LOTR Symphony Report

October 13, 2006


The Two Towers III

Foundations of Stone – The Taming of Sméagol – The Riders of Rohan – The Black Gate Is Closed – Evenstar – The White Rider – Treebeard – The Forbidden Pool

Again, I made notes about music I recognized but that's not necessarily all the music played.

There has been a 20 minute intermission. The orchestra is back and the boy soprano has joined the choir in the back. His spot is replaced with the featured female soprano, Kaitlyn Lusk. I just checked her bio. She's only 16. She's apparently sung in quite a few Symphonies. She did all the solos for the second half and when I refer to soprano, I mean her.

The music for The Two Towers was kind of all over the place. You might or might not know that the music on the TTT CD is not in the same order as in the movie. That's because the things were moved around quite late in the process. Also, the stories of each subgroup of the Fellowship is quite disjointed. We get subgroup A then B then A then B then C then A then C then B.... I think that the Symphony tried to 1) follow individual stories rather than the movie 2) put the music back where it belonged if it had been moved during movie edits 3) just combine the music into a pleasing arrangement that samples and provides examples of the larger body of music.

The music starts with the Gollum/Frodo/Sam fight. I wrote down 'nice' for this. I then wrote down "White Rider".... I know what the music is but I can't remember exactly when it was used. Let me go find it. Just talk amongst yourselves while I'm gone.

Dang! We keep switching back and forth between my computer and my husband's. It's his monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers and we swap out the computer itself. Some connection was missed apparently in the last switch and I don't have sound. I know you probably don't care what the next piece was but it irritates me.

Okay, I checked my cue by cues. I'm pretty sure it's the music heard when Gandalf rides out from Helm's Deep on Shadowfax after telling Aragorn to look for him on the fifth day at dawn. Then we hear Éowyn's Theme. I think this is pretty much the music heard as Éowyn stands out in front of Meduseld after fleeing Wormtongue. Then we hear the Rohan Theme on horns. They did use the fiddle for a short phrase of the Rohan Theme but not for much. I'm not even sure if it was a Hardanger fiddle.

Then it moved to the Black Gate when they see the Easterlings. I mention the Easterlings to place the scene but I can't remember exactly which music from the Black Gate was used. I'm sure it started with the bombastic, threatening music or I wouldn't have immediately placed the Blat Gate. uhh... I've written 'running bassoon' and Gollum at Black Gate.

The soprano sings the music for the vision of Aragorn's death (in Evenstar). The female choir is singing behind her.

The I wrote, 'The White Wizard', 'Shadowfax' and noted male and female choir. By Shadowfax I'm sure it refers to the music heard as Shadowfax hearkens to Gandalf's whistle. The Symphony uses the music heard during the movie which is different from that heard on the CD. But I'm not sure what music prompted the 'White Wizard' note. The music heard in the movie (soft voices intoning 'Where is the Horse and the Rider' in Old English using triplets) was not originally intended for that scene. I have a vague memory that it appeared in the Symphony in the place it was originally intended (the scene where Aragorn inspires Théoden to 'ride out with me' at Helm's Deep). But I can't remember for sure. Perhaps later notes will clear this up.

The music moves to the Treebeard/Fangorn section. The adult choir sings a short phrase (as heard on the track, Treebeard). It moves quickly to the lumbering low notes heard with the Mûmakil and then jumps right to the Forbidden Pool music. The boy's choir sings Faramir's Seduction Theme. I was pleased to be able to recognize and sing along (if I so wished) with some of the lyrics.



The Two Towers IV