Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Cleveland LOTR Symphony Review - Xoanon @ 17:00 PST
Penny writes: I just wanted to let everyone know that I attended the LOTR Symphony performance at the Blossom Festival in Cleveland this past weekend and it was brilliant!! I have now seen the symphony 5 times around the midwest and this was the best every performance. Perhaps this can be attributed to the talent of the Cleveland Orchestra and their attending choirs, perhaps it can be attributed to the fact that this orchestra and performed it before, or perhaps we can attribute it to the passion of the conductor, none other than composer Howard Shore. I have a feeling it was all three of these factors plus the incredible setting of the outdoor venue that really enhance the feel of the music.

I met my two wonderful friends from Toronto there, whom I first met at ORC three years ago. We enjoyed a beautiful day exploring the area, including a trip to Brandywine Falls, fittingly enough. We saw no Buckleberry Ferry, but there was a Brandywine Bridge. We arrived early for the concert in order to explore. Unfortunately, there was no LOTR Symphony related merchandise available, however, the setting was marvelous. The Blossom Festival is situated at the south end of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, so the outdoor venue is surrounded by the forrest and many lovely gardens. Perfect for a Tolkein inspired event. Also, the weather was nearly flawless, warm without being hot, no humidity (a rarity in Ohion in July!), and by the end of the night, downright cool!

I knew as soon as they began that the performance was going to be special. All of the sections were extremely sharp and crisp sounding, but still blended beautifully. The choir was miked, so there would be no problem of not enough volume as there was in Louisville earlier this year. There was some problem after the first movement as Howard paused while latecomers were allowed to get to their seats. (this concert started at 9PM for heaven's sakes, how hard is it to arrive on time?!!). You could tell this delay slightly distracted the orchestra and choir as they began the Rivendell music, but they quickly got over it. The Mines of Moria section was incredible and well really, everything was incredible. Soloist Kaitlyn Lusk was as usual incredible and heart-moving. The flute soloist had the purist tone I've ever heard and the violin was gorgeous. My friends and I were moved to goose bumps so many times they were perpetual. Howard and the orchestra received much applause and standing ovations after the show. I thing the whole audience really enjoyed the performance, even those who were no Ringers!

I hope everyone gets a chance to experience this symphony, especially if you get to experience such a wonderful performance as this one was. I am glad I decided to attend!