeople, the Ent’s, a race that have travelled the word and seen the world change. A wise and noble race. Christopher Lee is like that. He is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary life behind him.

I was very lucky that The Tolkien Ensemble was invited to perform at the Danish premiere of the first of Peter Jacksons movies. It was said The Christopher Lee would be there, so I wrote a letter to him, enclosed our 2 CD’s, and the arrangers of the premiere was able to pass it to him. He liked our music and ideas and decided to take part in the project.

4. How did you get Queen Margrethe II to be part of this project? I can imagine it’s not easy to establish contact to her?

The Queen is a great admirer of Tolkiens works. She did a complete illustration series for The Lord of the Rings, one illustration for each chapter and when we had to decide which illustrations we would like to use it was obvious to ask permission to use the Queens. So I sent a letter to the Court Marshall with the enquiry and fortunately the Queen accepted the request.

5. The Tolkien masterpiece made millions of people reading and searching continuously to get a deeper knowledge of it and it made you founding the Tolkien Ensemble. What do you think is the power of Tolkien’s masterpiece? Is it maybe a spell?

Tolkien is first of all one of the greatest writers ever. His spell is his deep knowledge of legends, Myths and different religions. This knowledge he uses as basis for his own invented world Middle-earth. The deep roots in “what is already there” for us through our myths, legends and religions is what makes his invented world seem so real to us, as if it really could have existed.

6. What is the best and what is the worst memory you have of the production?

There have been many wonderful experiences and fortunately few bad ones… Obviously the moment when we got the Tolkien Estates permission to work with the poems was unique, but also the first time we met Christopher Lee, meeting Tolkiens daughter, Priscilla, performing in Oxford at Tolkiens own college Exeter College, performing for the Danish Queen and Prince - I could go on and on.

With regard to bad memories I’ll just quote Christopher Lee who once said to me: “You have to be careful with Managers – They are in it for the money, you know...”

7. If you were an actor casted for LOTR, which character would you like to play most? Would you find it more interesting to play a role of the force of light or of the force of the darkness?

If I were casted for LOTR I would probably be asked to be swordsman number 4.567 in the left of the screen in the final big battle… But of course it’s always an interesting question “Who would you like to be if you had to pick a character from LOTR?” In My project with The Tolkien Ensemble my part has been a mixture of Frodo’s and Gandalf’s, so probably one of those two – and certainly a character of the force of light!

8. What about the relation with the Tolkien’s heirs. How was their reaction when you first presented your project? And how was it when they held the final CD set in their hands?

From the beginning The Tolkien Estate found our work and ideas interesting. They gave us their permission to go on with the project and could easily have stopped us during the past 10 years if they did not like our work… And of course: It was something very special for me to be able to send the final 4CDbox to them

9. Music is a language and a world apart, like Tolkien’s work. Is there a poem that you particularly like? Is there a music piece that reminds you of a particular moment of the project evolution?

I love “The Old Walking Song”

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow if I can
Pursuing it with eager feet
Until it joins a larger way
Where many paths and errands meet
And wither then, I cannot say.

The poem is the first poem in The Lord of the Rings, it was one of the first poems I set to music and it is the first song on our 4CD Box.

10. What does the future hold for the Tolkien Ensemble? Did you already plan a promotion tour or are you going to take a well-deserved break?

We will go on performing the songs, we’ve got a new ensemble member in Nick Keir from The McCalmans and we have some major concerts ahead of us in Denmark so the future looks great.

Order "Lord Of The Rings - The Complete Songs and Poems" on Amazon.com today!

5-15-06 Latest News

Tolkien Weekend 2006 Report
Xoanon @ 6:58 pm EST

Lady Tinania writes: Last Saturday, myself and my partner attended the 7th annual Tolkien weekend. It is an annual, two day event that takes place in the Shire Country Park, Moseley, Birmingham, run by the Tolkien Society and Birmingham City Council. This year’s theme was “The Shire”, which incorporated the public launch of The Shire Country Park and it’s plans for the future.

We were greeted at the gate by Gandalf and many others dressed in Middle Earth attire, and made our way to the information tent to book a tour of Sarehole Mill, which was a great influence in Tolkien’s Life. The mill is pretty much in working order and has a miller visit every weekend in August to work the mill. There is information available on the workings of the mill and the surrounding area and how it has changed since Tolkien lived there. Just outside the mill entrance, the Tolkien Society had a small shop with displays of their work and events, including their event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the complete publication of Lord of the Rings. Alongside these were items to buy including Tolkien Society t-shirts, videos of the areas that influenced the writing of Lord of the Rings and posters of film images.

In the Performance arena, the Birmingham Vikings Re-enactment Society were giving a fight demonstration which was closely followed by the Black Adder Morris Dancers. Elsewhere in the Unexpected Party Café you could catch the Greenman Story Teller followed by folk music with Stuart Estell and Allan Recardo, whilst enjoying hot tea and biscuits provided by local Scout groups. While all this was going on, we caught some rather over enthusiastic Games Workshop staff holding a classic good versus evil game in the Tolkien tent before grabbing a bite to eat from one of the vendors on site.

Not wishing to miss anything, we did a quick scour of all the tents before planning out the rest of the day. Starting at the Farmers Market, we moved onto the Activity Tent, which was filled with adults and children making wands, wicker swords and headdresses. I had to have a go and weaved myself a rather wonky headdress which ended up too big for my head! There were also two Craft Tents at the event, both filled with a variety of crafts from local groups and societies. I was particularly taken with Under Capricorn, who sell handmade soaps infused with essential oils and natural products. They had specially made three soaps for the weekend; Gandalf, Mordor and best of all, The One Soap. I just had to have one!!

Moving back to the Tolkien Tent, we listened to Philip Coker read “The Scouring of the Shire” from the Lord of the Rings before learning about plans to put a permanent sculpture in Moseley of Treebeard on a bed of leaves, with Tolkien and his brother, Hillary. Needing to prove I could compete with the boys, our next stop was at the Archery Range where I had my first taste of archery. Considering it was my first time, I was pretty good, hitting almost all bulls-eye’s! Feeling the need for more action, we watched the Birmingham Vikings Re-enactment Society beat each other with swords and axes. It was quite something to see, and some really got into their parts.

Since I had proved myself in the Archery and the weather was turning bad, I needed a rest and a cup of tea, so we settled in at The Unexpected Party Café with some tea and biscuits to listen to Chris Adderley reading from Beowulf. Even though the sound system was unavailable, it was very good and a great way to relax for a while whilst still keeping the atmosphere. So good that we decided to stay in our seats to listen to the Greenman Storyteller.

We had missed the first performance of The Hobbit by Shire Productions, earlier in the day, so we booked our seats for the 5:30 performance and decided to brave the rain and spend some money before the tents closed for the day. Back at the Tolkien Society shop, after much deliberation we purchased some posters and postcards before buying a few nick-naks at the Craft Tents. After one last look around the Tolkien Tent, we took our seats for the performance of The Hobbit. Despite the soggy ground and cold, the performance was excellent, with the actors doing a great job of excepts from The Hobbit, adapted for the weekend by Vivienne Wilkes.

It was a great day out for both those who enjoy Tolkien’s works, and for those just looking for a day out. Besides all the things we got to do over the day, there was also guided walks, including “In the Footsteps of Tolkien” and a “Wildlife Walk”, and bus rides around other areas that influenced Tolkien as he was growing up, and plenty of activities for children.

For pictures of the event please click here.

5-14-06 Latest News

Glass Hammer’s 150 Member Elven Choir!
Xoanon @ 10:08 pm EST

Glass Hammer’s 150 Member Elven Choir

Prog-rock icons and Middle-earth travelers Glass Hammer have just released their 2nd DVD, “Live At Belmont” – a double-disc 5.1 concert featuring the 150 member Belmont University Choir. The Nashville, Tennessee event was filmed at last year’s “Past Watchful Dragons”, a C. S. Lewis conference which featured Inklings scholars from around the world. At the concert’s emotional crescendo, Glass Hammer has the massive choir singing in Elven, Latin and English – all at once.

“We chose to work with Elven during the recording of The Inconsolable Secret” last year,” says GH founder Steve Babb. “It’s such a beautiful language. We had access to Tolkien scholars and experts, so we did have some help. But what a powerful experience, and thankfully one we filmed!”

Critics are already hailing “Live at Belmont” as another hit for “the world’s greatest prog-band.”

Glass Hammer released the Tolkien-inspired “Journey of the Dunadan” in 1993, and “The Middle-earth Album” in 2001.

For more information and to view the “Live at Belmont” trailer, visit the band’s website at glasshammer.com.

5-13-06 Latest News

Parker & Shah Join
Xoanon @ 1:55 pm EST

The Gathering of the Fellowship, taking place at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto July 1-4 and celebrating all things Tolkien and C.S.Lewis, has announced that Craig Parker and Kiran Shah will be attending the event. Craig and Kiran join Bruce Hopkins, John Howe, Cliff Broadway and Carlene Cordova (RINGERS), Ted Nasmith, cast and crew members from Ancanar, Ring Lord John Daniels, Mike Foster, Colin Duriez, Jef Murray, Lingalad, Scott and Brenda Maple of Kropserkel and many, many more!

Gathering programming includes art, music, costuming & armor, stage and screen interpretations, scholarship, language & writing, and the Inklings. Special events include a banquet and masquerade, the new Lord of the Rings musical, picnic and fireworks on Toronto Island, trilogy screening, and VIP reception, as well as art gallery, dealers’ room, fan art and literary contests, and more. Many registration options are available, including single day admissions. Airfare discounts are available through Air Canada, the Gathering’s official airline. For all info on events, registration, and travel, go to gatheringofthefellowship.com.

Hall Of Fire Resumes Today!
Demosthenes @ 3:44 am EST

After a long break (I’ve been moving house), Hall of Fire resumes chats this weekend. What’s the topic you ask? Whatever you feel like talking about — bring the topic with you!

That’s right, we’ll be doing a bit of a round-robin Q&A discussion (of a very informal nature), chatting about the Middle-earth questions burning a hole in your brain —— wizards, dwarves, hobbits, elves, rings of power and much more.

Perhaps you want to know what happened to Frodo after leaving the Grey Havens, or speculate on the nature of Tom Bombadil. We might even allow you to ask whether Balrog wings are real or metaphorical.
Just be sure to join us tomorrow Saturday 13 May at 5.30pm EST with your Tolkien questions.

Time zone conversions

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Check this little conversion table out for some help.

5.30pm EST (New York)
4.30pm CST (Chicago)
3.30pm MST (Salt Lake City)
2.30pm PST (Los Angeles)

10.30pm GMT (London)
11.30pm CET (Paris)

6.30am AWST (Sunday) Perth
8.30am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane
9.30am AEDT (Sunday) Sydney
11.30am NZDT (Sunday) Wellington

Our chats usually last 45 mins to an hour, and are very newbie friendly. Simply drop in and join the conversation!


Chat happens on #thehalloffire on irc.theonering.net - the TORn IRC server. You can connect instantly via our java chat client that works inside your web browser (find it here! ) or choose to install a dedicated chat program such as mIRC on your computer.

To find out more about using mIRC to connect to TORn IRC server, check out these instructions.

Got a topic? Let us know your idea!

If you have a burning desire to discuss something in Hall of Fire, drop us a line with your topic at halloffire@theonering.net. If we like it, we'll probably give it a run in the coming weeks - you might even get to guest moderate the session!

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5-11-06 Latest News

LOTR Concert Summer Series 2006!
Xoanon @ 3:52 pm EST



“Shore's six-movement symphony is a complex, ingeniously evocative work rivaling Wagner operas in the manipulation of readily identifiable motifs pegged to certain characters, emotions and events.” – Zachary Lewis/Plain Dealer [Cleveland]

New York, NY, May 15, 2006 – Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus reaches a milestone this summer when the San Francisco Symphony presents the 100th performance of the work since its debut in Wellington, New Zealand in November 2003. The two concerts at San Francisco’s Davies Hall on July 14 and 15 are highlights of a busy summer season for the symphony, which will be presented in additional concerts both in Europe and in the United States. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will give two concerts on June 24 and 25 as part of its annual ScottishPower Proms series, followed by performances in two German cities – Nürnberg (July 28) and Aachen (August 18).

In the States, the North Carolina Symphony will perform the symphony at the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary, North Carolina on July 15, followed by performances by the San Diego Symphony on July 20. The symphony will return to the Seattle area on September 9 for the closing event in the Chateau Ste. Michelle’s concert series in Woodinville, Washington, which will bring the symphony’s summer season to a glorious close.

But first, Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony will receive four performances this month: three with the Colorado Symphony in Denver (May 19 – 21) and one by the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany’s Cologne Arena (May 28).

Howard Shore conducted the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra in three performances of his symphony in February. An article published in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks earlier noted the work’s “remarkable staying power more than two years after the third [The Lord of the Rings] film's release” and described it as “wildly popular with audiences.” A reporter for the Buffalo News praised not only the quality of Shore’s vivid writing, but also the ability of the work to bring new listeners into the concert hall:

“It wasn't the crowd that typically attends an orchestra concert, but it was an uplifting sight to see – and one that has been repeated around the world as Howard Shore's ‘The Lord of the Rings Symphony’ draws new audiences to the symphony…This symphony…is breathtaking. Shore's music takes listeners into new worlds, evoking a panorama of emotions that cut to the heart including love, serenity, pain and fury. It deserves to be enjoyed long after the movies have left the multiplex.”

Since its debut in November 2003, Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony has been performed in mostly sold-out halls on four continents. Audiences from Sydney and Tokyo to Los Angeles and London have greeted the two-hour work with rousing ovations following performances in some of the world’s most famous venues – including Sydney’s Opera House, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Moscow’s Kremlin Palace Theater. Some of the world’s leading international orchestras – including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the London Philharmonic – have performed The Lord of the Rings Symphony in addition to regional orchestras across the United States.

Last summer the symphony was played in the Odeon Herod Atticus in Athens, Greece, one of the city’s most famous outdoor theaters; at the prestigious Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany; and in Oslo’s Frognerparken, where Norway’s acclaimed Oslo Philharmonic played it for a crowd estimated to have topped 70,000. The same orchestra gave another performance a few days later in Bergen for a crowd estimated at more than 30,000. The first two movements of the symphony, comprising The Fellowship of the Ring – the first installment of Tolkien’s trilogy – were performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall last November on a program entitled “The Rings: Myth and Music,” with music by Richard Wagner.

Shore takes particular pride in the fact that performances of The Lord of the Rings Symphony all over the world have been given not by a single touring orchestra but almost entirely by local performers:

“The symphony has been presented around the world, but regardless of where it has been done the performances have been given by local artists. That’s the real joy of it for me: this work is helping awaken community interest in the symphony orchestra.”

In addition to Shore, five other conductors have performed the piece internationally: Terry Edwards, Markus Huber, John Mauceri, Alexander Mickelthwate and Alastair Willis.

Howard Shore is currently working on an opera based on his film collaboration with David Cronenberg – a commission of The Fly for Los Angeles Opera. His score for The Aviator (his third collaboration with director Martin Scorsese) won both Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards and was nominated for a Grammy. His soundtrack for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the song “Into the West” both won Grammy Awards as well as two Oscars and two Golden Globe Awards. His soundtracks for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring were also honored with Grammy awards. Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring earned him an Oscar for Best Original Score. In January the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures presented Shore with its 2005 Career Achievement for Film Music Composition award.

About The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus

Howard Shore wrote his six-movement The Lord of the Rings Symphony for symphony orchestra, adult and children's choirs, as well as solo instrumentalists and vocalists, totaling more than 200 musicians on stage. Working with conductor John Mauceri, who first suggested that the music of The Lord of the Rings be preserved as an independent work for the concert hall, Shore created a two-hour symphony drawing from the nearly 12 hours of music he composed for Peter Jackson’s phenomenally successful film trilogy. Shore has received three Oscars for the scores and four Grammy awards for the soundtrack recordings. The six movements of the symphony correspond to the progression of the epic through the six books that comprise J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. These movements capture the enormous complexity and limitless imagination of Tolkien’s creation – from the simple, pastoral beauty of the hobbits’ Shire to the magic and mystery of the Elves and the monumental battle scenes – in music by turns explosive, ethereal and, ultimately, transcendent.

As Doug Adams, author of the soon-to-be-published book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films explained in a Chicago Tribune interview, “There’s a different style of music for each culture of characters: hobbit, elf, dwarf. If you go to the symphony performance it’s very much like an abstract version of Tolkien’s story.”

Shore achieves this enormous feat by the ingenious use and juxtaposition of a plethora of recurring motifs – close to 80 in all – associated with the various characters and places in the books. Shore’s employment of some instruments foreign to the traditional Western symphony orchestra – and of choral settings in Tolkien’s languages – helps conjure up the ancient beauty of Middle-earth, its diverse inhabitants, and the harrowing struggle between the forces of good and evil.

Shore likens the daunting experience of writing the music for the three The Lord of the Rings films to that of the humble hobbit asked to carry the ring. “When I started,” he told the Chicago Tribune, “I was the hobbit with the ring saying, ‘I will do this. I will take the ring to Mordor, although I do not know the way.’” Shore considers his work on The Lord of the Rings to be the culmination of everything he has done in his first 40 years of writing music.

Critical acclaim for Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony

“No doubt Shore's fame and the endlessly alluring story of the One Ring brought them to their seats, but it was the Cleveland Orchestra, Chorus, and soloists that bound them there in rapt attention. A two-hour distillation of the much longer ‘Lord of the Rings’ soundtrack, Shore's six-movement symphony is a complex, ingeniously evocative work rivaling Wagner operas in the manipulation of readily identifiable motifs pegged to certain characters, emotions and events. No one who has seen even one of the films could fail to recognize its major themes. Furthermore, it's authentic, steeped in the musical languages of the Celtic, Germanic, Middle- and Far-Eastern cultures author J.R.R. Tolkien probably had in mind when imagining Elves, Orcs, Dwarves and Hobbits. All these qualities came to vivid life with the Cleveland Orchestra. Trumpets blazed with uncommon glory in the tragic ‘Bridge of Khazad-Dum’ sequence while the strings reserved their best for the plaintive ‘Gollum's Song’ and the valiant ‘Riders of Rohan.’”
– Plain Dealer [Cleveland]

“[Howard Shore’s] instinct for melody is superb, his integration of legitimate ancient music sources with contemporary-sounding tonal clusters and harmonic invention is terrific, and, most of all, he creates, as both Jackson and Tolkien did before him, an entire imagined universe that is both detailed and consistent.”
– Newark Star-Ledger

"There's no denying the sweep and rich texture of the work… Shore's nod to Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle at the very end, with the orchestra reveling in the healing power of a major chord, makes a satisfying coda. …When the last notes dissipated, it sounded as if the demonstrative audience would keep the ovation going until long after all signs of Elvish had left the building.”
– Baltimore Sun

"Shore's musical opus is every bit as impressive as Tolkien's literary one, standing on its own as a sweeping, operatic experience, even when liberated from the majesty of Jackson's trilogy.”
– Seattle Times

“Among the highlights of the six-movement [The Lord of the Rings Symphony] was ‘The Prophecy,’ featuring a lonely ney flute that evoked the other-worldliness of 5,000-year-old Middle-earth. The chorus swelled and climbed with urgent excitement in ‘Concerning Hobbits,’ and a solo fiddle added effervescence to ‘The Shadow of the Past.’ Heavy percussive drive on ‘The Bridge of Khazad-dum’ sweepingly suggested a history of classic cinema spectaculars. Emotional interludes included ‘Hope and Memory’ and ‘The Riders of Rohan’.” ‘A Knife in the Dark’ pulsated with ‘Carmina Burana’ excitement.”
– Variety

Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Upcoming Performances

Friday, May 19, Saturday May 20, Sunday, May 21
Colorado Symphony Orchestra conducted by Markus Huber
Denver, Colorado (Boettcher Hall)

Sunday, May 28
Neue Philharmonie Westfalen conducted by Markus Huber
Cologne, Germany (Cologne Arena)

Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25
Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Markus Huber
Glasgow, Scotland (Glasgow Royal Concert Hall)

Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco, CA (Louise M. Davies Hall)

Saturday, July 15
North Carolina Symphony
Cary, NC (Koka Booth Amphitheater)

Thursday, July 20
San Diego Symphony
San Diego, CA (Embarcadero Marina)

Friday, July 28
Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen
Nürnberg, Germany (Meistersingerhalle)

Friday, August 18
Sinfonieorchester Aachen
Aachen, Germany (Katschhof)

Sunday, September 9
Summer Concerts at the Chateau
Woodinville, WA (Chateau Ste. Michelle)

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