An epic film score receives epic treatment with The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring/Complete Recordings. Released for the first time on CD, the complete score for the first film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy contains more than 180 minutes of music on three CDs plus a DVD-Audio disc of the entire score in Surround Sound. Breathtaking and majestic, the 2001 Oscar and Grammy winning score compsted by Howard Shore also includes Enya's Oscar nominated 'May It Be'. For fans of any of The Lord of the Rings films, the Fellowship of the Ring/Complete Recordings is an essential experience. Warner. 2005.
As fans of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy know, each film exists in two versions: the theatrical one and the extended one that appeared on DVD. This luxurious box set--which also comes with a detailed essay on the movie's musical themes--features the full extended score, so many cues not on the CDs of the individual movies are included. Granted, the majority of listeners will be perfectly happy with the shorter versions of the scores--it's a safe bet that most people can live without hearing, say, Ian McKellen's 35-second-long ditty "The Road Goes Ever On" at the beginning of "Bag End," or Viggo Mortensen's performance of his own composition, "The Song of Lúthien," within the track "The Nazgûl." But if you're a completist and/or a devotee of Howard Shore's pounding tympani and overwhelming choral compositions (featured particularly prominently on disc 3, a large chunk of which is devoted to a battle scene), then this set is a dream come true. Audiophiles should note that the fourth disc, a DVD, offers the score in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Fire up those speakers so the whole shire can hear. --Elisabeth Vincentelli