"Where Words Fail, Music Speaks"
Hans Christian Andersen had it about right, I think. And Howard Shore got it right. That I know.
Last weekend we (myself, Mom, Dad, Emily, Joe, Sarah and Kirsti) indulged tastes both musical and nerdy in going to see the St. Louis Symphony perform "The Lord of the Rings Symphony," a six-movement masterpiece highlighting the best of the themes, musical motifs and melodious moments from the Lord of the Rings film scores.
Mom raised an interesting point- that we Lambsons love the Lord of the Rings movies SO much, and love the music SO much, that each of us has our own sets of soundtrack CDs (awkward then, you can imagine, that none of us remembered to bring a set to listen to on the way). And each of us will, at times, put a CD in the car as we drive to work or school or wherever and let our minds wander among the realms of Middle Earth, courtesy of Howard Shore and his brilliant musical vision.
But this was infinitely better- it was so much more moving, more sublime, more awe-inspiring to hear it performed live. Each time I glanced at one of the other family members I could tell he, she, we all were absolutely entranced by the magic created by the combination of Howard Shore's music, Alan Lee and John Howe's artwork, and Peter Jacksons cinematic genius. As literally as you can get without being perfectly literal, each of us was taken on a journey through Middle Earth, there and back again.
The music, sweet and enveloping music, took us from times long forgotten to the Shire, through the Old Forest to the Ford of Bruinen. We walked with the Fellowship of the Ring as they left Rivendell, scaled the towering peak of Caradhras, and wandered the depths of Moria.
The music was pure and intense as we once again discovered the dwarven city of Dwarrowdelf, felt a rush of adrenaline as primal chants heralded the arrival of the dark and fiery Balrog of Morgoth, and our hearts were cut as once again, we felt the sadness of Gandalf falling into shadow.
We were heartened as we passed through Lorien, down the Great River Anduin to the Falls of Rauros, where our souls were torn apart much as the Fellowship was, sad at departure but never losing hope.
In a matter of moments, we flew from foundations of stone, across the Plains of Rohan to the Black Gate of Mordor, forbidding and dark. Hearts warmed as Gandalf returned, then chilled with the marching of the Uruk-Hai. We felt the love of the Evenstar, and the triumph of victory as the Riders of Rohan, Gandalf at their head, rode into Helm's Deep, driving fear into the very hearts of creatures bred to be fearless. Our hearts cheered as nature itself rose up and marched to its doom, to punish those who should have known better.
The journey continued to Minas Tirith, where our spirits soared as one by one the Beacons were lit, and hope was rekindled. We descended with the Ringbearer into places dark and damp, full of sinister hate and malice. And we faced impossiblity itself by damning all the odds and riding onto the Fields of the Pelennor, singing as we slew.
Finally, at the end of all things, we saw hope triumph over despair, and small become victor over great. We returned home to the Shire, only to be parted again at the Grey Havens, where all turns to silver glass, and white shores beckon to carry us home.
The concert was amazing, and expectedly some of us were brought to tears on occasion (I only got a little misty-eyed at some parts). It was moving and epic, in the style ofthe movies that we have come to love so much. It was no surprise that the standing ovation was immediate and seemed to last forever.
I wish I could pass along the exact feelings, rushes, and emotions the concert brought to us, but this little summary will have to do.
Oh yeah, and here is, I believe, the entire DVD dedicated to the Symphony, in 5 parts (I didn't check to see if they contain the whole DVD content, but it looks legit):
*All pictures in this post were drawn and created by either Alan Lee or John Howe. They have all rights and intellectual property and what not. Breathtaking, aren't they?