Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Fellowship of the Ring score is a masterpiece. Duh.

I bought the soundtrack for The Fellowship of the Ring a few weeks before the movie was released. The first time I listened to it, I wasn't sure I got it. The music was complex, moody, and, for a movie soundtrack, pretty challenging, without a bunch of obvious music cues. Not having seen the movie yet made deciphering the soundtrack even more difficult.

But I kept listening and I have undoubtedly listened to this soundtrack more than any other because it's pure musical genius. (I own a couple of dozen soundtracks collected mostly during the eighties and nineties). For my own listening, the next closest would be John Williams' original score for Star Wars, also a masterpiece, which I listened to over and over as a kid.

Hey! I just realized something. One of the best known musical moments in Star Wars (A New Hope) is the theme that plays while Luke looks out over Tatooine's twin suns. Here it is:

What's interesting about this is that the music is "Ben's Theme", not "Luke's Theme" and as a kid that seemed a weird choice. The music perfectly fits the moment and the mood, so I understand why they did it, but it seemed an unfortunate choice thematically. Well, with the prequels (brr), it actually makes sense. Ben Kenobi brings Luke to live on the farm with his Aunt and Uncle. So in a way, this scene is an acknowledgment of that, even though Luke doesn't know it yet.

George Lucas did something right!

In any event, watch the video on Howard Shore above. It's great and a reminder that it's been too long since I've watched The Lord of the Rings.

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