December 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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DVD Film:
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring  
With Elijah Wood; Ian McKellan; Liv Tyler; Viggo Mortensen; Cate Blanchett; Christopher Lee, Sean Bean and Ian Holm. Directed by Peter Jackson
  Music by Howard SHORE
  NEW LINE CINEMA 4 DVD set EDV9171   [feature running time approx 200 mins]
Plus appendices

fellowship of the ring

This generously-filled and generally apposite four-DVD special extended edition is excellent value. In the first instance, it presents an added value The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Rings film, for there is over 30 minutes material over and above the theatre running time including six new scenes and 20 extended scenes. These add much to our understanding of the story, and its background, including that all-important Prologue. Here are also four additional feature-length commentaries by the production and design teams including not only Peter Jackson and the cast, but also the composer Howard Shore. The film images, in lavish colour, are crystal clear and the sound engineering is very good.

Disc Three has six documentaries covering the process of adaptation from J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel and the set designs, costumes, creatures and the miniatures created for the film. It also has a useful interactive map of Middle-earth tracing the journeys of the Fellowship.

From the point of view of Film Music on the Web, the main feature interest comes on Disc Four with a ten-minute feature on Howard Shore’s music. He covers the composition of all the main themes explains his choice of choirs and soloists for the vocal (and orchestral) cues. He maintains that his Lord of the Rings score is "operatic" and that its grand design will become clear once the three films have been released and that it should stand on its own as a complete and satisfying musical work.

One of the best – if not the best – DVD specials released this year

Ian Lace


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