Friday, July 22, 2005

50th Anniversary of Lord of the Rings

Scholar's Blog noted that July 19th was the 50th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Michele has the facts on the books' history.

My family attended The Lord of the Rings Symphony a few weeks ago. The tremendous Howard Shore music was performed by the Houston Symphony. Alan Lee's and John Howe's artwork accompanied the music.

That music was the soundtrack to our family's life for three years. It was very moving to hear it in a live performance.

A year ago we "happened" to be in Atlanta, GA and heard Howard Shore himself conduct the piece with the Atlanta Symphony. Shore received a standing "O" for just walking out on the stage before a single note was played.

This is a very very interesting article (so read the whole thing) about the origins of the work. John Mauceri, the music director of Pittsburgh Opera, suggested the idea to Shore because:

"Much of my life as a performer has been devoted to finding and making music that people don't usually hear," he says.

He and Shore worked together to prepare the scores.
It was Shore who decided on the form of his symphony -- two movements for each of the three films because each of the three volumes of Tolkien's work is itself in two books.

Shore and Mauceri split the work of preparing the score. In fact, Shore was completing his music for the final film at the same time the rest of his symphony was taking shape.

"One of us would do the first pass for each movement," Mauceri says. "Then we sent comments back and forth. All my work took place in Pittsburgh while I was conducting operas."
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will feature actor Billy Boyd (Pippin) in their performance this weekend. John Mauceri is conducting. How fun!


Stefanie said...

Can I just say how jealous I am that you got to go to this? :)

Camille said...

I am just relieved we did not know earlier that Billy Boyd was going to be in Pittsburgh or else...well, we are such geeks.. we might have convinced ourselves it was time to visit Pittsburgh. Road Trip!

Michele said...

I'm going to add to the jealousy quotient by revealing that I too went to hear the LotR Symphony - at London's Royal Albert Hall, with the original (recording) orchestra and choirs... It was absolutely awesome - and the first time I'd ever experienced a live orchestra - what a combination ! My ticket was an early birthday present from my now-deceased best friend - making my memory of the concert doubly special...

Michele (Scholar's Blog)