Tuesday, August 23, 2005
A Concert for Eternity - Xoanon @ 09:35 PST
Tinuvielas writes: Don't know if you've had any reports on Shore's LOTR-symphony conducted by Terry Edwards in Neumünster, Germany, during the Schleswig-Holstein-Musik-Festival last Saturday (August 13th)? We (TORners Issy, Neldoreth and myself) attended it, and we were totally enthusiastic, because it was a much better event than the European premiere in Antwerp conducted by Shore himself last year. Both the acoustics and the atmosphere at the concert hall and the performance of the excellent orchestra were simply overpowering. I add a transcription and a translation of a newspaper article that appeared in the "Hamburger Abendblatt" Monday the 15th (I think), in case you're interested!

Neumünster: Some critics still sniff at soundtracks: "too shallow, too much entertainment", that's the prejudice. However, this concert in the Holstenhalle in Neumünster must have set even the last sceptic right: Terry Edwards (translater's addition: he's the guy who did all the choir work with the London Voices on the LOTR score) interpreted the "Lord of the Rings"-symphony with the NDR Pops Orchester, the Neuen Knabenchor Hamburg, the choirs of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival and the NDR and the Belgian soprano Ann De Renais (she was with the London Voices, too, interpreting Shore's score for the film).

A gigantic work in six movements, about 90 minutes long. A symphonical journey through the fantastic world of Tolkien's tri-part novel. What Shore distilled from his oscar-crowned soundtrack for Peter Jacksons adaption is neoromantic, programmatical music, the musical "Ring" for the 21st Century, so to speak. Dramatic cascades of sound and chorals take turns with soprano soli and folkloristic, lyrical themes. Shore uses the complete range of the classical orchestra, adding ethnical instruments like hackboard, indian Sarangi or irish flute.

The London conductor Edwards and his more than 200 musicians and singers have filled this score with so much life on Saturday, that they surpassed even the original score by Shore, as well as last year's excellent CD-version by the Prager Philharmonics.

Orchestre and the choirs were at their task with noticable fun. Using sparing gestures, Edwards assured maximum accuracy even in the brute-force tutti-passages. Two blunders by the solo flute playing the hobbit-theme and overmodulated speakers while boy soprano Frans Bruhn was doing his part ­ who cares.

This was a concert of the sort " for eternity". The enthusiastic audience gratefully offered fifteen minutes of standing ovations. No encore.

Too bad, but understandable: Whatever should Edwards have taken out of this complete piece of art?